Tuesday, May 18, 2010
My little sister Eva and I had the amazing fortune of having our Granny as our baby sitter. Every morning my Mom would drive 15 minutes to pick up Granny from her house on Hassett and bring her back to our house to take care of us while my Mom taught school.
Granny was an amazing woman. From a farm in the Midwest, my Grandmother's mom was a tough, German gal with spunk and a strong work ethic. She also had a knack for cooking. I used to love making tuna salad sandwiches and playing Barbies with her. (Granny was always Ken - she never argued that with me and she always made him a perfect gentleman.) Granny's cole slaw, split pea soup, scrambled eggs and cheesecake are still considered by me and the rest of my family to be the gold standard examples of those dishes.
Some of my fondest and most proud childhood memories are of me trying to impress the best cook on the planet - Granny. One day after school, I found out Granny had never had an artichoke before, so I decided to make her one. I was probably seven.
I boiled the water, trimmed the sharp points and steamed the chokes for what seemed like for-ev-er. Kid time is triple adult time after all. The finished artichoke was served with a pad of melted butter and an extra plate for the discarded leaves. Granny got the full artichoke-eating tutorial and I anxiously waited for her reaction as she slid the leaf between her dentures. She loved it!
Yeah, victory! She loved it! She really loved it! (Relieved happy dance!)
That one afternoon sparked something inside of me, a passion for cooking and eating. Realizing the power and the love that could be conveyed through cooking was magical. I had the ability to make delicious food and share new things with the people I love and look up to.
Granny and I ate until we got to the best part of the 'choke - the heart. We cut away at the furry part and picked out the yummy bites. It was one of my favorite days ever.
In this blog, I hope to share my experiences, stories, inspiration and most of all good food. All of course while helping you save some money along the way. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy yourself. I look forward to hearing from you! Love Becka
Simple Steamed Artichokes
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 to 6 cups of water, depending on size of the artichokes
Melted butter for dipping
Put the thyme,rosemary,garlic, water and olive oil in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Mean while, wash and trim the artichokes. Use a large chef's knife to trim the stem, cut off the top of the choke and trim off any stems near the base. Use kitchen shears to trim the thorny tops of the leaves. This way you can avoid any boo-boos later.
Place the chokes in the simmering water mixture, stem side down, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. You'll know the chokes are done when the leaves are tender and easy pull off.
Share and enjoy!