Raymond and I have been having more fun than anything these past couple of days, as our old friend and former colleague Lynn has been visiting us here at the Manse. (I’ve shared stories about Lynn before; here is the lovely story she told me about the house she grew up in; and here is one about her gift of Kitty the Lion, who now holds court on the front porch of the Manse.) Back in our Montreal Gazette days together, Lynn (best photo editor ever) and I managed to keep each other in stitches much of the time, even as we worked closely to drum up the best news stories and photos we possibly could.
Anyway, tonight’s fun has been based on two main themes:
Raymond, a native of Lowell, Mass., is a Bruins fan, while Lynn cheers heartily and long for the Habs (and in this photo I took of them this afternoon on the Manse’s front porch models not only her Canadiens toque but also Raymond’s newly acquired blackfly jacket. More on that anon). Me, I really don’t care about hockey, so I just sit back and watch and laugh. (As of this writing, it’s 3-1 Canadiens near the end of the third period. Much tension in front of our TV.)
2. Asparagus: what tastes better, fat spears or thin spears? Now that, people, is a question. When I was a kid growing up here at the Manse, and we had an asparagus bush on the south side of our yard, we tended to like the fat ones, thoroughly cooked so as to bring out all the sweetness. In my young-adult years, not long after the introduction of the dreaded nouvelle cuisine, I suffered through (and pretended to like) trendy undercooked thin asparagus spears, which to me tasted bitter at best and like nothing at worst, and were unpleasantly crunchy to boot. Apparently some people (i.e. Raymond and Lynn right here at the Manse tonight) still have a fondness for the thin and crunchy ones, because when I brought home two gorgeous freshly picked bunches of asparagus from Willow Creek Farms in the hamlet of Wallbridge (which is near my workplace), I was mercilessly mocked for the fatness of said spears. Willow Creek’s farm stand offers thin spears and thick ones, but as I told the very pleasant proprietors, since I was buying I figured I’d get what I like. Raymond can get his own thin asparagus!
But such mocking I got! My lovely fat asparagus spears were compared to bamboo sticks and cabers to be tossed, and there were recurring jokes about how many hours it would take to cook them. “I’ve got a train to catch tomorrow!” said Lynn.
But you know what? The asparagus was delicious. I just dare Raymond to do better when he picks up some of those scrawny ones.
Meanwhile, readers, which do you prefer? Did you, like me, grow up in the era when vegetables were cooked almost to death? And do you, like me, harbour a secret fondness for some – not all, I must emphasize; overcooked green beans are pretty awful – vegetables still cooked that way? Have you, like me, overcome the propaganda about how undercooked veg taste better? Come on out and tell!