Today’s Solutions: June 13, 2024

From The Optimist Magazine
Summer 2014

Time to celebrate the asparagus.

A fear of hunger is lodged in human beings’ DNA. So it’s logical that creating nonperishable foods was a crucial priority as we evolved. We’re so good at it that today we can eat whatever we want, any time of year. But we’ve lost something in the process: the pleasure of the first foods of the season. When something’s always available, you stop noticing it. But if it comes back after an absence, its joys are intensified. Happily, there’s nothing to stop us from eating seasonally again like we used to.

The mother of all seasonal debuts is indisputably that of the asparagus. The first stalks are cause for celebration, not just because they herald more asparagus but because they usher in an entire season of firsts. New asparagus signal that winter vegetables are on their way out and the day of fresh, delicate ones is dawning.

Take a bunch of asparagus and break off the tough ends. Bring two pans of water to a boil. In one, cook the asparagus for 8 minutes. In the other pan, lower at least one egg per person into the boiling water and set a timer for 6 minutes. Make sure the asparagus are ready first; let them sit in their cooking water if necessary. Plunge the soft-boiled eggs into cold water, then slice off the tops. Dip the asparagus in the yolks and enjoy a messy but delicious treat—especially that initial bite. | Elbrich Fennema

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