Each year as winter ends Doc and I anxiously wait for hummingbirds to return to our woods. In April we hang the feeder outside the kitchen window in hopes attracting migrating birds. The spring wildflowers are in full bloom underneath the feeder. It always amazes me when the female taps on the window while Alan is eating breakfast. She knows he is the one who feeds her so she notifies him of her arrival! He immediately runs out the door to put fresh sugar water into her feeder! Pretty soon the male arrives. As spring turns into summer the babies are born and grow quickly. In fall we have to fill the feeders every day, as they store fat for their fall migration.
On the advice of a friend we no longer use commercial hummingbird food colored with red dye. We make our own sugar water using a ratio of 1 part sugar to 3 parts water brought to a boil then cooled to room temperature before pouring into the feeder. Any extra sugar water is stored in the refrigerator. Doc and I enjoy watching them feed and zoom by the windows while we eat or cook in the kitchen!
I have tried every method possible to cook asparagus from roasting to stir-fry and this method is the best I have found thus far! The asparagus steams in the paper bag and is very tender. Enjoy!
Paper Bag Asparagus
1 bundle asparagus
Freshly ground black pepper
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ lemon, sliced paper thin
1 large lunch bag, 6 X 4 X 12 inches
Olive oil (for the outside of the bag- It won’t smoke in the oven)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Rinse asparagus. Drain. Cut off tough ends. Place asparagus in a 9 X 9 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle asparagus with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Roll asparagus with your fingers to coat in seasonings and oil.
Place seasoned asparagus in a paper bag in 4 layers with lemon slices separating the layers. Fold paper bag over several times to seal and hold in steam. Staple sealed bag and coat outside of bag with olive oil. Bake 30 minutes. Open with scissors. Please be careful, the steam will be HOT! To serve: Gently slide asparagus and lemon out of the bag onto a platter.
Published in the News and Neighbor on February 8, 2017