Jen Earns an A — in Artichokes!

Jen, of the delightful Random Acts of Writing, blogs close enough to where I live to visit once in a while. After a recent post about artichokes, she commented that she’d tried not long ago to cook and eat an artichoke and ended up with a tiny little stub that she wasn’t sure what to do with. So I suggested she come up for Artichokes 101. As part of her ongoing veggie education we’d prepare and eat some of the spiny but succulent beauties.

Good sport that she is, she said yes! Here’sΒ Jen arriving with a surprise armload of flowers:

Jen Arrives

The artichokes await:

Artichokes ready for the lesson

Jen gets a knife, an artichoke, and the go-ahead:

Jen sets to work

Okay, she’s sliced, and snipped, and steamed, and it’s time to attack at the table. But why does she look so dubious?

Not convinced!

Not so bad after all! This is actually fun, she thinks:

Yes, it can be fun!

The debris dish quickly fills with leaves, first dipped in aioli, then scraped delicately with teeth, then discarded:

Heavy use for the debris dish

And the prize is — the heart! Not so glamorous to look at, true. But succulent and delicious. Β (You can smother your artichoke in melted butter, or anoint it with a garlicky aioli, which is the way I go.)Β I think artichokes may have won Jen’s heart after all. I know they’re dear to mine!

The heart of the matter

We never know where blogging will lead, do we? In this case, it led right to the table. And, of course, to a prize for me — a blog post!

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32 Responses to Jen Earns an A — in Artichokes!

  1. So now I need to get Jen to teach me all she learned from you. This will be a test!

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  2. Jen looks like she’s enjoying the whole experience! I knew a five year old boy who, when asked what his favorite food was, his reply was “ARTICHOKES! ” I thought that was odd for a five year old. I still need to taste one. πŸ˜‰

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  3. My Artichokes 101 lesson complete, I am off to the grocery story today to do some extra credit work! Much thanks, again, Judith, for the excellent instruction and wonderful visit! xoxo

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  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Ooo I’ve never tried it but it doesn’t look very appealing. I guess to be worth all that fiddling around it must be good though πŸ™‚

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Come to think of it, it’s the vegetable of choice for all Cinderellas — humble, unassuming, but revealed as triumphant in the end.
      It’s actually fun to go through all the leaves. It’s true, the naked heart does look plain. But it looks better with melted butter poured over it, or parmesan aioli spooned into it. Even the taste is unique — I can’t think of anything to compare it with. It tastes like —- artichoke.
      (But unquestionably your life won’t be blighted if you don’t get to eat one πŸ˜‰

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  5. Barbara says:

    I learned how to eat an artichoke in Paris, a thousand years ago. The preferred dressing was olive oil, a few drops of vinegar,a bit of salt, and a lot of pepper. Delicious! I still make them that, way.

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  6. quackofdawn says:

    Delightful story! How bloggers are being brought together thanks to a vegetable …
    Myself, I have a confession to make: I’ve never had artichokes *hanging head in shame*
    I may have had artichoke soup once, but I can’t remember what it was like. Have to correct that some time soon. /Reb

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Rebekah!
      Life’s been so busy here I haven’t been checking on friends’ blogs, so I didn’t know about your transformation.
      But who else could it be, the Queen of Duck Photography (as well as much else)! I’m looking forward to catching up on your new news and new entries, and all the good stuff.
      Don’t forget the artichokes; but it’s squash time around here now. Have you had your roasted acorn squash, with maybe some maple syrup and pecan pieces hanging around inside???????

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      • quackofdawn says:

        J,
        It’s only a partial transformation, but there are links to http://quackofdawn.com on my regular page. It’s a Β«sister blogΒ» πŸ™‚
        I love squash. Usually buy the butternut squash … so far I’ve only made it as mashed potatoes … the same way, that is. I have seen acorn squash in the store…

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        • Touch2Touch says:

          I will have to check out the sisters —
          Butternut squash makes a nice soup. Acorn squash is more cuttable than butternut, which isn’t saying much. But I do like it halved, seeds discarded, brown sugar and/or maple syrup and butter in the cavities and roasted in the oven. Yum.
          πŸ™‚

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  7. Pauline says:

    I’ve only ever had artichoke dip and then only because I didn’t know what it was. I’m an A avoidance type – don’t like artichokes, anchovies or avocados – but I DO like squash. You can use the acorn squash shells as soup bowls. I fill mine with a chowder made of corn and chunks of the scooped out squash…

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