Monday, 15 June 2020

Asparagus …




During this rough time … and having decided I didn’t need a car – the buses were good around town, and the train would get me out and about … but t-h-e-n … a virus would descend …

Botanical - Asparagus officinalis

 … still Eastbourne is fine – and I’ve managed quite easily – walking back with my shopping – there’s not enough to warrant a delivery … and frankly laziness prevails if I went that route … so I’ll slug it back … good for my arm exercises I gather … ?!



But … withdrawal symptoms hit when the asparagus season came to be … usually about six to eight weeks: mid May to near the end of June …


Oh how delicious!!


I looked around in town … not much to be had – and a friend offered to get me ‘stuff’ from Waitrose if I needed – I asked if she’d get me some asparagus … that’s been the order each week recently … decent bundles … I’ve been very grateful.




Toys on Eastbourne seafront ... 
The word got round and living in a converted house with a few flats … one day – I ended up with three lots of asparagus dropped up to the flat … 




Royal Automobile Club - historic roadside telephone box
... and one younger friend is brilliant … she brings me asparagus, broad beans and rhubarb: all fresh at this time of year – I can’t easily get deprived!!




Amazingly for 7 years they used to live on Salt Spring Island off Vancouver Island … small world!  So at some stage … we’ll have some good natters: in the meantime I enjoy her deliveries!


These quotes appear in Wiki … and I thought would amuse you … or your kids or grandchildren … the kind of things that can give families laugh out loud hysterics …



A few stems of asparagus eaten, should give our urine a disagreeable odour …  “Letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels” written in 1781 by Benjamin Franklin.

Gives me a chance to use
'my chamber pot' again ...


Or … perhaps even funnier …





Asparagus “… transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.”
Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922)




The track made from the dumper trucks up towards
Beachy Head and the protected site - you can just see
the reef ... 


We’ve moved on a little from complete lock-down … I’ve decided I don’t like people or crowds … my own little world is still my happy space!  I will see what’s happening tomorrow when I go into town.





Frogs have it easy ... they eat what bugs them!
The way at times I've felt like ...I'll stick to asparagus,
while the season lasts ... 

A couple of pics for Ian, who asked after the dumper trucks taking shingle up to the Site of Specific Scientific Interest … getting it in by boat is not possible … because of the reefs and the protected site.




It’s not easy to write up things at the moment … but since we are all human – we need to read more, to understand our cultures from all sides of the discussion …

Take care …

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

35 comments:

Chatty Crone said...

Haha - I did know asparagus changed the odor of your pee! Only certain people with a certain enzyme gets that side affect. Still good for you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great you have so many looking out for you and bringing you fresh produce.

John Holton said...

I was going to say what Chatty Crone said. She worded it a little more delicately than I might have...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've only had asparagus once. I think it was good.

Elephant's Child said...

Smiling.
I am a big, big fan of fresh asparagus and luckily lack that smelly enzyme.
I am very glad that you are getting fresh produce and have chats with a friend to look forward to.
Stay safe as your lockdown eases.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

From Corona virus to Proust's potty - what unexpected journeys you take us on, Hilary! I didn't realise how much I liked asparagus till quite recently so I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Anabel Marsh said...

You sound as if you have life well sorted! Or it has sorted itself for you with asparagus winging its way from all corners.

Liz A. said...

So glad you got your asparagus. We're opening up here, but with little testing and tracing, I don't think it's really all that safe to do so. But that's here. I'm sure you guys are much better off. Wear your mask, and keep your distance, and you should be fine.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Yeeess - I'd heard that about asparagus, Hilary. Fortunately, I'm not a huge fan! Got enough problems with beer :-)

Jz said...

Of all times, this is the year my asparagus bed finally turned up its toes. So I'm sharing your pain, altho' in a slightly different way.
Nor has my new rhubarb crop really taken hold yet, either.
Just a hard year all 'round!

mail4rosey said...

A lot of negative and positive things are coming from this big change. People delivering to others (I have done so myself) is a good thing. Humanity has returned at a higher level than I've seen before. That was until the riots taking place here over injustice. That turns things again, and I can only hope good comes out of it, rather than all of this ugly so many have turned it into. It makes me sad.

