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Friday afternoon I decided to take a last-minute trip up the coast. Every time I've driven it, I've  always had some place to be and up against time.

But not this trip.

Friday I spent time in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.

Saturday I spent time in Steinbeck country (of Mice and Men is one of my favourite books) and finally drove the G16 across to Carmel before heading up for a quick stop to see of my friends who I would literally drive 8hrs for only to spend 2 hours with.

Today I got up super early and got a super big coffee so I could drive down highway 1, through Big Sur and hopefully beat the crowds.

Henry Miller is the author of some of my other favourite books so as I drove though Big Sur I thought of him and Steinbeck and how they wrote about what they knew, what they loved, and what they questioned. I've had this idea in my head for a new project and community that I know will resonate and mean something but just unsure how to begin.

So I made sure today to stop when I wanted to. Linger when I needed. Drive wherever for however long.

And, after all the times driving through Big Sur, I finally stopped at a beach. I spent two hours here practically alone and just was.

People say it but there is something magic about Big Sur and today was the first time I felt it. I felt the shift, the inspiration, the hunger. And I felt wet sand between my toes. 
I'm ready.

Amen
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Cookery Danish Life

Spring Asparagus

May 6, 2016
asparagus

I think the only (spring) food that Danes like more than their new potatoes are perhaps Asparges (asparagus). After a long, cold, winter the spring is welcomed with everything asparagus; soup, salad, open-faced sandwiches, and as alone as a simple side dish. If there is a way to incorporate it into a meal, the Danes will find a way to do so.

However, it’s only recently I’ve come to really appreciate, love and cook Asparagus. With access to the famous Santa Monica Market, I’ve been meeting local asparagus farmers who are so passionate about this vegetable that they could give any Dane a run for their money. When I bought a couple of stocks a few weeks ago, one of the growers asked me how I was going to cook them. I gave him my tried and true recipe: put on pan, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and broil.

He looked at me with great disappointment and said that his asparagus were so amazing, so tender and sweet (it’s the season) that they deserved to be the full meal and not a sad side dish. He gave me a simple recipe which I have to confess to having for either lunch or dinner every day since. It’s the perfect light but satisfying meal that I intend to keep having until the season is over. Besides, there’s an old-wives tale in Denmark that says it’s bad luck to eat asparagus after June 23rd (Saint John’s Eve).

Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Parmesan

I love this recipe because it’s so quick (perfect for when you’re hangry) and light (unlike a lot of egg dishes). It’s also gluten free.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed (I just snap off the bottoms where they naturally break)
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter (I omit this and just use a little more olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or half a lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (optional if you’re dairy-free).
  1. Break eggs into one small prep bowl or cup. Fill a large, low sided pan with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Take a spoon or spatula and make a circular pattern in the pan so that the water is moving in a big circle. Then slowly drop 4 eggs into the middle of the pan. The swirling action will create wonderful poached eggs. If you don’t like this method, use your preferred methods for poaching. Poach eggs 2-3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add asparagus spears, cook 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus with tongs, set aside.
  3. Dry the medium saucepan. Add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté about 1 minute. Turn off heat; add butter (or a little more olive oil), and swirl pan. Add lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper. Add asparagus and two tablespoons Parmesan then toss with lemon-butter sauce to coat.
  4. Divide asparagus among 2 plates. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon, 1 at a time, blotting bottom of spoon on towel to absorb excess moisture. Place 2 eggs on each mound of asparagus. Pour any remaining sauce of each and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.
  5. Serve immediately.
  • Reply
    JayneNo Gravatar
    April 16, 2009 at 8:26 PM

    Mmm…asparagus, one of my favourite veggies right from when I was a child. Nice recipe – all the other elements together are kind of ‘Hollandaise-ish’ without the hassle and heartaches. I think I’ll be trying this so, thank you.

  • Reply
    katrinaNo Gravatar
    April 16, 2009 at 9:23 PM

    I’ve missed you Alex :)…the site is looking wonderful. So I guess we really are Danes. Growing up we ate it just as it came on as well. We enjoyed it with my visiting parents and brothers Easter Sunday, and a couple days ago as well. I love that your grower friends believe it deserves more attention! This recipe you’ve shared looks divine, can’t wait to try it. I think we’ll make some asparagus soup this coming week while visiting my parents…:) And thanks for the wives-tale warning…June 23rd huh? Oh, so intruiging!

  • Reply
    ellen p.No Gravatar
    April 20, 2009 at 12:12 AM

    Hi Alex,

    Love your revamped website. Must explore it all. Been awhile.

    I went over to one of your sites where you recommended SkinCeuticals Phyto+ (a product that excludes hydroquinone [sp?]) to deal with bits of skin discoloration. I have extremely fair skin that marks easily. (Just had some lovely under-skin cysts that left red marks on the surface. Yaay.) Anyway, I’m hoping that this product can smooth away the remnants of these episodes and, perhaps, even out skin tone a bit (mine is not that bad, thankfully).

    Thanks!

    Ellen P.

  • Reply
    DaveNo Gravatar
    June 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    that sounds incredible, I think we’re going to have to try that out this week. Mmmm.

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