I covet asparagus. I order it at restaurants even when there is a slight upcharge. I linger at the produce center in the grocery store, gazing at the fresh asparagus and frowning at the price if it is too high. Sometimes I buy it even when the price is slightly high. My reaction to asparagus is almost like my love of dark chocolate. But it wasn't always that way. And I still haven't managed a sip of canned Cream of Asparagus soup. When I was a girl child, long, long ago, longer than some of my readers might think, asparagus only came in cans. It was squishy, icky, and had a dreadful taste.

I remember when my parents bought this huge freezer. Every month, a truck pulled up and the driver restocked that freezer with fruit, vegetables, meat. What a treat. What a thrill. Fruit had once been available only in the season when it was ripe. Our menu featured strawberries, blueberries, even oranges, only in season. Now the miracle of frozen fruit expanded that. It did the same for vegetables but I don't remember seeing asparagus and I wouldn't have tried it anyway.

Asparagus was worse than peas in my mind. I hid my peas under the rim of my plate but somehow my mother always found them. The dreadful things would appear on my plate at the next meal.

Then married, the mother of four, I moved to North Dakota and ended up eventually in a wonderful, large, old house with three acres. And out at the edge of one area we discovered an asparagus patch. That asparagus hooked me. The taste did not resemble the bad memories of canned asparagus from childhood.

I am an asparagus fan. I like most vegetables now. In fact, there are times I favor vegetables over other foods. And I favor asparagus most.

What about you? Are you a vegie lover? Where does asparagus rank?

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