Friday, November 10, 2006
I rushed back from work, turning down two invitations to go out for a drink (very tempted), in order to prepare for Artichoke-Friday. This had taken on the air of a pagan ritual. The chosen ones were crouching on their sacrificial plate. I had four cookery books at the ready. I chose the simplest option. Chop off the stem, pick off the outer leaves, trim the top and plunge into boiling salted water. 25 minutes later it was D-day. When I took them out I had to squeeze out the water which rather took the glamour out of the artichoke - reducing it to the status of any old boiled vegetable.
Freddie was enthusiastic. There was a generous knob of butter on his plate and he joined in the dipping of the leaves. In fact butter was crucial to the whole thing. There was no retching , no tears and no arguments. He happily sucked the butter off the artichoke and scraped a little bit of the flesh with his teeth and only grimaced when he bit into the heart. As a challenge to eat butter it was a resounding success. In terms of vegetable consumption a rather more modest achievement...