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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Julie & Julia Moment.

The other day, on a whim, I bought globe artichokes at the grocery store. I'm the type of grocery shopper that goes to the store with one item in mind and picks up a couple other things that look interesting... I know it's not the best way to shop, but I can't help it.

Anyway, I was really nervous about these artichokes. I've never actually ever eaten a fresh artichoke; only the type in a glass jar (and I didn't really like it all too much). Regardless of that, I brought them home and made a quick phone call to James (who was working):

Me: Soooooo.... I went to the grocery store.
James: Oh yeah?
Me: Aaaaaand, I bought some artichokes.
James: The fresh kind?
Me: Yes, globe artichokes. Do you know how to cook these?
James: Yes.
Me: Good, because I want to make them with Julia's hollandaise.
James: Ok.
Me: Do you even like artichokes?
James: No. I actually hate them.
Me: Oh........... Good.

I decided to spare him and made them myself. I googled, "How to cook an artichoke," followed by, "how to eat an artichoke," and felt comfortable enough to try it on my own (to help save you the trouble, here's the very helpful How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke). I trimmed and washed them, then stuck them in a pot of salted, boiling water with some lemon juice in it. I boiled them (with the cover on, but ajar) for 30-ish minutes, until the stems were tender and could be pierced with a knife. The stems were really tender and the leaves actually fell off with no trouble.

To make the hollandaise, I cheated and used this recipe. The hollandaise thickened like it was supposed to, but I'm not really sure what it was supposed to taste like... It tasted really buttery, but didn't have a lot of flavor. I think I could have used 2T lemon juice instead of just 1... or maybe 1.5T... Anyway, I liked the artichokes enough, but they weren't my favorite. I did not enjoy the hollandaise (way too heart-attack tasting), but I couldn't eat the artichokes alone... I guess the meal was a little sketchy from the start, since I have no idea what it was supposed to taste like... It didn't taste terribly awful, though, and I finished cooking it before Friends was over. I guess I truly channeled Julia on this one:

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a ‘What the hell?’ attitude.”
~ Julia Child

At least it photographed nicely...

p.s. the actual "choke" on the artichoke (the fuzzy part) is totally weird and a bit off-putting.

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