Keep Calm

…because I am going to discuss aphrodisiacs.  cropped asp

The “doctrine of signatures” keeps coming up, (no pun intended) so allow me to indulge us both, won’t you?

In the beautifully written and photographed book  ‘Intercourses,  an Aphrodisiac Cookbook,”  by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge, it states: “the Law of Similarities  says that if one thing looks like or is reminiscent of another, then it will improve or aid that which it looks like.  So if a food looks sexual, then it is said that it will improve or aid your sex life.”  

Jacob Boehme, a German mystic (1575)  brought forth the concept of the “law of signatures” after  having visions which revealed to him the spiritual structure of the world. Plants look like the things they designed to heal.

I am reading the new book by Elizabeth Gilbert, who also wrote Eat, Pray, Love.  It’s called The Signature of All Things.  Publisher’s Weekly called it “an unhurried, sympathetic, intelligent novel.”  It is that, and much more. You will love it, I promise.  Asparagus skirt(I wasn’t paid for this,  I won the book courtesy of Linda Sivertsen, the Book Mama)

Which brings us back to aphrodisiacs, plants, and food.   Thanksgiving is next Thursday, skip the over-cooked, fake-food madness that is called “green bean casserole” and opt for asparagus instead! 

Depending upon who is coming to dinner, you can wear it,  or you can prepare it properly and feast upon it  I’m not saying you can’t have your asparagus and wear it, too…  (photo: Ben Fink)

Notice the “prepare it properly” portion of the previous paragraph?  This is imperative!  Overcooked, olive-green, limp asparagus is about as useless as…well, you get the idea. (You may as well throw it out and serve green-bean casserole).

To do this, you must either blanch it (drop in boiling, salted water for about 3 minutes. Yes, only 3!) or you canProsciutto roast it by tossing about a dozen trimmed spears with  a tablespoon or two of good olive oil, some salt and pepper, and roasting it in a 450-degree oven for about 15 minutes. 

Let it cool completely, then wrap in 6 exquisitely thin slices of prosciutto that have been cut in half length-wise, making 12. Place on a platter and sprinkle with a bit of parmesan cheese.  Serve at room   temperature with a small amount of a vinaigrette dressing, or a squeeze of lemon juice. You can easily double, or triple this based on the number of people you’ll be serving.  (No, I don’t know how many spears it takes to make that beautiful skirt) 

Asparagus is loaded with potassium, calcium, phosphorous, calcium and Vitamin E. It’s also a lot of fun to eat with  your fingers!

XO Donna

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