Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Potted, Asparagus, Challenge, Purée, Raccoon Stamp.

Talking to some of the women at bowling the other day, I discovered one of them is almost as fanatical about asparagus as I am but, horrors, she has never heard of Barrie’s Asparagus Farm. Sadly she doesn’t have a computer so I couldn’t offer to send her the information so I told her what I could and she has a son living in Cambridge Aparaguswhich is approximately where the asparagus farm is and he is going to find it for her. I didn’t think to offer to take her, will next week. However, I mentioned a couple of my favourite asparagus recipes, Phyllo Bundles and Tim Barrie’s Mom’s Soup and she was very interested so I printed them up for her. Another friend was interested in the Jambalaya from last week and apologised that she had missed me on the local radio, she too wanted the Jambalaya recipe. It always staggers me when these people say they don’t have computers, but Matt who is not a computer fan thinks I am silly expecting everyone to have computers in this day and age. Looking at that picture I have just posted, I am positively drooling.

We are now on the homeward run of the A to Z Challenge to bloggers. I have been AZenjoying other people’s blogs and reading what they have to say about things. Some of the sites I have joined and some of them have joined my blog. Its absolutely great getting comments, normally I get very few, for some reason most of my readers never comment. I has been suggested that to provoke comments one asks questions, but that doesn’t seem to work with my readers.

We visited one of my favourite stores on Monday, Vincenzo’s, we needed some Tom paste tubetomato paste in tubes. This is so much better than having to open a can, even thought it’s a small one, when you only want a couple of teaspoons or so. It isn’t widely available, but of course Vincezo’s carry it. Matt had mentioned that we hadn’t had Boursin in a while, so we bought some as well as some Brie and of course my genuine Italian Mascarpone (no preservatives which makes it taste sweet). For supper on Monday night we had some of the Broccoli soup I made recently followed by some Boursin. Simple but delicious. Soup’s good by the way. I have made it before.

We got a letter in the mail yesterday, actually a rare event for us these days, andPostage Stamp we were both very taken with the postage stamp of three little raccoons which we hadn’t seen before. It is part of a series of baby animals I gather. I will have to pick up some of these stamps although we don’t use postage stamps very much any more. Most of our communication is done by computer. Always tickles me when we check the mail, getting none and other people comment that at least we didn’t get any bills. We almost never do, our only bill is for Rogers (cable, internet, phones) and we get that online too.

Today you are getting two recipes for the price of one. I have frequently made Potted Shrimp, the best being with the small brown shrimp which we used to call Gravesend shrimp although I have seen them called by other names. Not only that we used to buy it already shelled in Ostend, Belgium at the fish market (I wonder if you still can?) the flavour is unbeatable. Sadly I haven’t had brown shrimp in years. Still, I am hungry for Potted Shrimp so I should hi me to the kitchen. The second dish, Potted Cheese, is a new one on me and one I might well give it a try next time I have some cheese lying around or even buy some cheese specially to make it. No not the ones I bought at Vincenzo’s.

Potted Shrimp

Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery.Potted Shrimp

1 lb shrimp
3 oz butter (don't substitute)
1/4 tsp mace
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1 oz clarified butter

Shell and devein shrimp. Put into boiling water and remove when pink. Immediately place in processor with all ingredients except clarified butter. Blend until paste like consistency. Check for seasonings. Add more if desired. Place in small pots and cover with clarified butter. Chill.

Servings: 4

Or then there is Potted Cheese

Potted Cheese

Recipe taken from Jane Grigson's "English Food" and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2009.

Serves 4Potted cheese 3

250g Cheshire cheese or cheddar cheese, cubed
90g Butter, softened
A pinch paprika
A few drops red Tabasco
2-3 Tbs Red Port, Madeira or sherry
60g Walnuts, roasted and chopped


1. In a food processor, mix the cheese with the softened butter to a smooth paste.
2. Flavor it with with the paprika, Tabasco and wine.
3. Transfer the paste to a bowl and add the chopped walnuts.
4. Pot and decorate with walnut halves.
5. Store in the refrigerator.
Remove from the refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.
If you want to keep it for a while, cover your "Potted Cheese" with clarified butter.
Serving suggestions:
Spread on toast, bread and crackers or serve with vegetable sticks (celery stalks).

Have a great day



  1. I've heard of Tomato past in a tube, Jo, but I've never actually seen it in the stores here. I would imagine Wal-Mart might carry it, although I've never looked. I know my local grocer doesn't.

    I love asparagus. I'm putting in a patch of it this year. I use it in a favorite shrimp stir-fry, with shrimp, scallops, asparagus, fresh mushrooms, and fresh onions. I love it and so do the boys. :-)

    To answer question you left on my blog--yes, I've read about George the Great Dane. :-)


  2. I was never able to buy it when we lived in NC. Not sure if Wal-Mart would carry it or not. It is very useful to have.

    Make sure you put lots of manure underneath the asparagus. We did with our patch in the UK and it grew beautifully. I don't think you are supposed to pick it the first year though.

    Thought you must have read about George.

  3. I am all for recipes that have butter as a main ingredient. I made butter with asparagus on the side just last night.


  4. LOL I know what you mean Lucy. I'm the same with chocolate. Unfortunately our fresh asparagus isn't ready yet, a few more weeks and hopefully we will get some rain to help it along. We need rain badly anyway, haven't had much in weeks.