Monday, May 25, 2009

Time Passes, Books,

Unfortunately yesterday, we lost a very good friend of long standing. When I was talking some time ago about our one and only cruise, he and his wife were the people who were with us. Now, sadly they have both gone. It is, for us, the end of an era with our friends who came from Blowing Rock in North Carolina and who moved to the coast where we met them. In recent years, we have lost eight of these friends from the mountains. These were all people who took us to their hearts and made us feel part of their family. RIP every one of you. I won't be writing a lot this morning as the super is turning off the water soon so I have to get myself showered before they do so. We only found out by accident - there is a notice, I am not sure when it was put up, but we didn't go anywhere this weekend so didn't see it. Could have been a problem for us. I haven't mentioned reading lately, I have been working my way through Kate Elliott's books The Crown of Stars, but last week J.D. Robb's Promises in Death became available, so I whipped through that at the weekend. Enjoyed it as usual. With these books I love the 'back story' as much as anything, knowing the characters and watching them develop through each book. Here's a different way of using asparagus. Its from the Asparagus Growers' Marketing Board. Asparagus and Ham Brunch Bread
2 lbs (1 kg) Ontario asparagus
3 cups (750 mL) biscuit mix
1 tsp (5 mL) dried tarragon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each dry mustard and pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) diced Black Forest ham (about 4oz/125 g)
1 onion, diced
1 cup (250 mL) grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Break asparagus stalks where they snap easily; discard ends or reserve for soup. Set asparagus aside. In large bowl, combine biscuit mix, tarragon, mustard and pepper. In another bowl, beat eggs with milk; pour over dry mixture and stir until smooth (batter will be thin). Spread half the batter in greased 13 x 9-inch cake pan. Arrange half the asparagus in a single layer on batter. Sprinkle with half the onion and half the Parmesan. Spread remaining batter over top. Arrange remaining asparagus over batter; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake in 375º F (190º C) oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let stand in pan on rack for 20 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.

Prep time: 15 minutes, 35 to 40 minutes cooking time

Yield: 6 servings

Right, off the the shower. Have a great day.