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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010


It is said that a person who goes from love affair to love affair has a "heart like an artichoke," scattering leaves right and left. Eat this vegetable slowly, as there is something ritualistic about the process of stripping the artichoke, and removing its leaves one by one to dip them in a dressing of oil, lemon, salt and pepper and then share them with your lover.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Trim the chokes. Cut off the stalk, right to the bottom of the bulb part.
Now cut off the top thistle ends, about one-fourth to one-third down from the top.
Open in the flower, spread the leaves out. Next place the choke in the boiling water, cover with lid, reduce heat to simmer, and steam for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on size) -- they are done when the leaves pull away easily. Drain and then cool. They are best when served cold.

Peel off a leaf, dip the bottom, inside (grayish pulpy) into the sauce lightly. Place it practically all the way to the hilt in your open mouth.
Close mouth, with teeth lightly together on the leaf, and pull the leaf out, scraping the soft underside of the leaf off so it stays in your mouth, while the fibery rest of the leaf comes out as you pull. Now move it around in your mouth like a good wine, make full on contact with your taste buds, chew, and swallow, and you're doing it!

Continue around, leaf by leaf, as they get smaller, and you come to the inedible hair like thistles. Take those out, just lift them up and out of the button bottom.
Eat the bottom. Break off pieces, and dip. Some claim this is the best part.

Sauce: Mix olive oil, fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper together. This is very exquisite when eating an artichoke. Also, set out a small bowl of good mayonnaise.

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