Asparagus, a Delicious Spring Crop

Sautéed, Steamed, Grilled, or Raw – a Versatile and Delicious Spring Treat

Tender young asparagus spears
Tender young asparagus spears

 

When I was a kid I wouldn’t touch asparagus with a ten-foot stick. Now I love asparagus, especially since we grow our own.

Asparagus Officinalis is a member of the lily family, and there are male and female plants. While both male and female plant will go to fern only the stalk of the female plant will produce bright red berries in the summer, which are the seed pods.

Originally from southern Europe, asparagus is now widely cultivated in the United States, Russia, England, Poland, and France. However, China is the world leader in asparagus production. Read more

Seed Companies

A partial list of seed suppliers for organic, heirloom, open pollinated seed

  1. Fruition Seeds – organic, non-GMO, heirloom, safe seed pledge, local, open pollinated
  2. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated, non-patented, heirloom, pen pollinated
  3. Territorial Seed Company – F1, open pollinated, safe seed pledge, certified organic
  4. Johnny’s Selected Seeds – F1, open pollinated, heirloom, certified organic, safe seed pledge,
  5. Seed Savers – open pollinated, heirloom, organic, untreated, non-GMO varieties, safe seed pledge
  6. Annie’s Heirloom Seeds – open pollinated, non-GMO, heirloom
  7. Seeds of Change – organic, non-GMO, heirloom
  8. High Mowing Organic Seeds – organic, Vermont organic, non-GMO, heirloom, non-GMO verified, heirloom, safe seed pledge
  9. Sustainable Seed Company – certified organic, heirloom, open pollinated

How to Make Roux

It’s easy to make delicious sauces and gravies with butter and flour

roux ingredients
Butter and flour, the basics needed to make roux

 

Want to make gravy? How about a cheese sauce? A velouté perhaps?

Then you’ll need to start with roux. Roux (pronounced roo) is the most basic of thickeners for stock or milk to make gravy or velouté (vuh loo tay), which I’ll cover in a minute. So today I’ll show you how to make roux. I promise this will help bring your recipe repetoire to new levels.

Roux is a combination of flour and fat, most usually butter, in equal proportions, which then has stock or milk/cream to it and brought to a boil and allowed to thicken. At the Culinary Institute of America we were taught 2 parts clarified butter to 3 parts flour. For a roux with more flavor you can also use vegetable oil or rendered chicken fat. Technically the ratio is based on weight.  Me, I use one to one butter/flour.

To make roux simple melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Read more