Friday, April 2, 2010

If you give a mouse a cookie...

On Tuesday I F I N A L L Y became eligible to use my vacation time at work.  Which meant, naturally, that I had to use it.  Today was my first paid day off in almost two years. 

And no, I did not take a day off just because it was there.  I had a mountain of work to do at home to bring the house up to entertaining spec.  My mother-in-law is coming over tomorrow for Easter Weekendpalooza, next week I'm going up to Seattle (prepare yourself, Metropolitan Market), and the weekend after that I'm going to be throwing a bridal shower for Heather.  And, no matter how many times Matt assured me the house was "just fine", I just saw counters and floors begging for bleach. 

Fueled by Diet Coke and a White Rabbit Bakery scone (orange and anise = sneaky citrus with an aromatic mystique - love it!), I dusted.  I scrubbed.  I vacuumed inside the couch.  I got the kitchen so shiny, it pains my heart to think that in 24 hours, it's going to be subject to flying flour and splattered seasonings as Easter Brunch preparations begin. 

Due to a change of plans, I had to scrap my Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - inspired local dinner.  I think I may be the only person sad about that (everyone that could possibly come was hungry for HAM).  Instead, the celebration was timed for a brunch of springtime pomp and circumstance.  I sketched out a menu based more on recent successes than sustainable living:

-Prosciutto and Mushroom Quiche
-Grilled Asparagus
-Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits and Sour Cream Potato Rolls
-Pasta Salad
-Fruit Salad
-Deviled Eggs
-Sticky Buns

As I placed woefully foreign papaya, kiwis, pineapple and CALIFORNIA strawberries in my cart, I felt criminally guilt-ridden.  Like the American Localratti were hovering in some cloud above Fred Meyer, sending torrential rain and winds down to ruin my egg hunt.  I don't want to support irresponsible food systems, but a fresh tropical fruit salad sounds so good and refreshing. 

I had to make it up to them.  Penance for my strawberry sins.  I would have to find the most local of asparagus.

Kingsolver's entire chapter on asparagus leaves quite the impression, especially on the impressionable (i.e. me).  And unlike my devil's fruit salad, there was no real reason I have to not seek out fresh, local asparagus.  Its short season is just blinking into life, heralding in the beginning of Willamette Valley bounty. 

I thought the best place to begin would be the aptly named Canby Asparagus Farm.  I'd seen them at several farmer's markets throughout the Portland area, but there stands were always curiously heavy on grilled quesadillas and omelets and strangely absent in the bundled green shaft department.  A trip to their website confirmed this.  The Asparagus in the farm's name was just an addition, not a description.  Although they make a mean tamale, you're out of luck for produce.

I will not be discouraged, however.  I know that I can find my fresh-picked bundle.  It's just going to take a little driving, watching out for cardstock signs, and carrying some cash for the debit card machineless.  The only pressure?  I have to meet my mother-in-law at 11.  It will be a race for redemption!    

If you want to make my life slightly easier, and point me in the right direction, I'm open to that too.  Easy redemption still works.


  1. Love it! And with the power of Diet Coke, no less!! :)

  2. You are amazing! I am still reading through A,V, M and I was starting to wonder if you've read it too. The asparagus chapter had a huge impact on me! I love this.

    You are awesome!

  3. I just finished it in the car this morning! I seriously almost cried (happy tears) about the turkeys in the end.

    Thanks! You made my day! :D