Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks
I would be tempted to buy cedar footage at the lumber yard and rip my own planks on my table saw. Maybe I'll do that...
We have a sawmill, so when we have apple, pear, oak, hickory, cherry, or cedar (I've used white--red cedar isn't indigenous here), I take the slab wood and cut it into "planks." I soak the planks, which in my case are about 1/2" thick, for about 4-6 hours. I have some butternut slab wood that I haven't tried, yet.
I told the DH he should make planks and sell them--I'm a bit shocked at how expensive they are. I never thought to reuse them, I toss them in the woodstove.
If there is a local sawmill near where you live, you may be able to get slab wood very cheap. We don't treat our logs, so I'm not worried about using the slab wood as planks when cooking. I know where the logs are from (our bush), so don't worry about it. A local sawmill sells a pickup bed full of white cedar slab wood for about $40. FYI, slab wood is the first cut off the log, so it will contain the bark on one side (our sawmill is a bandsaw mill. The DH squares off the logs first and that is from where the slab wood comes--I imagine a circular saw sawmill operator does the same). I haven't found the bark to be an issue. If you want to build your own bandsaw sawmill, I know where you can get the plans <g>.
Paymaster--what kind of chocolate did you use and how did you present the asparagus? I can't really decipher how you did that by the photo. Did you drizzle it over the asparagus? Did you grill the asparagus or steam it? Intriguing combination.