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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Little Farmers

Goat rustlin' apparently isn't enough for Tatum and Rikard. They want to learn the asparagus business and when given the opportunity they jumped in with enthusiasm.
Once upon a scortching Saturday we visited the asparagus patch at Papa Charlie's house. With the sun beating down on the hot, sandy soil the kids worked up a sweat helping bring in the crop.Rikard, who just completed Kindergarten, was in charge of stacking and counting the boxes collected along the rows. He was really starting to build up a "farmer attitude" near the end of this process - if you know what I mean. He knew everything about how to do this job and no one could propose another, possibly better way.
This was the kids' view from the trailer as it cruised along the rows to the next grouping of full boxes ready to be picked up. I enjoy the composition of the photo with the row lines, and how Charlie kind of looks like an upward or forward arrow going along the rows with his red cap leading the way.

This is my favorite view of asparagus - the finished project. Pickled asapargus is one of my favorite treats and it isn't just asapargus that tastes like plain old pickles. I've been experimenting with several different recipes over the past couple of years. Rick's grandpa has a fantastic recipe that has a nice little bite from garlic and hot red Chinese peppers.
This particular batch was made from an adapted recipe found in the book The Joy of Pickling. The original recipe calls for short jelly jars. I prefer the longer stalk of aspargus rather than just the tops as you get when you cut them down to fit the shorter jars. The spices you see at the bottom of the jar include minced garlic, allspice berries, peppercorns, coriander seeds, nutmeg pieces, hot pepper flakes, all swimming in a brine made from white wine vinegar. Yum, yum, yummy.

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