Great Depression Recipes: Asparagus Timbales

Well hello there!

You look a little crisp. Did you spend the whole day in the garden? Me, too.

For those of you further south than I, here is another asparagus recipe for your garden gleanings. Again, this recipe is courtesy of the USDA circa The Great Depression. Hurray for tax dollars at work.

Asparagus Timbales


3 Tablespoons butter ( or marg.)

3 Tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

2 cups cooked or canned asparagus, finely chopped.

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

3 eggs


Over medium-low heat in a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and let it bubble until the starchy smell leaves and it begins to smell like buttered popcorn.

Add the milk and continue to stir as it thickens.

Remove from heat and add asparagus, salt, pepper and thoroughly beaten eggs.

Pour the mixture into buttered timbale molds.

What? No timbale molds? Me neither. In fact I had to ask my ex-cooking teacher mama what the heck they were. “Thimble shaped” molds. Whatever.

Instead, pour the mixture into any buttered oven-safe single-serving-size bowls. So ramekins are fine …. but the straight sides might make clean removal a little tricky. Serve in the ramekin, but warn everyone they are hot as the Dickens.

Ah, oven-safe custard cups. Perfect. Rounded bottom. Okay, moving on.

Now place the little bowls of asparagus sauce in a pan of water.

Personally, I place the bowls in the pan on the oven rack then slowly add the water so I don’t flood everything.

Bake in a medium oven ( about 350 degrees Fahrenheit ) for about 20 minutes or until the mixture has set nicely.

Serve hot in the molds or overturn onto each plate and garnish.

Boy, is anyone else getting hungry?


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