The artichoke above all is the vegetable expression of civilised living, of the long view, of increasing delight by anticipation and crescendo. No wonder it was once regarded as an aphrodisiac. It had no place in the troll's world of instant gratification. It makes no appeal to the meat-and-two-veg mentality.
She swallowed and looked down at the artichoke petals piled neatly on the side of her plate. Her center certainly felt like it was melting, growing soft and wet just from the rasp of Mr. O'Connor's voice. Why should a man already devilishly handsome also have a voice that could charm birds from the sky? It simply wasn't fair.
The California I knew, old rancho California, is gone. It just doesn't exist, except maybe in little pockets. I lived on the edge of the Mojave Desert, an area that used to be farm country. There were all these fresh-produce stands with avocados and date palms. You could get a dozen artichokes for a buck or something. Totally wiped out now.
When I was growing up in Mississippi - it was good Southern food... but I also grew up with a Greek family; when other kids were eating fried okra, we were eating steamed artichokes. So I think it played a big part in my healthy cooking.
I would follow my mother around the kitchen watching and trying to find any way to help. One of the first dishes my mother taught me to make was hollandaise sauce. Though she always served it with broccoli, I soon realized it was equally delicious with asparagus, artichokes, or any other vegetable.
My career is like an artichoke. People might think that the leaves are tasty and buttered up and delicious, and they don't even know that there's something magical hidden at the base of it. There's a whole other side of me that people didn't know existed.
A white truffle, which elsewhere might sell for hundreds of dollars, seemed easier to come by than something fresh and green. What could be got from the woods was free and amounted to a diurnal dining diary that everyone kept in their heads. May was wild asparagus, arugula, and artichokes. June was wild lettuce and stinging nettles. July was cherries and wild strawberries. August was forest berries. September was porcini.