I can still vividly remember the last time I ate an artichoke. I was about nine, maybe ten. I was over at my best friend's house and her mom made an artichoke. If my memory is correct, it was made as an afternoon snack. Her mom, sister and her gathered around the artichoke, giddy with excitement. I don't remember that her other sister, the toddler, participated in the consuming of the strange vegetable. I remember eating a petal and thinking I might just die from the awfulness. They assured me I'd like the heart. I didn't. I do remember that Brittany and Megan fought over who got more of the heart. I'd recently gagged on it so this disturbed me on a number of levels.
Like I said before, I was a little concerned about receiving artichokes in my Bountiful Basket. I wanted to be a good example to my kids--these are, after all, the same kids who are forced by their mother to eat whatever appears on their plate. So yesterday I began The Great Artichoke Adventure.
First I selected two of my four artichokes.
I put a few inches of water in my pan and added some bay leaves and some garlic salt.
I cut the stem off of the artichokes, pulled off the tiny petals at the base, cut a little off the top of the artichoke and trimmed the pointed tips of the petals. (Is it called a petal or a leaf or what?)
Then I put my steam basket into my pot and placed the artichokes inside. I brought the water to a boil and then reduced the heat so that the artichokes simmered for about 45 minutes. I melted butter to dip them in.
We had chicken wraps, leftover Luau rice, crushed pineapple and artichokes for dinner. I realize this a very strange combination but I was so preoccupied with the artichokes that I kind of forgot we needed a meal to go with them. In the end I needed to whip something up that would be finished at about the same time.
So, the question remains. To choke or not to choke? I documented each of our reactions.
The Rock Star was very interested in the strange looking vegetable. He's also had to eat enough things in his short little life that he's pretty willing to try new things. So I was perfectly fine with letting him go first.
Obviously he liked it. He then proceeded to narrate the rest of our videos with his, "I want more!" "I'm going to eat it all!" "Can I have more?"
Next up was The Little Buddy.
He thoroughly enjoyed it as well. So much so that he started to shovel pieces of it into his mouth. This result in him attempting to swallow the entire thing. I had to start scraping his pieces with a fork and only giving him the edible portion. He ate it ravenously, much faster than I could scrape it. He also wolfed it down without any butter and kept asking for more.
When Troy and I got married he would eat canned peas, corn, and green beans. And, I kid you not, I'm pretty sure that's about it. I began introducing him to broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini and other such veggies. He doesn't love all of them but I think he tolerates all of them. Well, maybe not cauliflower. On another note, I'm pretty sure the only kind of lettuce he ever ate was iceberg. He's broadened his taste buds to include green leaf, red leaf, romaine and, perhaps his favorite, spinach. I'm very proud of his willingness to try new vegetables even as he approaches--gasp--forty.
He later told me that he found it pretty bland and gave a shrug as if to say, "Eh. I could take it or leave it." But he ate it without complaining or making faces. There was no gagging or choking. This I count as a success.
I'm thrilled with my video. I'm thrilled that I didn't think the camera was on and I debate this fact with Troy. I'm thrilled that I'm sporting not one but two happy zits that will not go away and felt the need to star in this episode of Lori Eats an Artichoke. I'm thrilled that I didn't have the good sense to actually do my hair yesterday.
At first I found myself in Troy's Bland Camp but, as the night went on, I found myself eating more and more of the artichoke. I decided it tasted like a subtle asparagus. We got down to the choke, discarded it, and shared the heart. There was no elbow throwing like I remembered from my last experience but it was soft and rather tasty.
Later, The Rock Star got down from the table and went to play. When he came back he climbed into his chair. The kitchen had been cleaned and he moaned, "Hey, where did the rest of that thing go?"
"The artichoke?" I asked him.
"OHHH! I wanted to eat more of it!"
"Well, there are two more in the refrigerator for another time."
"Yeah!" He shouted.
We continue to try new things. We continue to realize that our palates change over time. We continue to be impressed by our children's willingness to eat what is put before them. To choke or not to choke, that is the question. In this case, yes, we artichoke but no, we don't choke on them.