From Asparagus to Beans

Asparagus soup with garlic bread
Last week we consumed our last bag of frozen Turkey Craw and Greasy beans from our garden. With no bacon handy, I seasoned them with butter, added onions and a few potatoes. Himalayan salt and ground pepper finished off the flavor to culinary nirvana.
Trust me, potatoes make all the difference when you boil green beans. If you can find them, small new potatoes flatter the stringed variety like no other.
My mother didn’t invite potatoes into her green bean pot—probably because she also served new potatoes in white gravy as a side dish. I don’t think she’d object to my green bean variation, though.
Preparing the last of our beans claimed our meal a special occasion. For the main dish, I chose the Romine brothers’ Farm Field ground beef for meatloaf with the works. Chopped onions, garlic, and green pepper. Oats. Homemade canned tomato sauce. Dried parsley and nettles. Dijon Mustard. Worcestershire Sauce.
“Think I’ll throw in some corn,” I said.
Mel, slicing radishes for our salad, made no remark. Chances are he didn’t hear me.
We love sweet corn—wait all year for local roastin’ ears, as my southern uncles say. It’s not worth the battle to grow corn in our little vegetable garden protected by a seven-foot deer-proof fence.
My pickled beets complimented our plates, a la Uncle Tab’s recipe with cloves.
Afterward, I cleared our empty dishes from the table with a bittersweet taste on my tongue. No more Turkey Craws and Greasies until July.

Blanching Turkey Craw Beans to freeze
The following day in Michael’s while waiting in the checkout aisle, a wall of magazines clamored for my purchase. Food publishers know how to lasso a farm-girl who’s starved for fresh vegetables and fruit.
Bold letters “farm to table” and “95 recipes” hooked me. I almost drooled over the colorful cover art. Juicy strawberries centered with brown eggs and chives—radishes, carrots, asparagus, red onion, cucumbers, and red stems of Swiss chard with a few blocks of cheese offered a balanced meal.  

But you cannot judge a magazine by its cover, so I turned to the index. My goodness, recipes for all four seasons followed by a map of “Fresh Across America” in one magazine.
What a deal! I could use the publication the yearlong as my crops come in, beginning with HONEY-LEMON ASPARAGUS and concluding with SAUSAGE-STUFFED BUTTERNUT SQUASH.
Oh! Asparagus!
Dear Reader, pardon me, I have to run. It’s a warm, sunny, blustery day out there. I must go inspect my asparagus patch and draw off honey. 
Bon appétit!

2 lbs. fresh asparagus, trimmed
¼ cup honey
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1.     Boil asparagus in large saucepan for 1-2 minutes. Drain, pat dry.
2.     In a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 2 minutes.
3.     Transfer asparagus to a large bowl; drizzle with glaze and toss gently to coat.