Friday Faff, for Saturday lunch

I had the best of attentions to faff around with some artichokes last night. (That doesn’t sound quite right…) They were a little prickly towards me at first, but an hour in boiling water softened them right up.

Ok, my vegetable punning career is over now. Promise.

These globe artichokes arrived in the post the other day. I love artichoke hearts on pizza (anything on pizza, really) and couldn’t wait to taste the thing fresh.

I laid them out on the counter and waited for inspiration. And then it hit me. How the heck to you eat these babies? I mean, if I were a gatherer, I’m not sure I would ever think to try to consume something that looks like a baby cactus, and stabs like one too.

Though, come to think of it, I might present it as a bouquet to the hunter I was crushing on.

Anyway, I confess that I broke my no-recipe rule and researched how to cook a globe artichoke on the world wide web. It ain’t easy, the BBC warned, but if you really really want, you can boil ’em, grill ’em or stuff ’em.

Bring it on.

I was advised to clip the pointy ends off each leaf with scissors, which sent little green missiles all over the kitchen, but I was not deterred. However, snipping the top leaves off did nearly break my scissors.

So I brought out the big guns.

I dropped this ornery guy in a vat of boiling water and turned to his smaller brother. With renewed vigor, I decided to investigate the ‘choke anatomy, and sliced him in half.

Or tried to.

The BBC instructed me to scoop out the flesh in the middle and pull out the lighter leaves. Unfortunately I saw neither flesh nor light leaves. Maybe in England purple is considered lighter than green. And hair = flesh.

After considerable effort with a spoon, this choke was shaven and plucked, filled with stuffing, and into a hot oven.

30 minutes later, I lined these guys up for the ultimate taste test. Apparently you sort of suck the “tender flesh” (there we go with flesh again – I just hoped they weren’t referring to hairy seeds this time) out of each leaf after dipping it in melted butter or some kind of dip. Not really sure where the stuffing comes in…

And  have to say, I never really found out where that tender flesh was. I bit and sucked and even chewed a leaf whole for a few minutes but those woody fibers would not become food in my mouth.

So instead, they sat on a plate and taunted me while I typed up this post. I guess I need personal tutelage from a master ‘choke tamer! 

Any tips?

3 thoughts on “Friday Faff, for Saturday lunch

  1. Now you have mastered the art of choking, it might be the time to remind you that this attractive bouquet is indeed the flower of the plant and comes from the thistle family. Named after a ‘pine cone’ you may be pleased with yourself that you survived the adventure. Had you followed the British predilection of your ancestors who vicariously adopted ‘Jerusalem’ as our national song, you would have opted for your North American native plant the Jerusalem Artichoke, with good cause. It comes from the sunflower plant and, heaven knows you need some sun!
    If you are brave enough to try again, your countrywoman Victoria Walsh will guide you through the process and lead you to the very delicious heart of the Globe…..

    1. Dear The Cookie –
      There are hardly words of response adequate to such a finely woven piece of text.

      In fact, that is just about all I can muster. I love what you do with language.

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