Thursday, August 21, 2008


Sometimes, I get my hopes up, and then they get dashed. Sometimes, I get my hopes up about utterly inconsequential stuff, and then they get dashed, and I'm more disappointed than makes sense.

I was at a store yesterday and saw artichokes that looked pretty darned good.

Now, I'm not much of a foodie, nor a cook, but artichokes are my favorite vegetable by far. When I was a kid, my Mom would often let us choose our birthday dinner food (and birthday dinners often involved grandparents and such), and I always chose artichokes. One time, my Mom decided that my brother and I could each choose a vegetable to try to grow in our yard, and I chose an artichoke, and even years later, after many splittings, those plants were producing great and yummy artichokes.

But the artichoke I had for dinner tonight tasted like cardboard. It didn't have an actively "bad" flavor but it didn't have any artichoke flavor. I'd gotten my hopes up, and blah.

I don't think I've ever said this before, but I wish I were in Watsonville.

How did I ever end up so far from good artichokes?


  1. Wow. Something drove you to wish you were in Watsonville? That's serious.

    Sorry. :(

  2. Bummer about the 'choke.

    But seriously ... you grew them? Are they easy to grow?

  3. JM, I know! (But more seriously, that's actually a beautiful area if you like looking at artichokes! Or getting them from stands fresh and lovely, and tasting artichoky.)

    Profgrrrl, Yes, they're pretty easy if you're in the right climate (almost no freezing nights in winter, not too hot in summer). It's a sort of thistle, and thistles are tough.

    It's a perennial, so prep the soil nicely, get a little plant (or several), plant well-spaced (they get big around). Water enough so that they're happy, but not so they're standing in water. It takes a while to get the first artichokes off, but they're so yummy! After a couple years, if your plant is too big, you can dig it up and divide it and have two plants! More Artichokes!!

  4. i didn't think most people knew about watsonville! so sad about your artichokes. i love 'em, too. we're closer to artichoke country, though.

  5. Now I want artichoke pizza. You are to blame.

  6. Oooo, you grew artichokes?? I love artichokes. So I deeply sympathize with your bad artichoke experience.

  7. So sad - I too, am so disappointed in veggies and fruits these days. Bred to durability in transport and good looks - not for taste.

    My favorite way to eat artichokes is the way to Romans do - cooked in olive oil. There is a restaurant in NYC that serves them that way. Yum!

  8. Kathy A, Watsonville may have been a well-kept secret paradise of artichokes, but I guess everyone knows now. It will be like Napa now, with people going to taste artichokes at different stands. Actually, that would be very cool, wouldn't it?

    K8, I accept responsibility, and hope you'll invite me for artichoke pizza! SOON!

    Ceresina, Fresh artichokes are the BEST!

    TBTAM, Hmmm, I pretty much just steam them. I should look up the olive oil way! I can get some good veggies at the local places, but artichokes don't like cold winters.

  9. One of my favorite discoveries of The Valley was artichoke and pepperoni pizza. And now, thanks to you and K8, I'm missing them more than ever. Not to mention driving through miles and miles of artichokes growing in fields. Mmmmm.