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Choking Surly Boy April 29, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.

No, not really.  He’s my baby.

But whenever I cook artichokes, I can’t help thinking of my Surly Boy – and remembering his pre-surly days.  😕

He was such a bright little boy – he picked everything up just a little quicker than normal – whatever “normal” really is. . . 🙄

His first birthday was 2 weeks before  his great-grandmother’s 75th – which we flew to Chicago for.  We first surprised Grandma by showing up for her birthday – and then we surprised her even more when her great-grandson took his first steps for her.  😀

I’ve never understood people whose kids “just won’t eat” vegetables.  You know, the moms who have to “hide” the vegetables in other foods?  Surely, if you feed them them veggies as small children, they’ll learn to love them, right?  😯

My kid did.  While he was still crawling, he’d spend mornings “helping” me in the garden – while I was weeding the vegetables, he was gnawing on broccoli florets and freshly-pulled carrots, both fresh out of the garden.

Hey, it was better than letting him chew on rocks, wasn’t it?  😯

When he was just a toddler, we introduced him to artichokes.

I grew up with artichokes as an occasional . . . thing.  As far as I know, all of us kids have followed my father’s lead (remember, my father was a California Boy – which is where artichokes in this country come from), we’ve followed his lead and we love artichokes.

And I, for one, have passed this love on to my son.  :mrgreen:

I will always remember (and torture him with whenever possible) the time we went to the hippy market in Bath, NY.  This place was, 20 years ago, the ONE place a person could get Pomona’s Pectin and black strap molasses, as well as local produce, locally-grown meat and coal.  Emphasis on “local.”

My little boy, who couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 at the time, actually went up to the store owner, and ever-so-politely, in his little tiny voice, said, “Excuse me.  Do you have any artichokes?”

Well, they didn’t have any  local artichokes, but the storeowner was very nice about it.

And little Surly never realized that artichokes were, in fact, a delicacy.  You really can’t grow local artichokes in upstate New York, unfortunately.  😥

Surly Boy did love artichokes.  And he still does.  So, as long as he still lived in Rochester, whenever I saw a decent deal on artichokes at the market, I’d pick him up a few.

Then he  moved back to the southern tier, closer to his grandparents than to me, and it’s really more  trouble than it’s worth to try to keep him in mind when shopping.  . .

PhotobucketAnyway, Surly Boy is now back in Bath, living in his grandparents’ house, and the hippy store is gone.  But the memory of his love of artichokes still remains, at least for me.

And at the public market last weekend, I stumbled on what may be the deal of the season – a package of baby artichokes for a buck.

PhotobucketAnd I wished Surly Boy was close enough to enjoy it with me.

First off, I cut off the top third of the baby artichokes – essentially, the part that will be noticed.  The thorns and stuff.

Trim the baby artichokes and cut them in half.

The artichoke hearts will need to soak in some acidulated water . . . . a little lemon juice will help keep the artichokes from turning colors . . .

PhotobucketAnd we drain the artichoke hearts and toss them with olive oil and some garlic . . .

PhotobucketRoast the ‘chokes, with a bunch of garlic, for about an hour, and we’ve got enough for a delightful meal  . . .

PhotobucketI tossed a few with some pasta, extra virgin olive oil, and, of course, some freshly grated Parmigianno-Reggiano – does it get any better than this?


Too bad Surly Boy wasn’t home to share it with me . . . 😥



1. Melinda - April 29, 2009

that looks sooo good again 7 am and you have my mouth watering for artichoke’s yet another recipe to save for later.

Toy Lady - April 29, 2009

It was so easy – and I’m still kicking myself for not buying all they had. Well, maybe not all of them – but more than one package, anyway. I forgot to mention – I roasted them covered for most of the time – at 400 degrees – with a sprinkle of salt and some pepper. Easy peasy. 😀

2. origamifreak - April 29, 2009

Wow. We always just steamed them whole and ate them petal by petal, dipped in mayo. There was a bush in the backyard that always seemed to produce a nice crop in late summer, and it thrived in neglect.

One year my class in elementary school had a field trip to an abandoned island in the Sacramento river delta, called Frank’s Tract. All that was left was pretty much the levees around the edge of a flooded farm. There were artichokes there that had gone to seed and towered over out 10-year-old selves. It was quite impressive.


Toy Lady - April 30, 2009

OF, Mother always steamed the full-sized artichokes, too – our “dip” was a mixture of about 2 parts mayonnaise to 1 part yellow mustard, though. 😯

(It’s actually the same thing she uses for asparagus, too.)

The babies are far less labor-intensive – not as much fun, maybe, but once the thorny tips are cut off, completely edible.

3. origamifreak - April 30, 2009

Personally, I think I’d like them dipped in aioli. MMM. I’m not even hungry and my mouth is watering at the idea… 😉

Toy Lady - May 1, 2009

That does sound good too!

4. Monday Musings – 07.06.2009 « Dark Side of the Fridge - July 6, 2009

[…] –  As usual, Friday is pizza night!  I totally forgot about the roasted artichokes I was going to use last week, so they’ve GOT to go on this week’s pizza – either […]

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