Leafy, Green Not My Favorite Color

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM.

            I passed a sign at a local market advertising asparagus for $1.99 per pound. You’ve got to be kidding me! I got whiplash and near ’bout rear ended an SUV taking a second look to make sure I saw what I saw! $1.99 for chocolate ice cream I could understand. I’d pay that for an extra big slice of pecan pie, a jar of pickled peaches or a handful of fresh pig knuckles. But asparagus? Any self-respecting vegetable seller ought to pay you to take it off his hands!

            Mother served it up on a regular basis in our “formative years” with the admonition, “It is good for you”. That’s the same thing she said about carrots and cauliflower. Leon thought it taste like wet Bermuda grass with the weeds left in it. We ate it so often that it must have come as a shopping bonus. In like, “You buy five dollars worth of groceries, you get a free bag of asparagus.” There had to be some logical explanation for how often it showed up on our plates.

            If it touched your mashed potatoes, you were out of luck. By osmosis the asparagus permeated the potatoes faster than you could eat them. If the blessing was extra long, the meal was a total disaster! Mom usually made a casserole out of it. She also served it up boiled (the worst), roasted, raw, fried and diced into a sandwich spread. She rolled it up and wrapped bacon around it. None of these enterprising offerings helped the taste one iota. You can’t make a silk purse…….

            I dated a girl once who was attractive, intelligent and wealthy. I figured I’d hit the trifecta. Her father owned a couple hundred acres of rich, bottom land. It was the proverbial match made in Heaven! When she invited me up to the big house for “supper with the family” I figured my future was set. I noticed the asparagus dish even before her father began to quiz me on my college options. My almost, pert’near, semi-betrothed took two helpings. And shoved it in with both hands! I ate my roast beef in stunned silence. When she turned to me with little green bits and pieces stuck to her teeth and politely requested, “Would you pass the asparagus, please”, I mentally went to refiguring my whole life even before Mrs. Carpenter served the orange sherbet. You talk about dodging a bullet!

            I read once that the ancient Egyptians used asparagus as a medicine. The Romans called it an herb. Early American pioneers rubbed it on rashes and insect bites. I rest my case.

            Now, I am aware of other asparagus lovers out there. The farmer’s daughter couldn’t be the only one. And I’m ok with that. American is well noted as the land of the free, and the home of the personal choice menu.  Good sense would also argue there are people out there who don’t crave pig knuckles on a regular basis. To each his own….. But I’ve got to be in the majority on this one.

            The color, make up and taste of asparagus reminds me of broccoli and Brussels sprouts. I rest my case again.



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