Unforgettable asparagus

Thoughts on Mothers’ Day

by Roxanne Garcia

Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching, and may I just say – Holy cow!  Where did the time go?  Perhaps all mothers loose track of the days and years as we watch our children grow, with meals to prepare and friends to enjoy.  As a mom, I often am reminded that the fresh food I am able to prepare is critical to the health and well-being of my children, and as a farmers’ market manager I get to choose from the freshest possible ingredients available.   So, I asked my children recently, ”Do you guys really see any difference in that In-N-Out burger and the burgers that I grill from the pasture-fed beef from the market?” (a deliberate and challenging question I might add).  The answer was surprising coming from my 14 and 18 year-olds.  “Mom, when you cook with the fresh ingredients that you bring home, we can really taste the difference.  Sometimes when we eat fast food, it sticks in our stomachs and we end up with a yucky feeling; When you cook we don’t feel that way.”  (my 14 year old, Jared)  “Plus, you feel like a stuffed pig after eating at a restaurant, I feel content when I eat at home.” (my 18 year old, Adrianna)   Feeding my ego? Perhaps- however, the lessons that I am passing along to the kids are ones that hopefully will remain in their minds and hearts for eternity: eat the freshest possible food available, and perhaps you won’t end up with that ‘yucky’ feeling.  Shop the local farmers markets together for your seasonal eats, share your seasonal recipes, and teach your children that they do have a choice and they can learn that they are what they eat.

The other day I brought home lovely purple asparagus from the market and the kids were astonished that such a thing existed.  Asparagus from the supermarket (usually shipped from California or Mexico) is woody and tastes funny, whereas the fresh asparagus from the farmers’ market is surprisingly crisp and mild tasting- not at all woody in texture.   They ventured to sample a taste, and to my delight they loved it! So as time rapidly moves along and my children are seemingly growing like weeds, I am reminded that amidst all the grumbling about food and dinner alternatives, they are paying attention!

Grilled Asparagus

18-24 stalks of Asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Balsamic Vinegar
Wood skewers (optional)

Thread the skewers with the asparagus (helpful to turn evenly) or if you have a vegetable grill pan, just toss on without skewering.
Marinade in olive oil and a splash of Balsamic vinegar for about 30 min.
Grill until black roasted marks appear
Plate and dust with sea salt
If so inclined sprinkle with Balsamic Vinegar