Thursday, May 10, 2012

Freezing Asparagus, Doctors, Monster Sunspot, Monster Waves.

A friend asked me if one could freeze asparagus, I figured the answer had to be asparagusyes because it is possible to buy packs of frozen asparagus, not that I have ever seen them round here. Anyway, having Googled, I found this information from the Asparagus Growers of Ontario. I think the health information is particularly interesting too. I knew about rutin as Tim Barrie was telling me about it a week or so ago. I don’t know whether I will bother to freeze any, I eat it too quickly but maybe it would be good to have once the season is over. I have certainly eaten, and enjoyed frozen asparagus in the past.

Freezing: Prepare the asparagus as you would for cooking, then blanch. Group the stalks in small bundles. Bring large pot of water to boil. Drop the asparagus bundles into boiling water. After the water returns to boil, boil for one minute. Quickly lift out the stalks and immerse them into cold water. Leave for two minutes. Drain well, pat dry and package the asparagus in freezer bags. Seal and date package. Freeze immediately. Asparagus may be stored one year at -18 deg.C.

Asparagus is...
  • Low in calories; just 20 calories per serving (8 medium spears)
  • Fat and cholesterol free
  • An excellent source of folacin
  • A leading source of glutahione
  • A good source of protein
  • A significant source of thiamin and vitamin B6
  • One of the richest sources of rutin, a drug which strengthens capillary walls.

Asparagus is the leading natural source for two of nutrients that prevent disease and promote a healthy body: folacin and glutathione.

Finally, after 6 months, I am going to see the shoulder expert and surgeon. I still Doctorshave some pain although not as much as in Dec/Jan. We are living at the doctors these days, either I have an appointment or Matt does. Tomorrow he has the fracture clinic so we will be able to see what, if anything, can be done about his back. He wasn’t very happy having to watch everyone at the bowling alley and not being able to play himself. I would have been the same. Tuesday next week I have my echocardiogram which I had to cancel before. Also to talk to the head of the clinical trials that I mentioned yesterday. I still have to read the 30 pages of consent – I will probably do that at the weekend.

Monster sunspotScientists have discovered a monster sunspot on the sun this week, it is about 60,000 miles across. It is named AR1476 and is expected to generate a number of solar flares. The sun has become more active lately having been fairly quiet for a number of years. This sunspot can be seen by amateur astronomers with reasonably good equipment although they warn of the dangers of looking directly at the sun without filters; you could seriously damage your eyes.

Caught some video on TV last night about surfing a giant wave – they said 78 ft. orGiant wave the size of a 7 storey building. The only thing I can find, recent, is a report in the Mail Online showing Garrett McNamara surfing a 90 ft. wave off Portugal where there is a deep water canyon. That is one hell of a monster wave and I think anyone trying that is nuts. Takes me back to the movie we watched the other night, Patrick Swayze in Point Break. His character would have gone nuts for such a wave. Me I would be running the other way, if I could run that is. Look how tiny the guy is in the picture. The videos are even more impressive. I am not very brave in water, Matt who was totally happy in water says he never saw the point of it. Fascinating to watch though. Living vicariously I guess. Must say I had never heard of this deep water canyon off Nazare, Portugal, but having Googled it I find the area is not that far from where my friend lives. It is south of Porto where port comes from. I wonder if you can see the waves from the coast?

I tend to believe that everything Giada de Laurentis cooks is worth noting and this one was no exception. I have never heard of burrata cheese, but it sounds delicious.

Grilled Asparagus and Melon Salad

Author: Giada De LaurentisGrilled Asparagus and Melon Salad

2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 small melon (about 12 ounces), peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 oz fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 Tbs pine nuts, toasted* see Cook's Note

1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the prosciutto in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Chop the prosciutto into 1/4-inch pieces.

3. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. In a medium bowl, toss together the asparagus and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes each side until crisp-tender.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the melon and mozzarella cheese and toss until all ingredients are combined.

5. Arrange the asparagus on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the melon and burrata cheese on top of the asparagus. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the top. Sprinkle the prosciutto and pine nuts on top and serve.

Servings: 4

Author Notes
To toast pine nuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 8 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.

Have a great day



  1. I love the surfer story. I surfed some much shorter waves but nothing at all like that monster.

    1. You'll have to go to Portugal Stephen.

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