Asparagus Festival crowns winning poems, recipes


From staff reports

The Empire Asparagus Festival’s “Ode to Asparagus Poetry Competition” on June 1 attracted 25 entries and 100 attendees at the Glen Lake Community Library. The winning poem, as selected by the audience, was “Astrological Asparagus” by Joseph Povolo.

Astrological Asparagus

By Joseph Povolo

The Pisces Fish is both compassionate and kind, a more sensitive sign you will not find;

asparagus it seems goes well with many dishes, but it goes especially well with freshwater fishes!

The Aries Ram can charge ahead, foraging for asparagus until it’s fed;

with it’s adventurous spirit and creative mind, if it finds asparagus, it will leave you behind.

The Taurus Bull is stubborn and possessive, it knows asparagus is quite impressive:

though sometimes patient and reliable, it’s love of asparagus is undeniable.

The Gemini Twins are smart and witty, their recipe for asparagus is creative and pretty;

But twins you know are like seeing double, and two personalities can lead to trouble.

The Cancer Crab is secure in it’s shell, though insecure without a place to dwell;

it’s clingy and moody and has its flaws, it will grip the spears in its protective claws.

Leo, the Lion is king of the jungle, it prefers asparagus to anything fungal; though dominant, dogmatic and ever the boss, it prefers its asparagus with lemony sauce.

To the Virgo Virgin, everything is new, and it finds asparagus quite easy to chew; critical, fussy, perfectionist at heart, each time it prepares asparagus it’s a brand-new start.

The Scales of Libra seek balance and equality, while also enjoying idealism and frivolity;

asparagus must therefore be cut in even pieces and shared equally with every single species.

The Scorpio Scorpion is determined and wields power, the unwitting asparagus it will soon devour; stay out of it’s way and avoid it’s sting, and you may live to enjoy asparagus this spring.

The Sagittarius Archer with its arrow and bow, will hunt for asparagus come high or come low; adventurous, optimistic and ever jovial, their quest for asparagus is a culinary testimonial.

The Capricorn Goat is disciplined and prudent, they probably make a very good student; but their miserly side won’t let them share, asparagus, leeks, or other spring fare.

The Aquarius Water Bearer is a wise old sage, loyal and honest and easy to gauge; asparagus needs water at its earliest stage, and this of course is the dawning of the age…..

(Musical conclusion, sung to the tune of Age of Aquarius, with audience participation)

Doot da doo, doot da doo, doot da doo, doot da doo….

When the Moon is in the Seventh House

And Jupiter aligns with Mars

Then peace will guide the planets

And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus

The Age of Asparagus




Asparagus Recipe Winners

One Empire family swept the Asparagus Recipe Contest awards (again). Don Cunningham won the People’s Choice Grand Prize for his “Asparagus Benedict” recipe. Carol Cunningham finished second for her “Spargelsalat” (German asparagus salad). Carol’s brother Duane Schmidt won third place for his “Asparagus Peppers” recipe.

Asparagus Benedict recipe

By Don Cunningham

Ingredients: 3 1/2 lbs asparagus Sauce: 3 egg yolks, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/3 tsp salt, pinch of Cayenne, 1/2 cup melted butter.

“Salt the hell” out of a large sauce pan of water. Blanch the asparagus for 3 1/2 minutes. Drain.

Sauce: mix ingredients, less the butter, in a small sauce pan. Stir in hot melted butter (slowly).