Thursday, May 26, 2011

Asparagus, Energy, Local Food.

We finally managed to get to Barrie’s Asparagus Farm and Country Market yesterday, phew, like I said 4 days without asparagus right in the middle of the season, Aparagusunheard of. I also got myself some rhubarb (red asparagus, LOL) which I will cook for me, as I’ve said before, Matt doesn’t like it. It seems they are really doing a thriving business at their country market and people were there buying all their asparagus products such as Asparagus Salsa, Soup and Tortilla chips. They sell produce from all over the area although, in my case, apart from the asparagus, I can get many of the other things closer to home. I know I rave about fresh asparagus every year, but when its just been picked, you can eat it without cooking it – Tim Barrie gave me a spear to taste, they are extra sweet because of the rain. Another thing with fresh picked, you do NOT have to break off the ends of the spears, every bit can be eaten. Woodiness only happens when they have been hanging around.
There is a video on Barrie’s Facebook site Barrie'sshowing them picking asparagus which will be pickled within 24 hours. I haven’t tried pickling my own, but they really are delicious. They sell in large and small jars at the store. This picture shows several items in jars inside their store. Below is the Barrie’s recipe for Pickled Asparagus. I’ve never tried it because I don’t have a “hot bath”. I  used to borrow one in the States to do tomatoes.

Pickled Asparagus

Using 5 lbs of Ontario asparagus, wash well and soak in ice water while you are preparing the 6 pint jars. Place 1/2 clove of garlic, 1 tsp dill seed, 1 tsp mustard seed, and 6 peppercorns in the bottom of each jar. Place asparagus, tips up in jar. Don't waste tender ends. Can them also for bite size treats. Bring 8 cups water, 2-1/2 cups white vinegar, 3 tbsp pickling salt, 1/2 cup white sugar to a boil and pour over asparagus. Process in hot bath for 5 to 6 minutes.
I just Googled about canning in a water bath and I think I could probably do it in my humungous stock pot. Apparently it doesn’t need to be under pressurBarrie'se. So maybe…….. The picture, borrowed from our local paper, The Record, shows Tim in his asparagus field with his dog. If you want to see the article, go to
One thing I asked Tim Barrie was about his plan for solar panels on his farm. He has a field which has to lie fallow for 20 years. He said the local council had changed the laws and people can now do this, but not on arable land, so he is planning another area on his farm where he can get these panels stored. Tim already has solar panels on his property mainly for home use, but he is a big proponent of solar energy. Right with you Tim.
Because Barrie’s specialise in local produce I started thinking about the 100 mile rule (don’t buy things from outside that area) cocoa beanswhich is all very well, but it presupposes that, for a start, one would give up chocolate, coffee, whisky, wines other than Canadian (as far as I know there isn’t a Zinfandel made in Canada, my favourite), artichokes and so on and so on. Not only that, in Canada a lot of things only grow forCoffee Beans a very short season and I am not sure what we would do for vegetables and fruit if we couldn’t ship them in from other countries. I am therefore not convinced that it is a very practical rule. Locally made Reid’s chocolates are excellent but chocolate doesn’t grow in Canada. Same with coffee, organic or not.
Last night we tried a new and very simple little recipe for chicken breasts which was quite tasty and soooo easy. I did not leave the skin on, we don’t eat it, and the flavour would have disappeared with the skin. We ate asparagus with it, of course.
Delicious Baked Chicken
Baked Chicken
4 bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin
1 Tbs olive oil
1 pinch garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Rub each chicken breast with olive oil, then place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Pour Worcestershire sauce over each breast. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check chicken and remove cover if desired. Bake for another 15 minutes.
Servings: 4
Author: Janet Schaufele
Author Notes
Basic baked chicken turns lively when soaked with a little Worcestershire
Have a great day

1 comment:

  1. Very nice image of food in the blog and provide information is beneficial..
    Wedding Photography Barrie