Three hours devoted to asparagus? It may sound a little weird or a little crazy but it can be done and it’s actually very enjoyable or should I say it’s a big green thumbs up!
I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in an Asparagus Master Class last Friday by the lovely folk at Edgecombe Brothers Winery who are known for their tasty green spears throughout the area. My parents, lovers of gardening and eating came along as well as Mr. Spittoon. Their tickets were $48.50 each.
The adventure began at Edgecombe Brothers winery in Henley Brook in the Swan Valley around 10:30am for a 11am start. We were instructed to wear decent footwear however a couple of the men in our group did only have jandals/thongs on and they were fine. Thankfully it wasn’t raining or muddy!
We started out with coffee/tea and freshly made ANZAC biscuits which went down a treat. We then sat around a big table with our group of 8 for the presentation. We were introduced to Alf Edgecombe our fearless asparagus leader who we would spend the following 3 hours (11am-2pm) with. Alf is extremely knowledgeable not only on the cultivation of asparagus but on the area and the history of the Swan Valley.
After finishing our coffees and chatting, Alf then took us over to one of the asparagus fields on the property. We were armed with big yellow buckets and Ikea knives, ready to muck in and collect some asparagus.
After a short demonstration by Alf, we were let loose on the asparagus and before we knew it we had filled up most of the buckets and had worked up a bit of an appetite. The brave out of the group munched on a few spears of fresh asparagus which I must say were delightful – they tasted rather like peas in a pod!
We then made our way back to the winery to sit under the beautiful purple and white wisteria to enjoy a wine tasting of 3 white wines with freshly baked bread, olives, cheese, dukkah, olive oil, balsamic and some ultra delicious tapenade. Yes I have to admit the wine and food tasting was more my thing!
After snacking and getting into full relaxation mode we then proceeded to learn how to prepare and cook asparagus to perfection. I’m not much of a Masterchef but Alf made it so easy and delicious that I’ve been living off asparagus for the last 2 nights!
As we enjoyed our freshly cooked asparagus topped with Parmesan we enjoyed another wine tasting of 3 red wines. The table went silent. You know the food and wine are good when all you can hear is everyone munching and slurping.
Once we were finished we were then brought more wine (3 fortifieds), coffee and chocolate covered figs! Here I was preparing for a light lunch and I think I spent most of the time eating. I’m not complaining though!!
Overall our group of 4 had a great time. It was nice to do something different for a change and I definitely have taken new knowledge away with me. At the end of the class we were given a 250 gram pack of asparagus each and a bunch of recipes to take home and put our new skills to use.
At just under $50 for a midweek class and just under $60 for a weekend class I think you’re getting bang for your buck. A great class for foodies, winos, green thumbs and anyone up for a delicious taste of craziness!