Funny note about asparagus, I didn't think I liked it because my mom only served it in a can. Visiting my oldest son and his wife for dinner one evening, fresh asparagus was on the plate. I have been hooked every since.

Stay well, and yes, keep exercising those arms. :)

Hels said...

Your young friend is truly a darling, bringing you fresh asparagus and rhubarb. I can grow lemons, passion fruit, figs, grapefruit etc but I absolutely cannot grown asparagus.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandie – yes … it’s quite strong – but good for me …

@ Alex – thankfully I’ve been lucky with people helping out re those extra special veg and fruits one doesn’t find in the town …

@ John – I know it does stink – and there isn’t much more one can say … but I do so enjoy it …

@ Diane – I’m glad you’ve tried it … it’s definitely an acquired taste …

@ EC – I know … it’s so good – and I’m so pleased I’ve been fortunate enough to be well supplied. I can get fresh produce … but not the slightly more exotic ones … and have been fortunate to meet up with friends for a quick chat en passant. I’ll stay away from the masses – never been good with them anyway …

@ John – life is interesting … when the brain has time to wander – which mine is prone to do. I just loved the quotes … it was the letter to Brussels that caught my eye … as all I could think about was Brussel Sprouts … but realised the Franklin aspect would amuse.

Enjoy the catching up – so glad to know you’ve found out that it’s a veg you enjoy so much …

@ Anabel – it’s worked out rather well for me … so yes I am lucky …

@ Liz – I’m not sure what’s happening here … I’m not sure our government is being very clever – but we’re more tempered. I’m being as sensible as I can … and definitely keeping my distance.

@ Mike – oh yes the beer problem – especially now with no ‘spend a penny’ places open … not a good problem to have! Thankfully I’m not a huge beer fan …

@ Jz – oh no … asparagus can be temperamental to grow and then rhubarb … usually so easy – you are in the plant wars! And then yes I’d agree with you … a hard year it’s turning out to be …

@ Rosey – Life is definitely having its moments … I do hope we can come out stronger and with more compassion, and with a better understanding of others’ cultures … as we are all human. I get sad too – we, here in the west, shouldn’t be like this – I just hope the injustices at all levels stop.

Re asparagus – oh I know asparagus in tins is definitely not very nice is it … and I don’t like the white European asparagus very much … I eat the green bundles simply … either with melted butter, or Hollondaise sauce, or mayonnaise – depending on what else is on offer. But so glad to know you enjoy it now …

@ Hels – she’s a sweety … very kind and thoughtful – so I’ve been lucky there. Not having a garden now I have to rely on what I can easily find round and about … though remember the days with a garden …

Thanks for visiting everyone – lovely to see you … and it’s inspiring keeping up with you all during this troublesome time … take care - Hilary

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh, I adore fresh asparagus - with a poached egg and butter sauce... "Aitch" used to grow it, but is not able to in her new garden. YAM xx

Susan Scott said...

I LOVE fresh asparagus! When in season and with thick robust stalks there's nothing nicer than a quick steam of them, lots of butter and salt and pepper. IF there's salmon around, or fresh cooked trout (or as a pate), this is food for a king, or better, a queen. I thought all urine had a smell after asparagus. Good to hear that friends bring you things Hilary!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm definitely not rushing to get back into society. At the point I'm called back to work, I'll make an effort to do 'normal' things a couple of days before, just to make sure I remember how to interact with people!

What great friends and neighbours you have. I hope asparagus freezes!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Taking into account your proclivity for the eclectic, Hilary, even you have outdone yourself with this one. Who will ever contemplate asparagus in the same manner again? Who will not wonder whether they are cursed with the stinky enzyme and are unaware of it? Flatulence, always to be suppressed and muffled if possible, will become a mortifying possibility. I suppose the best advice is to eat asparagus while in seclusion - a coronavirus event for example - and certainly better not have it before curtsying to the Queen. Thank goodness the only chamber pot we have doubles as a planter on the patio.

Dan said...

I love asparagus. I'm glad you have someone who will supply it to you. I remember living in Seattle, the fresh asparagus showed up in the market much earlier than it does here on the east coast. Do you remember if it was earlier in BC?

DMS said...

