What a culture shock, then, to join a CSA. Some people struggle when they first join a farm share for precisely this reason. They get overwhelmed with the abundance and forget that they can store whatever they don’t eat fresh.
Last week my son and I picked 7 pounds of asparagus at our CSA, far too much for our family of five to eat in a few days. Some of it I will cook, puree, and freeze to save for pasta sauce next winter. Most of it we will eat fresh, however, so proper storage is essential.
My favorite way to store asparagus is like flowers, that is, upright (and unwashed) in a jar filled with water. I keep each jar in the fridge loosely covered with a plastic bag and I change the water every few days. When I run out of jars, I wrap wet paper towels around the thick ends and put the bundles in plastic bags in the fridge. Last night I made soba noodles with asparagus, sesame oil, and sesame seeds, and when I reached for the asparagus picked more than a week ago, it was good as new.
Kids in the Kitchen: At preschool, my kids love to arrange flowers in small vases so I enlisted their help with the asparagus. I gave them each a canning jar and encouraged them to sort the asparagus by height, looking for stems about the same length to put in their jar. What seemed like a chore (for me) became a fun activity when they were involved, and they were delighted with their bouquets of green.