My home growns are still a year away, as they take two years to grow, but they're appearing in the shops now. Oddly, they were a dollar each just over a week ago but now - same shop - $3.68, if you please.
Someone, I can't remember who now, but I'm extremely grateful for this, showed me a particular way of enjoying artichokes that made them subsequently one of my favouritest ever treaty food things, for a couple of unusual reasons....
Here's what I used to do. Get a whole artichoke, pull off the outermost leaves only, cut the stem so it sits flat on the bottom of a saucepan and steam it quite well. While this is happening, get a large amount of butter - and then get some more because it's really hard to convince yourself you're going to need that much but you will - and use it to very gently saute finely chopped garlic - again, lots - to make a sort of thin dipping butter sauce. Put this in a teeny bowl, retrieve artichoke, and commence. Peel off a leaf, dip base of leaf in sauce, and using front teeth scrape the fleshy bit from the bottom inside bit of the leaf. Mm, hmm, mm. Remind self that fingers are not burn proof and hold next steaming leaf a little more daintily. Do this over and over.
This odd frenzy happens as the leaves get sweeter and fleshier the further in you get, and you're trying to maximise the garlic butter quotient but make sure you don't run out until the last edible leaf.....because then the leaves start to get smaller and smaller, with less and less flesh, and it starts to get a bit stringy, and you know that at some point.....the fun must stop, because eventually you return to inedibility. It's like a whole metaphor for life, somehow. So I adored the ritual and the flavour certainly, but even more there is a special aftertaste that lingers for ages, a sweetness you don't even actually detect while you're eating that only develops when you stop. And then there's the high.
Yes, I used to get high on artichokes. I would remark on this to fellow eaters to whom I introduced this way of eating them, saying "don't you feel that artichokes just...make....you.....Happy???" And I got mixed responses. But for me, they always put me in a super duper mood, smiling away in a world of wonder and goodness, and it's a variety of experience unique in my memory to consuming artichokes. Never happened with the pickled variety though. Anyone else had this? I can find no scientific basis for it.
So what I'm wondering is how best to blend one of these fine fellows. I'll let y'all know.