Good for you walking and carrying your groceries back home. Definitely good for the arm muscles. I love asparagus! I think it is wonderful that people are bringing you so much of the good "stuff". :) Also, we are getting ready for phase 2 here. A bit more things will be opening and people will be able to eat inside restaurants again (half capacity). I still haven't taken part in phase one (outdoor dining, tables 6 feet apart). I am with you and don't enjoy crowds. I very much enjoy my time at my house and in my yard. And taking walks. :)

Stay safe!
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yam … I owe Aitch an email … I’ll get there! – hopefully this year. Asparagus that way would be good too … but is not easy to grow …

@ Susan – isn’t it lovely – exactly decent sized stalks … I boil mine as it’s easier and quicker I find … but with salmon or fresh trout – I remember my South African trout meals … as a meal fit for us noble beings. Urine has its own smell doesn’t it. Yes – I’ve struck it lucky living here …

@ Annalisa – I don’t blame you … I think a great many people are holding back for the time being. I know ‘talking’ might be a challenge – but you have to do that in your job situation anyway: good luck when it happens. I’m terribly sorry – there’s none to freeze … eat and enjoy is my motto at this time of year!!

@ David – apologies … my mind does wander off – actually I’d intended to add other things … but thought what I found in Wiki gave enough ‘extra fizz’ for me to just add those notes! Usually if one eats asparagus – so does everyone else in the household …

I’m unlikely to meet the Queen at the moment … so she is safe!! Flatulence is less controllable … often because we’re not sure of the strength of the perfume a-risin …

Chamber pots make great plant containers …

@ Dan – it’s the most delicious vegetable or starter … or just one meal – and yes I’m lucky having friends who bring bundles through for me …

I remember you lived in Seattle at one stage … the climate is softer over there, than you have on the east coast. I’d forgotten – there was an asparagus farm on the back road into the farm I was living on – they were at loggerheads – so I never went there … April – May … seems to be the time frame …

@ Jess – fortunately it’s not far … but 20 – 25 minutes each way … a good hour with a bit of shopping on the way back.

I have to admit I’m glad I live on the edge of society … and certainly wouldn’t trust going out and travelling – especially as I don’t have to … but I wouldn’t go out to eat or have a drink … though I’m really looking forward to meeting up with friends again.

That’s good you’re enjoying your home and your garden (or yard in your case – I don’t like that word in that context!). Then also taking walks … must do more of those …

Thanks everyone – so pleased most of you are happy to eat asparagus … I can’t wait for my next lot tomorrow! Stay safe … Hilary

Jacqui Murray said...

I'd forgotten how much I love asparagus. Now I will have to go find some! I too am fine alone. The biggest difficulty of the lockdown has been the damage it did to so many, without jobs, in need of community. I worried so and now, a little less.

Rhodesia said...

We love asparagus and tried growing it but it did not particularly like our soil I think. After struggling for almost 8 years we finally dug it out and buy it instead! Rhubard we have in the garden and that suddenly seems to have taken off after a not very good start. Maybe all the rain we have had, I cannot water to the same degree.

Yes, I agree, keep to ourselves for a while and see what happens. All the protesting crowds could well set it all off again.

Stay safe, Diane

bazza said...

Hi Hilary: I don't 'get' asparagus but my wife loves it. We were due to be in Antwerp two weeks ago but, of course that didn't happen.
Some years ago we were in a fabulous restaurant in Bruges called Den Dyver. We were there in May so they had an asparagus menu. EVERYTHING was asparagus-based including the ice-cream! I had something else....
Here's a related joke for you:
My wife told me that she'd going to Belgium.
I said, "Antwerp?"
She said, "No, I'm not taking you."
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s unexpectedly uxorious Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Keith's Ramblings said...

I'm a great fan of Come Dine With Me and as soon as a bunch of asparagus appears I know exactly what's going come up in conversation! I also shout at the TV when people trim the stalks with a knife rather than snapping them. Once a chef always a chef I guess!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui - I hope it's not too late to get some quality fresh asparagus. I quite enjoy being on my own ... I'll get 'desperate' in a few months! I just hope that our governments can support our people who aren't able to work ... and give them support for their future.

