Monday, April 18, 2005

Field Trips

What a weekend! Not only was it DH's birthday, complete with lots of friends, good food and beverages, it was also the most glorious late spring weekend I can recall. I just heard on the news that it was 40 degrees this morning in the little town next to us. I didn't check the thermometer here this morning but it was plenty chilly. In fact, we all had to have a sweater or at least long sleeves for the last week. Brrrr! If North Florida would stay like this all year long, it would be heavenly.

Yesterday, we took a little Sunday drive and the fields of wildflowers are gorgeous. Here's some Black-Eyed-Susans growing up the road from me.

The fields are just full of color; yellow with the Susans, shockingly hot pink and purple with phlox, rich red with California poppies or riots of colors in patches of mixed flowers.

The other advantage of spring is still downright cheap asparagus! At 88 cents a pound, we are eating it fresh every day. One of my favorite ways with veggies is grilling. It's fast and easy and you don't even have a pot or pan to wash afterwards. Snap your asparagus to the tender part, trim as needed, rinse and pat dry. Put it in a bowl or on a plate and splash it with your best olive oil. Other flavored oils work nicely as well but don't use Wesson oil or Crisco or that other man-made "veggie" oil stuff. Treat yourself to a really good bottle of extra virgin olive oil, it's delish and good for you, too!

So, drizzle your best olive oil onto the asparagus and then make sure you have all parts of the stalks oiled. Use your hands and coat those stalks since olive oil makes your hands soft and nice. Heat your outdoor grill really hot and place the asparagus across it. Salt liberally. I like sea salt but any kind of regular ole salt will do. I don't usually pepper the asparagus on the grill since I don't think it needs it but you can if you wish.

Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down in the chaise and contemplate how long it will be until you have to ask your husband to mow the grass again. Drink more wine. In about 5 minutes, take your spatula and roll the asparagus 180 degrees. By now, you should see evidence of char-broiling on the stalks as you roll them over. If not, turn up the flame on the grill. Go back to your chair and admire the deep blue sky for about 4 or 5 more minutes and finish your wine.

That's it. Easy as pie. Remove to a platter. Enjoy grilled asparagus that is so very tasty and all the more delicious if you bought it for 88 cents a pound!

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