Christmas chronicles: Good asparagus, bad asparagus and The Man Who Came to Dinner

First, the bad…

APPARENTLY I DON’T know a thing about cooking asparagus. I’m pretty good at cooking other things though, so when I decided to add asparagus as a unique side dish to my Christmas meal I do believe I suffered from too much false confidence going in.

My first mistake may have involved the purchase of frozen asparagus. Before clucking your tongue at me, I attest that the package looked good… all nice and fresh and what not. Flash frozen, no doubt, was my thinking. Plenty of other veggies do ok frozen. That was my rationale.

My second mistake had to do with thawing the asparagus in the microwave. I’m certain that a minute or two would have sufficed, but I did four. Thus, the cooking process was started prematurely.

A closely related mistake occurred when I opened the steamable bag too early, before I microwaved it. Not entirely sure of the effect this may or may not have had… but it may not have been too good.

My next mistake came at the sauté stage. My intent here was to put a nice char on the asparagus while retaining it’s crispness. After giving the asparagus a nice blanket of seasonings with the addition of a little butter and oil, I proceeded to sauté it for way too long. It went from looking not too bad to pretty pathetic… of course, I didn’t know this at the time or I wouldn’t have done it. In hindsight, setting the burner at a higher temperature would have been the thing to do.

Hindsight is almost always 20/20 isn’t it? I could have cut out the microwave thaw and dumped the frozen asparagus straight into the sauté pan. Or, I could have steamed it to completion in the unopened bag per the package’s recommendation… but who ever follows that crap! Surely, I know more about cooking asparagus than whoever wrote those directions. Surely!

Or, I could have bought fresh asparagus. That may have gone a long way toward success.

A final mistake, maybe… when the time came ’round to cook the asparagus late in the afternoon, I’d already been sipping at the Christmas spiced rum. Now, I hate to blame the rum, as it was exceptionally delicious rum, however, I’m well aware that alcohol is often to blame for creating false bravado in a person…. as well as diminishing effective reasoning skills. Not sure if I’d consumed enough of the rum at that point to impair my judgment but who really knows.

Anyway, the end result was stringy, rubbery asparagus. It tasted ok due to the seasonings and butter yet the texture may have been a bit like trying to eat a shoelace. Not entirely sure as I’ve never tried to eat a shoelace but it does seem comparable. To his credit, my significant other ate it and said it was fine… even went so far as to call it “crisp.” He’s a great liar. Can a lie really be bad if it works out in my favor?

Bette's Back in The Man Who Came to Dinner
The Man Who Came to Dinner The Man Who Came to Dinner POSTER Movie

Now, for the good…

Luckily, the rest of the meal ended up being fantastic! Mashed potatoes, stuffing, smoked Ham, gravy. It was delish! One little failure can be lived with.

The crescendo of the evening was watching “The Man Who Came to Dinner” starring Miss Bette Davis. I’d never seen the film before and all I can say is what a delight! The ending was just the best!

If I do decide to cook asparagus again I will do the sensible thing and procure some good advice first. Here are some great sources that I found.

How to Cook Frozen Asparagus (+ Recipe Ideas!) (Roasting seems to be the best method for frozen asparagus, by the way)

by Anne/Fannetastic Food

how to cook frozen asparagus on sheet pan

Bonus: Ahhhh….. Asparagus! A lovely post about growing and harvesting asparagus with recipes!

by Diary of a Gen-X Traveler

Grow asparagus in your garden

Hope everyone managed to have a great day as well!

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7 thoughts on “Christmas chronicles: Good asparagus, bad asparagus and The Man Who Came to Dinner

  1. Adora, I have never been so entertained by a blog post concerning the ruination of asparagus! This bodes well for your future as a blogger. LOL Having been so diverted, I can now safely proceed to the enjoyment of New Year’s weekend, unfettered by any nagging concerns about our fabulously delicious green friends. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much… both for reading and for the compliments. I do hope you enjoy your New Year’s weekend. I don’t know about you but I am NOT going to be cooking any asparagus! 🍅🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just wait, Adora.

    Asparagus didn’t give you much of a chance, did it? Did you expect anything more from these flaccid imposters cowering in the freezer aisle between the spinach and the tater tots? Bah!

    No, the asparagus’s time, and yours, will come in three months or so. Then, the rejuvenating soil will yield generous, succulent spears worthy their potential. Worthy your efforts too.

    So, take the lessons you learned in Step 1, and prepare for triumph in Step 2. The moment approaches. When it arrives, be sure to tell us about it, OK?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m actually quite a fan of frozen tator tots… but frozen spinach is just disgusting. I was actually thinking about that comparison after my asparagus disaster.
      You taught me a new word. I had to look up flaccid. I like it! Rejuvenating soil sounds nice too 🌱
      Yes I do believe I will try the asparagus again sometime soon. The real kicker is that they sell fresh asparagus in the local stores regularly so I really have no excuses.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh sure, Adora, our markets offer fresh asparagus year-round too, but closer inspection reveals winter season fill-ins to be a “Producto de Peru.” Grown beyond the equator and shipped from South America – how “fresh” can it be?

        No, for the real deal, you want the reawakening earth to put its resurrected energies into producing superlative asparagus. Which, here in North America, usually means late March or early April.

        Then, then…you’ll find spears worthy your artistry, Adora. Then too, the earth’s creativity and yours will coincide!

        Liked by 1 person

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