Asparagus and prosciutto-- 12/16/10

This is my 8th entry in my 5th year of taking part in Holidailies. (Yeah, I just missed 3 days.) If you have wandered in from Holidailies, you can scroll down to read a brief introduction.

So... I was kind of busy Monday and decided that I would have to skip an entry for that day... ah, but I guess that once I start slacking off I just keep on slacking off... and now I've missed three entries in a row. My bad.

I don't understand Facebook. Okay, so sometimes two or three days go by without me checking it, but other times I pop in multiple times during a day. But the organization of the list of postings by my Friends never seems to make sense. It isn't really in chronological order. There might be a posting from one Friend that is 5 hours old followed by a posting from another that is 6 hours old followed by one that is 2 hours old. What's up with that? The list seems to be labeled News Feed and Top News. If I click Most Recent, then it shows me what does appear to be activity by Friends listed in chronological order and then if I click Top News again I get a different list -- and it is not quite the same as the list that had been there two minutes ago. What logic applies to Top News that is different from Most Recent.

The particular reason I bring this up is because a little while ago I was checking email and I had an email from Facebook telling me that someone (the wife of a nephew) had written on my wall asking about an asparagus and prosciutto appetizer that I had served when Nancy and I had lots of family over for food and drink the night before Thanksgiving. The thing is, she had written that about quarter past five on Wednesday and I didn't realize it until almost twenty-four hours later when I noticed the Facebook email. The thing is, I usually totally ignore robot email from Facebook telling me that somebody had commented on something that I had commented on because usually I have already seen their comment but, fortunately, as I skimmed along the list of email her name in the subject field (
Celeste has written on your wall) caught my eye. I had been into Facebook several times today and there was no flag that I saw there telling me someone had written on my wall. (Is there some way of knowing this when I log in to Facebook without going to my wall to check?) I had always thought that if someone wrote on my wall it would show up in that News Feed list. It seems to show up there when somebody writes on the wall of someone on my Friends list. Well, it sometimes does, maybe there are lots of other times when it doesn't.

Anyway, in case any of you are interested, here is what I told Celeste about fixing asparagus and prosciutto as an appetizer.

Snap off the bottoms of the asparagus (just as you would if you were going to steam them to serve as themselves) and rinse them thoroughly. Some recipes say to drop the asparagus into a pot of boiling water for two to four minutes, then into cold water. I used to do that but these days unless I am dealing with very thick asparagus, I just do the snap and rinse bit. (Once I just stuck them in hot water for a couple of minutes.) Hey, it's going to go in a very hot oven and crunchy asparagus is good, so unless the asparagus is very thick, it doesn't really need to be pre-cooked (in my humble opinion).

I usually put a sheet of aluminum foil on the metal baking sheet or pan (saves on clean up -- one of these days I should try that "non-stick" aluminum foil to see how it works) and spray it lightly with PAM (or whatever brand of spray oil you have around). Lay down individual slices of prosciutto and lay one or two stalks of asparagus on each one (depending upon the thickness of the asparagus and your mood and whatever). You can then put a pinch or two of Parmesan (or reggiano or mozzarella) cheese on the stalks of asparagus. Or you can use either a pat of butter or some olive oil, and then a few drops of lemon juice. Then roll (wrap) the prosciutto around the asparagus and place them in the pan that is going to go into your 425 to 450 degree oven. You could if you wanted put a pinch of cheese or a few drops of lemon juice on top of each one (I usually do not). Stick them in the oven. Check them in five minutes or so. You can flip them over at this point but I don't think that is worth the trouble. Close the oven and let them go another two to five minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus (and whether you have one or two or three in each bundle, etc.) and take them out based on your judgment of how they are doing.

I think when I made then the night before Thanksgiving I used Parmesan on about half of mine and mozzarella on the other half. No olive oil or butter or lemon juice that night -- however, I have used them and it tastes good that way too. Hey, asparagus and prosciutto plus whatever cheese you use, it's going to taste good.

I'm afraid that's that way I do recipes... ideas and suggestions rather than strict scientific formulas. That's also why I love to cook but not bake. I feel as if baking is like a return to lab work in a chemistry course... absolute exact precise measurements and timing and such. Cooking is more free form, like painting or writing. There are still rules, but there is much more flexibility. Yes, I know, real bakers would not agree with me... and your mileage may vary...

A brief introduction....
(edited to update it from 2006)
A brief introduction for anyone who wanders in here from the Holidailies site -- I'm a middle-aged (*cough* okay, 63 67 , but I don't look a day over 62 66 ) guy who lives in Rhode Island with my wife Nancy (a middle-school math teacher), daughter Gillian ("Jill" -- 24
28 yr old college student and baker), son Jeremy (21 25 yr old college student restaurant manager), and Tiger (senior citizen cat). Eldest child Adam lives in New York City with his wife Leah and our grandson s Sam and Milo . I'm a former programmer/systems analyst who got into doing software training and currently works from home doing quality assurance and editing on course material for both classroom courses and Web-based training courses. I've been writing this online journal since 1996.

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