Spear a thought for as­para­gus

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

In their 70s, they had not long re­tired from a life­time “In Ser­vice” as ser­vants in one of the large houses of the vil­lage. Nei­ther had ever been to Lon­don, 25 miles away. They had never mar­ried, but dis­liked be­ing called “spin­sters”. As Daisy once told my wife: ‘I shan’t die cu­ri­ous’. In ad­di­tion, both knew English coun­try cook­ing well and would read­ily im­part a recipe now and then. With a Christ­mas party com­ing along, one day I asked Daisy if she had a recipe for “Cheese Straws”. She brought out an old scrap­book, found the page and dic­tated the recipe to me. Here it is.

The sight of a road­side stall near Episkopi, with bun­dles of the fresh­est as­para­gus, re­minds me of a good English sum­mer. There are many things you can do with as­para­gus, but let’s start sim­ply by boil­ing it. 1. Cut any choggy or woody bits from the bot­tom of the as­para­gus. 2. With a sharp knife, scrape the bot­tom sec­tion of the stem to re­move the stringy bits. 3. Tie or put an elas­tic band around the as­para­gus to make a bun­dle. 4. If you have a very deep pot, stand the as­para­gus in it and fill with water half way up the bun­dles. If you don’t, but you have a very large fry­ing or sauté pan, stand some forks or some­thing sim­i­lar on one side and lay the bun­dles down so that the tips of the as­para­gus are clear of the water.

5. Cover your pan, bring the water to the boil and cook on a mod­er­ate heat for about 1012 min­utes.

6. Serve hot with melted but­ter, or cold with French dress­ing or may­on­naise.

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