Tag Archives: Cooking asparagus

FRIDAY FEAST with Jaye Ford

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WHAT A DAY! Not only do we have the most splendiferous of authors guesting today on Friday Feast, plus a gobsmacker of a giveway, my beloved Sydney Swans play the Kangaroos in the AFL Preliminary Final tonight. WHAT EXCITEMENT!

Things may get verra, verra rowdy in the Hein house. You have been warned.

Now, seeing as my darling boys had last week off, you’re stuck with Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news. In an astonishing development, apparently I won my club’s Div 2 Weekend Golf NSW Women’s Golf Medal. I know, I know. I’m amazed too. But it means I now have to toddle Author Jaye Fordoff to the final and try not embarrass myself by playing like a 45 handicapper. Fortunately I have many weeks to work myself into nervous wreckage. Or get back into form. My money’s on the former…

Okay, let’s get down to why we’re really here: for the woman whose books I can’t get enough of even though they give me anxiety attacks. Jaye Ford has rapidly become one of my absolute favourite thriller authors. Her debut, Beyond Fear, was a triumph. Scared Yet was a heart-pumper of a read, and this week I finished Blood Secret which scared the pants off me and I loved every damn moment.

Jaye’s latest release is Already Dead. I cannot wait!

ALREADY DEAD

Cover of Already Dead by Jaye FordMiranda shrank away from him, arm pressed to the driver’s door. ‘What’s your name?’

‘I’m already dead. That’s my name now. That’s what they called me. I’m Already Dead.’

Journalist Miranda Jack is finally attempting to move on from the death of her husband by relocating up the coast with her young daughter, Zoe. Then a single event changes everything.

On a Monday afternoon as she waits at traffic lights, a stranger jumps into her car and points a gun at her chest.

Forced to drive at high speed up the motorway, Miranda listens to the frantic, paranoid rants of Brendan Walsh, a man who claims he’s being chased and that they’re both now running for their lives.

Two hours later her ordeal is over in the most shocking fashion. Miranda is safe but she can’t simply walk away – not without knowing the truth about that terrifying drive.

As a journalist Miranda has always asked questions. But this time the questions are dangerous – and the answers might get her killed . . .

Wow. This one sounds amazing, and Already Dead can be yours right now with a few clickety-clicks. Try Booktopia, Bookworld, Abbey’s BookshopAngus & Robertson, QBD The Bookshop, your favourite independent bookshop or chain store. For the ebook, visit Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, eBooks.com, JB Hi-Fi or your preferred retailer.

Enjoy your time with Jaye!

Putting a Spargel in my eye!

I’ve always been a fan of asparagus. As a kid, it was one of those ‘special’ foods, the kind that came out for guests, usually for ladies lunches or when mum was taking her turn hosting the ‘card girls’. I’d come home from school and the leftover finger foods would be laying around for the taking while they finished their last hand – slice and homemade chocolate things and delicate sandwiches.

Call me weird but I loved the asparagus rolls the best – a slice of soft white bread (crust removed), smeared with butter and folded around a single spear of (canned) asparagus, like a baby wrapped in a blanket … and stabbed through with a toothpick.

Asparagus rollsThese days, I’ve always got a container of canned asparagus in the fridge. I love the fresh stuff but it’s expensive – yesterday I picked up two bunches (a dozen spears) for $4! So you can imagine my joy when I was in Munich earlier in the year and discovered I’d arrived in the middle of the white asparagus season … and that the Bavarians truly love their asparagus!

Spargel stall

So I’ve got to explain – white asparagus is like the beer-swilling, steroid-using Goliath of the asparagus family. It’s huge – tall, fat, fleshy and, well, pasty white. It has to be peeled before it’s cooked because the outer flesh is tough and woody. Called Spargel in German and sometimes referred to as White Gold or the royal vegetable, the early shoots are covered over with soil to starve them of light, which produces the ivory colour.

Sign advertising seasonal spargel

 

During Spargelzeit (asparagus time), it’s sold on the street from fruit and veg vendors straight from the farms, stacked in great mounds like a whole lot of felled trees. It coincides with vegetable stallstrawberry season and I saw wagons everywhere with gorgeous red and white displays, always with a queue of customers. Both items are outrageously cheap – the asparagus sells for about $5 a kilo and the huge local strawberries are less than a dollar for an equally huge punnet. And of course, I wanted to try some Spargel.

The restaurants have special Spargelkarte – asparagus menus – for the couple of months its available, often advertised on boards in the street. You can pretty much eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, if you wanted to, with hollandaise or pork medallions or chicken breast, More spargel 2.0eggs, potato … you name it. Lemon and butter with lots of cracked pepper, mmm thanks. It’s mild in flavour, surprisingly tender without the stringy texture of its smaller, green cousin and just sops up the flavours around it.

I wanted to have a go at cooking it but it’s best done with an asparagus pot, a tall, narrow pot with a lid and a basket for keeping the spears upright. I was all for buying said cool equipment but, yeah, what was I going to do with it when I got it home? So I can’t give you a brilliant and mouth-watering recipe – what would you do with it anyway? But I’ve got pictures of this amazing vegetable … hope you enjoy them!

 

Those pictures are beautiful, Jaye. Who wouldn’t want to scoff spargel or munch down on juicy strawbs after seeing those? Asparagus with hollandaise, now there’s one to get me excited. Or asparagus served with a softly poached egg and parmesan. Love that. Such a pity my other half doesn’t. Sigh.

Anyway,  enough lamenting the poor tastebuds of my darling beloved, let’s get onto something super exciting. Yes, Feasty lovelies, Jaye has a…

GIVEAWAY!

And what a cracker it is too. This is your chance for a thrill-ride like no other. Simply reveal what holiday food has sent you into a spin but you just can’t get at home and you’ll go into the draw to win a copy of Already Dead.

For me it’d have to be foie gras. A crusty baguette, a pot of fatty goose liver and glass of something fizzy and I’m a content girl. I have seen it in Australia but it’s not the same as buying your own straight from a Perigord processor or a specialist store in Paris. In France I also enjoyed these delicious tiny squid called soupions. I’m sure something similar is available in Australia – we have amazing seafood after all – but I haven’t noticed any.

So what’s a holiday food you’ve had but can’t easily get at home? Something unusual and wonderful from Asia perhaps? Maybe an American speciality, or something fascinating from Africa. Or perhaps it’s simply the fish and chips like no other from the shop opposite your favourite Aussie beach. Share and we’ll pop you into the Already Dead giveaway.

Giveaway closes Midnight Tuesday AEST, 23rd September 2014. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Jaye and her amazing books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Twitter using @JayeFordAuthor and on Facebook.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Andrea who has won a copy of Jaye’s Already Dead. A thrill ride awaits! Thanks to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun. See you next time!