asparagus . Compare SPARROW GRASS.

 Asparagus Soup

Two quarts of good beef or veal stock, four onions, two or three turnips, some sweet herbs, and the white parts of a hundred young asparagus,—if old, half that quantity,—and let them simmer till fit to be rubbed through a tammy; strain and season it; have ready the boiled green tops of the asparagus, and add them to the soup. 

Books and Thought;—They Should Not Supersede It.

Asparagus  (Asparagus officinalis ). The common Asparagus is a native of Great Britain, Russia and Poland. It is one of the oldest as well as one of the most delicious of our garden vegetables. It was cultivated in the time of Cato the Elder, 200 B. C.; and Pliny mentions a sort that grew in his time near Ravenna, of which three heads would weigh a pound. As many of our best gardeners contend, adaptation of soil, together with thorough cultivation, alone explains the difference in this vegetable, as offered in our markets or seen in our gardens.

Asparagus (often mis-called "asparagrass ").—Scrape the stalks till they are clean; throw them into a pan of cold water, tie them up in bundles of about a quarter of a hundred each; cut off the stalks at the bottom to a uniform length leaving enough to serve as a handle for the green part; put them into a stewpan of boiling water, with a handful of salt in it. Let it boil, and skim it. When they are tender at the stalk, which will be in from twenty to thirty minutes, they are done enough.

Watch the exact time of their becoming tender; take them up that instant. While the asparagus is boiling, toast a round of a a quartern loaf, about half an inch thick; brown it delicately on both sides; dip it lightly in the liquor the asparagus was boiled in, and lay it in the middle of a dish; melt some butter, but do not put it over them. Serve butter in a butter-boat. 

Edward W. Bok


The food I like?

The dishes I really crave?

The things off which I would dine every day of my life?

I never see them. I never have them.


Because Mrs. Bok says there is not a digestible dish amongst them.

But I often think of them,—wistfully, oh, so wistfully!

Here they are:

  • Soft-shell crabs, done in hot olive oil; or hard-shell crabs; deviled.
  • Lobster with mayonnaise.
  • Filet Mignon; panned in brown butter.
  • Veal loaf.
  • Roast pork tenderloin.
  • Fried eels.
  • Sausages; never had enough; ditto scrapple!
  • Currants with a hot roll lightly wound through them.
  • Hot fresh doughnuts.
  • French pancakes of a thinness like unto gauze.
  • Strong black coffee.
  • Chocolate meringue glacé.

But as I never had the good fortune to know the above foods at first hand, I cannot well give you the recipes for them.

Perhaps you might like to know my favorite way of serving asparagus in my home, Dutch fashion, as I remember it in my native land of The Netherlands.

The asparagus bunches are placed in a double boiler upright, the tips being above the water, and thus cooked by steam. Passed at table, with the asparagus, is hard-boiled egg, put through a ricer, a small quantity of finely ground nutmeg and a dish of hot, melted butter. It always has to be explained to guests, but once the introduction is over the convert is made!