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VOTE and then enjoy an artichoke

Do you remember your first artichoke?

I do!


I was about 10 years old. There was an Italian family who lived across the street, three doors down from us. The family consisted of a very handsome dad, a seriously gorgeous mom, and an only child daughter who was a year or two older than me. I idealized the girl. She was pretty and nice and very well-mannered. Their home was calm and quiet and they were polite.

At my house, we were loud and there was always at least one of the four of us kids crying, screaming, yelling, or getting in trouble at any given moment of any given day.

Their family and home were like a perfect rose among a bunch of thorns. They only lived in our neighborhood for a year or two. No wonder with all that crying, yelling, and screaming going on!

Anyhow, one summer afternoon, the girl invited me to have dinner at her house. I was so excited. I remember being on my very best behavior and minding my manners. When the mom brought dinner to the table, there were the strangest looking, yet somehow intriguing, green thorny-looking things on one of the platters.

All three of them could see by the perplexed look on my face, that I had never seen an artichoke before. Of course, they were very kind and helpful in teaching me how to pull off one leaf at a time, dip it in the melted butter and scrape it with my teeth. I remember that when I had finished all the leaves, the mom expertly cut out the artichoke heart for me. I was hooked, I was enamored, I was in love with artichokes!


We lived a block away from the intersection of Chaparral and Pima, just down from Scottsdale Community College. A year or two after my introduction to the artichoke, Artie the Artichoke was adopted as SCC’s mascot to express a difference of opinion between the students and the administration concerning budget priorities. I remember that even as an 11 or 12-year-old, I felt a special kinship with those students and was thrilled by their mascot choice.

Strange what you cling to as a kid!

bouquet garni

I use bouquet garni for my steamed artichokes. You may recall that we made bouquet garni at last winter’s craft party. If you don’t have any one hand, just throw in a few sprigs of fresh parsley instead.

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November 4, 2014   4 Comments