Creamed Asparagus on Toast

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, May 12, 1913:  No important events to record.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Did Grandma do any “unimportant” things a hundred years ago today? Did she help her mother with the cooking? If so, did they eat asparagus or any other fresh, seasonal vegetables?

Yesterday I bought some asparagus at the store. It was good, but not as tasty as the wild asparagus that I remember finding in fence rows when I was a small child.

We often only found a few tender shoots, and to make the delicacy go further, we’d cream it and serve it on toast.

Creamed Asparagus on Toast

1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

toast

Put asparagus into small saucepan; cover with water; bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. In a frying pan, melt butter. Stir the flour into the butter. While stirring constantly, slowly pour in milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. If mixture is too thick, add a little more milk. Gently add the asparagus and bring back to a boil; remove from heat. Serve over toast.

Yield: 3 – 4 servings

An aside—Does anyone remember the book by Euell Gibbons called Stalking the Wild Asparagus? The author lived in central Pennsylvania when I was a teen, and— though I never met him—it seemed exciting to have a minor celebrity living in the general area.

24 Responses

  1. It’s interesting that Helena considers that only ‘important’ things should go in a diary. Creamed asparagus on toast; exactly what I feel like for Mother’s Day. Alas, no fresh asparagus in autumn so it is pasta and cream sauce instead.

  2. I’ve never had creamed asparagus. I’ve heard my mother-in-law mention it growing wild though.

    • I haven’t seen any wild asparagus in years. It used to be in fence rows–but most of the fence rows have been torn out over the years.

  3. This is one of my favorite spring suppers. My grandmother and mom often served it with hard boiled eggs. Thank you for posting!

  4. Never had creamed asparagus either – or for that matter, wild asparagus. I love it any way. :)

    • Even though we can get many foods year-round now–there’s something about special about asparagus and the other early spring vegetables and fruits (greens, rhubarb, etc.)

  5. Your grandmother never would have guessed that so many people would have loved to hear of the simple little goings-on in her day.
    I love asparagus! Yum.

    • Sometimes I wish that she’d had a crystal ball, so that she would have realized that the ordinary things would be interesting to someone in the future. :)

  6. I remember that book! In fact there’s a possibility that it’s still on the bookshelf! (Can’t find it right now.) That recipe looks quite good, Sheryl.

  7. It’s often the “unimportant” events that are the most fascinating–what people ate, how they spent whatever leisure time they had, etc.

    Wild asparagus sounds delicious. I had no idea you could find it in PA. “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” is a great name for a book!

  8. This sounds great…definitley more elegant and refined than the good ole creamed peas!

  9. I haven’t heard the name Euell Gibbons in a long while. No wonder. I looked him up, and he passed away in 1975. His name brings back good memories of childhood…watching tv and commercials. :) My dad and I used to like Grape Nuts. I remember Mr. Gibbons from the commercials. :)

  10. Creamed asparagus on toast sounds absolutely delicious! I have had cream of asparagus soup made from fresh-picked, but this is a good idea, esp. when you have only a little.

    What a wonderful thing–to have a 100-ear-old diary of your grandmother’s, to enter into a conversation with her, and to share it with us.

  11. Sorry, but, yuck.
    :-S
    I’m sure it’s good, but I’m a picky eater.
    Your little story makes me think of when my cousins and I built a small fort in the woods by OUR grandma’s house, and we came across these plants that we chewed on and then spit out. Have NO idea what they were, LOL, or if they were MEANT to be eaten…while we scared my mom, nothing seems to have happened! :-P :-D

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