@ Diane - It's not an easy plant to grow ... that I know from having family who've set up asparagus beds. So don't blame you for giving up ... I'm glad the rhubarb is getting going - the rain will definitely help.

I'm not rushing out - but I don't think we've done that well over here ... just very glad I don't live in London.

Crowds of any types are awful ...

@ Bazza - it can be the way can't it ... one partner loves the stuff, the other hates it. Sorry you lost out on your Antwerp trip; your Bruges restaurant ... and what fun to have that asparagus menu - yet I understand you obviously weren't that happy - but I'd have enjoyed it!

Thanks re the joke - that's funny ... love it ...

@ Keith - oh oh ... good for you - and yes repartee will no doubt abound. Oh Master Chef ... you need to be a simple woman ... I just get on without fussing too much! As you say - yes once a chef, always a chef - I can see that.

Thanks for your fun comments ... always enjoy reading your thoughts - take care as we all seem to be opening up a little ... Hilary

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I don't like aspargus didn't know it changed the smell of pee that is weird

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - You have very kind friends and neighbours.
I am a big aspargus fan too!

Joanne said...

You may have my share of asparagus - not a fave for me. But very nice of folks to share and drop off. Hope things aren't too crowded as you get out and about, and I hope folks wear masks. That's the problem in TX - so many folks just not into science, common sense, and being thoughtful about others. I'm still pretty much just working, going to the grocery store, visit Ray's folks, and hang on my patio. Take care and have a breath of the sea for me.

A Cuban In London said...

I love asparagus! :-) If true be told, it helps that my girlfriend is also keen on then.

Great to hear you're managing. :-)

Greetings from London.

Elsie Amata said...

The "perfume" smell is strong but well worth it. I'm glad you have friends who are getting you fresh vegetables. I'm like you. We're in phase 2 but I'm not dining indoors for a while yet.

Elsie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo-Anne - it's definitely a like or hate it vegetable ...

@ Donna - yes I've been lucky ... but I can't miss out on the stuff - so I have been very fortunate ... and hope you've been able to find some around your home ...

@ Joanne - pleasure!! I'll enjoy every stalk of it. I've been lucky here ... some people wear face masks, but I haven't as I'm not around lots of people and leave lots of space when I have to get to shop ... I'm being sensible. Yes - it's being sensible and realising it's common sense to look after yourself and thus others ... you're doing much what I'm doing ... keep clear in general ...

I really do hope it doesn't start up again - but appears to be in various places of the world.

I'll have a few breaths of sea air for you ... always a pleasure!

@ ACIL - asparagus is the best ... and that's good that you both enjoy it ... such a pleasure to enjoy together. Thank you - all well here - relatively quiet on the coast ...

@ Elsie - yes "the perfume" is pretty strong at times - but I do love the stuff; I can get fresh veg and fruit easily - it's just the specials that aren't that available ...

None of our cafes or restaurants are open yet ... so I'm very much keeping to myself ... but might soon venture out for tea with a couple of elderly friends in their garden ... and have walks with others ...

Take care all of you - all the best - Hilary

Botanist said...

There's a definite seasonal cycle to a lot of the produce on our supermarket shelves, but for some reason there always seems to be asparagus available all year round. We have it occasionally ... you can have too much of a good thing :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ian - I only buy it in season ... so this time of year is special for me ... I remember seeing asparagus being imported in from Mexico and Chile ... but I only ever bought the local BC produce. You're right ... that's why I keep to the season - all the best Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

I love aparagus! It's one of my favorite vegetables. We have some growing in our backyard garden—one of the few things we've kept up with—and I can't get enough of it when it's available.

I apologize for my lack of visits lately . . . I'm doing the minimum of social media these days, only scheduling my blog posts and barely being online otherwise. It's just too much anger and divisiveness for me to keep reading through, so I'm on an unofficial hiatus of sorts. But I couldn't keep quiet when I saw you'd written about asparagus! I trust that you're well.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynda - I know it is absolutely delicious ... and now for this year it's over ... I only buy seasonal. Good for you for growing it and keeping it sprouting ... delicious: straight from the plant ...

No worries re visits - I understand completely ... I don't comment where I don't want to ... but don't do much social media.

Take care - Hilary