Mama’s Family and Sautéed Baby Artichokes
I’m pregnant! Baby Aloicious is due mid-December. Greg asked that the first born, boy or girl, be named this as he has always been fond…ok, so that’s a pretty lame April Fools. I scared myself. I am not pg. I wish Greggers could be preggers though because life just isn’t exciting enough these days.
That’s about as much energy as I want to put into this day. I have fool’s day most days of the month. I’m more focused on the warm weather-near 80! Also, I’m on the lookout for a Greg attack but he apparently has bigger things to do at work than attempt to pull something over on me. I think he knows that it’s nearly impossible to do that with such little planning. Right, dear husband? (Do you want a delicious meal tonight? That’s a threat.)
When April 1st rolls around, I think of two particular times: the phase that my husband went through where anything that went hilariously wrong in life (ours and others), he would grin and announce April Fools. This phase lasted quite some time and it wasn’t even close to the beginning of April…that’s just Greg. The other event took place when I was young, while visiting my neighbors, my grandparents, watching Mama’s Family. (That link will take you back to my childhood; it’s the end of the episode.)
Vicki Lawrence and Carol Burnett are tops in my funny book. (This is the same grandma that watched I love Lucy with us-fun times.) The Mama’s Family episode escaped my mind (until I found the clips on youtube) because my grandma’s reaction was the best part. She repeated, in the same character voice that mama did, “April Foooooools” and we cackled for days.
Something that used to make me feel like a fool was artichokes (and that time I didn’t read a book completely in 4th grade and was asked by the librarian, on the spot, to talk about the well-known story so that others would want to read it… I ended by saying that Anne Frank had lived through the war…I don’t want to talk about that any longer…I know she didn’t, I finished it after that incident.)
Back to the chokes, in elementary art class, my drawing of an artichoke was picked to go to the art fair but I had never eaten one until my college days. Sad. To make it more pathetic, they were canned and I think my reaction was ehh. Many people spoke so highly of them and I had a lackluster first experience (much like my first kiss) so I told myself that I would try again later.
Last week, I saw beautiful baby artichokes at the store and thought enough is enough, I’m going to make my own sautéed baby artichokes. I was intimidated about how to trim these beauts before the cooking step but that’s when Saveur stepped in with a how-to at that link. I had nothing to fear-they were great. I followed Gastronomer’s recipe, with minced garlic and Parmesan cheese. What a tasty side!
Sautéed Baby Artichokes
2 lbs. baby artichokes
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
juice of a lemon
Make a bowl of acidulated water: a bowl of water with the juice of a lemon to put the trimmed artichokes in later. Wash the artichokes. (See the Saveur link above for a how-to on trimming baby artichokes.)
Working with one at a time, trim each artichoke by cutting off the stem within a 1/4 inch from the base, peeling the base while removing the dark leaves until pale green leaves are visible and then, by cutting off the pointy tips of the remaining leaves. Quarter the artichokes and add to the bowl of acidulated water. Drain before using.
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the artichokes, broth, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, until artichokes are tender. Remove the cover and continue to cook until any remaining liquid has evaporated and then add the vinegar. Keep a close eye on these. Serve with grated Parmesan.