Warning: I am preparing to go on another one of my little rants about gratitude. If you know my story, you know why gratitude is so important to me. Today, my gratitude is aimed at you, my blog readers and at social media and the wonderful people I have “met” from all over the world since I began this blog.
Sharing my pots and food with you here at Deb’s Pots Blog has been a wonderful experience for me. I have learned new things, gotten great ideas, and felt supported during a stressful time. Thank you!
As you know, one of the people I’m grateful to have met via Deb’s Pots is Troy Bungart. And he has introduced me to a wonderfully talented young potter, Ian Pemberton. Today, I am featuring some of their beautiful wood fired pottery. And some of my own. Because, like I told you before, we potters secretly love our own pots. And I especially like to see my pots with food in or near them. And if they are next to beautiful pots made by potters I admire, and there is food, well, I am very happy. The wires are still hanging around my head and there’s not a countertop in sight, so for me to be happy is a very good thing!
I asked Troy and Ian what sort of food I should prepare to showcase their pieces. I wanted something that felt “springy.” By this I am referring to the season, not food that jumps. And I wanted something that would be like a bouquet in Ian’s upright cup. So, naturally, my favorite spring food, asparagus!
Asparagus and eggs are a classic and delicious pairing. And this week is an eggy time of year, what with the Easter Bunny and the Seder Plate and all. I know some people feel unhappy about egg salad. I believe this is because it is often prepared poorly. It is so easy to make, I think often it is not given the respect it deserves. Something so simple needs to be made with care and attention to detail to be really fine.
Most importantly, the eggs need to be cooked properly. No green ring on the yolk! And you need to use the correct amount of a decent mayo; sweet pickles are an abomination (sorry)…a little mustard and the right amount of seasoning. I like dill, but I completely respect you if you prefer to leave it out; dill is one of those herbs that upset a lot of people. I am a fan of dill, but only when it is used as a noun. It is not acceptable to try to turn it into an adjective, as in “dilly beans,” or worse, into a verb, as in “dilled carrots.”
Egg Salad and Asparagus
I like fat asparagus. I think they are more tender and tasty. They are also sturdier, which makes them better for dipping into the egg salad. But if all you can get are skinny asparagus, go for it!
2 lbs. asparagus, washed and trimmed
5 eggs, preferably organic, free range
¼ cup good mayo (I am a Hellman’s girl)
2 tsp. mustard (I like country dijon)
minced fresh dill, to taste (optional)
salt, cayenne and and fresh black pepper, to taste
Cook the asparagus: I like to soak them in cold water for a while before cooking. Put them in a big pot and pour off all but about ¼ cup water. Prepare an ice bath (a big pot or bowl with lots of ice and water). Place the pot, covered, over high heat. When you see steam, use tongs to move the asparagus around so they all get some heat. Re-cover the pot and cook for another 2-3 minutes. You want them all bright green. Don’t overcook! Immediately plunge them into the ice bath. This is often referred to as “shocking.” I like to think of it as a nice, refreshing bath.
Now, prepare a similar, but smaller bath for the eggs. Place the eggs in a pot that is just big enough to hold them all with an inch of water to cover. Put a lid on the pot and place over high heat. When you see steam, take the pot off the heat and set a timer for 10 minutes. The second that timer rings, give the eggs a nice, cold bath.
Peel the eggs. Start at the fatter end and try to get under the membrane. Running them under water can be helpful. Peeling eggs is not the funnest job, but try to cultivate mindfulness anyway. Cursing and mindfulness are incompatible. Just sayin’.
Mash the eggs with an egg masher. You don’t have an egg masher? Use a potato masher or a fork. I like my egg salad a bit chunky, but you can make it finer if you prefer. Add the mayo, mustard, dill, and salt and peppers. Pepperses?
Dry the asparagus on a nice, soft towel. You want to treat them gently after the bath. Serve the egg salad with the asparagus, encouraging everyone to dip. If you don’t like the dipping idea, you could cut up the asparagus and mix it into the egg salad. Or you could make an egg salad sandwich and munch your asparagus alongside!
Avocado goes great with this. But I think avocado goes great with almost everything!
I’m so grateful that you stopped by Deb’s Pots Blog! I hope you’ll follow so that you don’t miss a post. I promise neither WordPress nor I will do anything with your email address except to send you a quick message when a new post is ready. Oh, and leave me a comment. I love comments!!!