Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, April 4, 2022

Pasco Flea Market and first of the season asparagus!

The first time we went to the Pasco Flea Market in the Tri Cities was last July, on our way back from a biking vacation. We ended up touring through the market with our gravel bikes, so it was a little difficult to navigate the busy stalls and really get a chance to look through everything. So, when the opportunity to go back this past weekend arose, we jumped at the chance, dreaming of giant gorditas and all the other tasty flavors we experienced last summer. And, for me, the opportunity to pick up some early season fresh picked local asparagus was enough to embark on the trip! Mostly because I don't like to eat asparagus unless it's in season and local and when it is, I eat A LOT of it. And, since I recently found out my son loves asparagus too, I was hoping they would have some.

One thing we didn't exactly remember was how far away Pasco is from Roslyn. For some reason, we thought it was just past Yakima, so about an hour or so away. Not quite. It's 2.5 hours one-way. But, we decided we'd make a day of it and check out the sights along the way. One weird roadside stop was the Teapot Dome Historical Site in Zillah, WA. Most of our stops involved restrooms and this one was no different except the fact that it's a pretty scenic little stop with some history involving a scandal, which I won't go into here. But, needless to say, any highway rest stop with a photo-worthy shot not involving the toilets is a good one. 

The Tri Cities area is well known for its asparagus and many of you have probably heard of the Walla Walla, Washington asparagus crops. I have friends who grew up in Pasco that picked asparagus as kids, alongside many family members. So, it was with great excitement as we walked into the market and first off saw the one vendor selling asparagus! I dutiful declared that we absolutely had to stop by on the way back out.

As we wended our way through the many stalls, we made a note of which food vendors we were going to hit up after we toured the entirety of the market. After picking up a few items, we ended up stopping for elote tamales, gorditas gigantes, churros, horchata and nances, which are small yellow fruit that look like a cherry, have the texture of an olive and with a sweet flavor almost reminiscent of coconut and I'm not sure what else.

When we finally rolled out of the flea market, we stopped to buy some asparagus that looked like it had just been picked. I thought I bought a lot, but somehow we managed to eat all of it by the end of the weekend. I'm really wishing I had gotten way more than we did, but I was afraid it would be too much. Boy was I wrong. Fresh asparagus is just so much more amazing and crisp than asparagus that was picked weeks before and shipped to languish at the grocery store.

Saturday night, we simply grilled some asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and served it with grilled hangar steaks that we had gotten in Seattle the day before. And coupled it all with some amazing rye bread I picked up at the German store in Burien. Sunday night, I ended up making some pasta with a nutmeg cream sauce, topped with roasted asparagus. It was a super simple, easy-to-make meal, but was one of the best vegetarian ones I've had in a while! I'm looking forward to the upcoming season of asparagus, especially since my friend now has ducks and I have access to fresh duck eggs. Fried duck eggs and grilled or roasted asparagus with shaved parmesan is another one of my spring time favorites!

Do you have a favorite asparagus dish you look forward to eating each spring?  


Surviving and Thriving on Pennies said...

Anytime asparagus is in season I buy as much as I can afford. I keep enough fresh in the fridge for the week. The rest I simply cut the ends and freeze it. Then I can eat it all year long. We use it in just about everything.

Crunchy Chicken said...

@Nancy - One thing I miss from my Seattle house is the huge chest freezer. I have some tiny Euro fridge/freezer combo now and can't fit much of anything in the freezer. I should look into getting a chest freezer for the basement so I can store more freezer items. Like asparagus. Thanks for the idea!

owlfan said...

I love asparagus! One time we were touring a farm/eco home place and were offered fresh purple asparagus to try raw. The guy picked it and handed us each a stalk. Delicious! He was quite surprised that our son (about 10 yo then) wanted to try it and liked it.