I was driving home from Simcoe today,when I beheld a sight that brought joy to my heart and saliva to my taste buds:  the asparagus farm where I buy my annual spears of green perfection had put out their sign.  They were open:  asparagus was to be had, and immediately!

I’m sure there are people who don’t experience the orgasmic delight I feel when I chomp into that first delectable shaft of asparagus each and every spring, but I certainly wouldn’t care to know them.

After greeting the farm wife like an old friend, I purchased two 2-lb bags of ‘gras and left clutching them tightly in my arms, with all the proud entitlement of  a princess royal.

Asparagus!  And early this year.  O, the joy of it.

And in the midst of all this joy, I recalled something I wrote to a fellow gourmand regarding the absolute perfection of eating local.

Each year, I said, I stake out that local farm, waiting less than patiently for that sign to go up; every spring, I anxiously anticipate that first taste of the green stuff.  When it arrives, I’m ecstatic, and I revel in asparagus at every meal for weeks.  I savour it raw (yum!).  I wrap fat spears in prosciutto and roast them on the grill.  I steam the tender stalks and slather them with butter before dangling them above my yawning maw, and more or less devouring them whole.  I make asparagus soup, asparagus stir fry, asparagus frittata and quiche.  I pickle ‘gras for the rest of the summer, and even pressure-can asparagus soup to delight me during those cold, winter months.

In short, I consume asparagus until it is practically coming out of my ears.

And just when I think I never, EVER want to see another bloody piece of asparagus again in my entire LIFE … asparagus season is over!  Only the happy memory remains, to be replaced in six months by a renewed anticipation.

And that, my friends, is the perfection of eating local.  You get to enjoy something three times:  in anticipation, in actuality and in culinary memory.

Nature is one smart lady, and I am the beneficiary of her botanical wisdom.

And while I would never tell you what to do, let me just say, if you’re as smart as Mother Nature, you’ll keep your eyes peeled in your local area, and take home a few of these succulent spears some day soon.

So go ahead — put your head back, open your mouth wide, and lower that luscious line of green into your happy mouth.  After all, it’s a Miss Manners faux pas you get to enjoy in all its perfection just once a year.