Well, my plan tonight after my small group was to make my pie crust dough so I could make my pumpkin pies tomorrow night. My plan was foiled when I didn’t “check” to make sure that my flour was still in the freezer where I store it to prevent weevils from growing in it. Unbeknownst to me, my mother had taken it out to make room. She couldn’t for the life of her figure out why there would be flour in the freezer!! Hello!!!!! It keeps you from having to buy flour every time you decide to bake because you don’t bake that often!
So, instead I will write about other food items, namely artichokes!
So a few weeks ago, I was going grocery shopping and I had this overwhelming urge/craving for an artichoke. I didn’t understand because it wasn’t like I was craving spinach artichoke DIP, which is the only way I have ever eaten artichokes. I wanted plain artichokes.
Do you eat plain artichokes? Are they good? How do you prepare them? How do you eat them? I had no idea the answer to any of these questions. All I knew is my body wanted one!
So I have this friend, Carollyn who knows everything. She is one of those women who can cook a delicious meal after taking apart a car engine and putting it back together, then after dinner make a dress from nothing! Who better to know how to make an artichoke than her. Better yet, am I imagining that you can just eat an artichoke plain?
Well, Carollyn didn’t know, but she has a friend, Sue, who does. So I called Sue. Apparently Sue is a master artichoke maker. I explained to Sue how I had this strange craving for one but I had no idea how to prepare or eat this flowery looking food. This is what she told me to do.
1. Cut the tips off of every leaf/petal on the outside of the vegetable. Just a note, there are far more leaves/petals than you think!
2. Cut the tip and the stem off.
3. Place in a pan of water. The pan should be big enough to allow the artichoke to be covered by water, but not too big. Add the juice of one lemon to the pot as well as the rind.
4. Bring to a boil, then boil for about 20 minutes to start. Stick a fork in the stem end to check it. If the fork goes in smoothly, all the way then it is done, if not, check it again in five minutes. This is much like checking the done-ness of a potato.
5. When done, place it on a plate. Sue eats hers with a lemon butter mixture. I chose NOT to eat mine with this because I didn’t want to eat butter like that. But I bet it would be yummy!
Now for the eating of this thing. For the record, it took me about an hour to eat the whole thing. This is not something you eat quickly. It is a process. A delightful process of totally enjoying food!
1. Begin pulling the leaves off one at a time. On the bottom of each leaf/petal is a tiny bit of “meat” to be enjoyed. Scrape your teeth along the leaf and you will get the meat off. Do this for each leaf.
2. Keep doing this until you reach a prickly looking inside.
When you reach this prickly center, be careful. There are pickers in there and you could get stuck! Carefully remove this center.
3. After carefully removing the prickly leaves and eating the meat off of them, you will reach a fuzzy center at the bottom of the prickly center. This is called the choke and is allegedly not good to eat. Never having eaten/tried this before, I took Sue at her word.
4. Using a spoon, remove this fuzzy portion to reveal the heart of the artichoke which is also said to be the best part. This, my friends, is what you find in spinach/artichoke dip!
5. Eat this piece as you please. It is delicious.
Now you may be wondering what all of this tasted liked. Well, my best description is, well I don’t have one. But the texture was that of a potato and the flavor was slightly lemony. I found it quite pleasing. In fact because of the PROCESS of eating it, I don’t think I have ever enjoyed eating so much! It wasn’t just about food, but about the enjoyment of all aspects of eating!
I have decided this is the perfect start to a fantastic dinner party. I can just imagine friends sitting around laughing and talking while engaging in the process of eating this food.
Thanks Sue for a great recipe!
Now I have to say, our God is quite creative in his creations. I mean this is a vegetable that has leaves, pickers, fuzz, and hidden beneath all of that is the fully edible portion. I wonder who the first people were to look at this strange plant and decide that they were going to boil it and find this “heart” to eat. Who came up with the idea that you could even eat it in the first place! I do not know, but I am glad they did and that I knew someone who knew how to eat them!
Go try it folks!!