Friday, July 23, 2010

An Asparagus Story

It was time for a party. My brother-in-law and sister were throwing a party with all of their 'single' friends and relatives to offer an opportunistic moment for non-threatening hook-ups. We each would bring a contribution to the evening meal. As poor student refrigerators go, mine was often filled with yams, asparagus, and other oddities that none of my roommates ever attempted to consume on the sly. 
"I have some asparagus!" I said to my eager-to-impress brother-in-law. 

"Great! Bring it over and I will throw it in the casserole. I am cooking tonight!" 

Somewhere in there I believe I asked if he had ever cooked asparagus before, to which he responded confidently that he would be fine. 

The dinner table was set, surrounded with the unmarrieds in their early twenties. The dinner rolls were lovely. One of the guys brought some punch. Another brought a bowl of peas. There in the center of the table was a generous casserole containing, among other things, cream of mushroom soup and asparagus. It smelled loverly. We dished up and then... the first bite. I am not sure how long I chewed on that first piece of asparagus before cautiously asking my brother in law, "Did you happen to cut off the ends of the asparagus?" He first looked at me with surprise, quickly informing me that he had not.

"Well, the bottom-half of the stalks aren't edible. You gently press a knife on the stalk until it easily cuts through, maybe two or three inches up."

In a face-saving attempt, he defensively retorted, "I spent two years in Russia watching people struggle to find things to eat and I am certainly not going to throw away any part of edible food." Edible, indeed, we all silently gnawed, and one-by-one excused ourselves to the bathroom to discretely dispose of the fibrous stalks in our mouths until at last he was left chewing, and chewing, and chewing...

After several minutes, he swallowed his pride (because no matter how hard he tried, he CERTAINLY couldn't swallow that asparagus) and tossed it on the plate. "Well I don't know who can eat that stuff," he said, much to our relief, considering that the rest of us had eaten everything else on our plates EXCEPT the casserole. 

1 comment:

  1. I've never tried eating the bottom of asparagus, I always just buy the tips to save me the hassle. Shame the casserole was ruined though cos aparagus is yummy! :)


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