An old artichoke

It hasn't been a fabulous season for artichokes this year. Despite having more plants than last season, we've only had one artichoke feast so far. And I'm not sure that we'll get enough for another. We're having a few people over tomorrow to celebrate Gs birthday and, weather permitting, and having a big old barbeque. Artichokes keep going on and off my list. Maybe there's enough for three, but certainly not for ten. But then with all the other food, maybe everyone could have just a taste. But then artichokes don't mix all that well with other foods and they don't taste as fantastic as they are until you're on your second or third half. Maybe this year, I'll leave them in the garden and let them flower.

This is an artichoke I picked last time. I set it aside because it was too big to be a pleasant eating experience. It's been up on the shelf so that I could admire its' form and watch the play of light through the kitchen window each morning.

Today in between writing a menu, a running order and a super detailed shopping list and heading off to do a big shop, I raced around taking some new photos of the artichoke. Three weeks after being picked, and just being left on a shelf, it is half withered, half flowering.

I even took it outside. It's amazing how different it looks in another light. Then I had to go shopping. I'm so bored by the act of going shopping, bringing it in, putting it away. Over and over. But I do like the fridge being full of food and beer. Including little lamb chops and gourmet sausages, because most of our guests are not vegetarians. Yummo. I really do have to try and go to bed early tonight because I have set myself a very ambitious list of cooking tasks tomorrow. But I can do it, I just have to keep my cool and not drop whole eggs into the kenwood chef like I did tonight.
We haven't had more than a couple of friends over at a time for quite a long while. Except for Grace's birthday which although big, was pretty much just family. It's not like I feel as though I need to polish the silver and shine the windows (although I am thinking of a windows day soon) but I do feel a tad anxious. But G said he wanted to have a gathering. I was initially quite unenthusiastic. In the end, we decided that we would each choose an activity for our birthdays, which are only a day apart. And on in betweeny day we are going to do minimal housework, play lots of REM and G is going to go into town to buy me a birthday present. My day involves an outing and scenery. So G has got his gathering.  I agreed that if he did all the phone calling and organising, that I would do the food. He's chosen to invite old friends we haven't seen for a while and we've kept it small. So hopefully I'll actually get to talk to people.  So now I'm actually really looking forward to it. Even if it rains and we all have to squash inside. Because we need the rain, so even if it ruins our plans I am going to be happy if it does.


Sheree said...

How lucky you are that you have your own artichoke plants. I love artichokes but our yard is so small we can hardly grow rosebushes, much less artichokes.
I think they are beautiful when they flower. I always wonder who in the world thought an artichoke would be good to eat and how desperately hungry they must have been to think that! Cuz artichokes are spiney and not very yummy looking.
Good luck with the party, sounds like you have everything planned out well. :)

Lazy Cow said...

Happy birthday to your man. We share the same birthday! (12th right?) So yours is on the 14th? Hope the weather holds out for you.

Penni said...

Wow, I don't think I've seen an artichoke flower. So beautiful and interesting and kind of hostile but sort of soft and fringy and sea-anemone like at the same time. Looks like something you'd find on the beach.
Hope you had a lovely day.

Leah said...

What a lovely flower - and what a tough plant to blossom after three weeks on a windowsill. Astonishing.