Archive | 5:22 pm

Just in the nick of time

12 Sep

I grew up eating globe artichokes. You may now be imagining I’m Italian, and we used to eat them as part of an antipasto.

But no.

My Mum is American, and she prepares them in a very American way.

No, its not what you’re thinking – not covered by cheese from a can.

Mum boils the artichokes in salted water until the flesh is tender, then serves them individually in a bowl with dressing on the side. We then carefully peel a petal off, dip in the (always ranch) dressing, and scrape the flesh off between our front teeth. You don’t really get much in your tummy at first, but as you get closer to the heart of the artichoke you can eat more and more of each petal until you reach the heart. The heart is the best bit – you can eat pretty much all of it.

The artichokes in late July

I planted my globe artichokes in January, and they have grown enormously. So huge in fact that they take up a disproportionate amount of space in my front garden bed, and they are commented on by most people who visit or even just wander past.

I’ve read from most sources that artichokes flower (fruit) in the spring, but to date I have had zip, zilch, nada. I was getting to the point that they were onto their final warning.

My first artichoke

And then last week they began to emerge. In clusters of 5 or 6, and conveniently they seem to be staggered slightly, so I won’t have 20 at once.

Now I better get started on the ranch dressing and summon the family. We’re in business, people!