Monday, May 13, 2013

Food Memories

Isn't it funny how memories of family and loved ones can be so closely tied to certain dishes. For me I can't smell sweet potatoes without thinking of my late father. When you walked in his workshop in the backyard it always smelled of sweet potatoes from the sweet potatoes he would stick in the small oven there to bake. I think of my mother many times when canning. As a young child I spent so many hours peeling vegetables, shelling beans or washing fruit while helping her can away the summer.

O Wise One has wonderful memories of his late father and asparagus. His father would come home for lunch and along the way stop the old tractor along the fields and fence lines and pick the wild asparagus growing there. Bearing that hand full of spears, his father would bring them home at lunch time for his wife to make creamed asparagus over toast.  A perfect lunch for the three of them.

For my asparagus in this recipe I am going to use asparagus ends. When you pick asparagus you trim the end nearest the soil off about an inch or two because the peeling can be woody. For me I do not throw away those ends or give them to the chickens but rather peel them for creamed asparagus during asparagus season. In the photo above you can see I slip a small sharp paring knife right under that outer skin and just peel it right off.

Then the peelings go to the chickens or pigs.

The interior fleshy part of the asparagus ends should be tender now that you have gotten rid of that hard exterior peel. These I throw into the microwave in a little water and cook for about 3 minutes or until soft.

Next I melt about 3/4 stick butter in a skillet.

Now add 1/2 cup flour and stir to combine.

 On low heat cook this butter flour mixture for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. You want to cook the flour but not brown it.

Once your flour has cooked you gradually add small amounts of milk or cream, pour it slowly while stirring with a whisk to incorporate and work out any lumps continue cooking and adding milk. Your flour milk mixture will begin to thicken as it simmers.

And there you have the beginnings of a basic cream sauce. 

In this picture you can see my sauce gently simmering around the edges of the pan. (Do Not Boil) Now with your whisk incorporate you seasonings. In ours I added sea salt, freshly ground pepper, a little onion powder and garlic powder. 
 Then I added my cup of drained cooked asparagus ends from the microwave and threw in a pint of canned drained asparagus pieces from the pantry. Stir well to combine.

Continue to simmer until the asparagus has warmed through and there you have it creamed asparagus or cream of asparagus soup if it were a little thinner!

Next I toasted some whole wheat toast and tore it into small pieces. 

And there you have it creamed asparagus over toast. And you also have a way to use up those asparagus ends that would normally be thrown away.

Do you have a special dish that reminds you of a loved one?

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter 


  1. I usually grill my asparagus, but I think that my hubby would enjoy this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  2. That looks so good (both dishes)! I think maybe I should plant some asparagus!

  3. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it!

  4. Mmm... that looks delish.. maybe I'll have creamed asparagus for lunch.. I've never made it before but I can sense it in my future. ;)

    I always think of one of my Great Aunt Lucille when I make Sad Cake... Its like a chewy blond brownie made with pancake mix. Its really sad looking, but tastes wonderful. When I was a very young mother, I had just moved into her tiny little town (20 miles away from the rest of my family.. She had been talking to my grandmother on the phone who told her I moved there & I had the flu and was having a rough time of it with my 2 little ones who were 1 & 3 years old. She knocked on my door & brought me a gallon jar of vegetable beef barley soup & a pan of Sad Cake.. She didnt know it but she was a lifesaver that day. ♥ I have the best family! ♥

    I always think of my grandmother when I make egg custard, open a can of evaporated condensed milk (we'd boil it in the can & make a caramel like snack sometimes) or when I see poke growing.. We used to pick bags of it when she still could, then in later years, I'd do it on my own & take them to her.. She was always so excited.

    I always think of my other grandma when I eat peaches, spiced pecans, garlicy carrots & catfish.

    I always think of my mom when I make Mexican chicken & fried rice (or fried noodles) or one pot spaghetti. There are many dishes my mom made/makes that I do as well.. Its difficult not not think of her when I make many of them.. Every time I pull out my pressure cooker I think of her as well.. She used hers all the time when I was growing up.

    Sigh.. I have truly been blessed by wonderful family and good food thru my life..
    Thanks for joggiing me down memmory lane. :)

  5. Grandma Miller / Apple Tarts. Aunt Betty / well, about 20 things just popped in my head. She was a great cook. Uncle Julius / Mustard, Hamburger pinwheels. Aunt Geneva or Aunt Joyce / Brunswick Stew. Aunt Ruth / Chicken & Dumplins. Aunt Mary / Leaf Lettuce & Scallions in bacon grease. Oh I could go on, food is an integral part of my memory.

  6. Hi! I've been visiting your blog almost every day for about a week and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your posts.
    Thank you!


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