Monday, April 01, 2013

A is for Artichokes

Welcome! To my new and "old" readers alike, I'm glad you're here. I have joined the A to Z Blogging Challenge.   In short, that means posting every day except Sunday during April, beginning with A on April 1st, and ending with Z on  April 30th.

April is coming!Some of the 1800+ bloggers have chosen a theme to guide their posts. I'm a theme gal, so I "bit" into that wisdom myself.

To provide structure, I have chosen three criteria: 

1) my theme will be memoirs based on food and drinks in my life, 

2) my posts will be limited to 26 sentences, and

3)  the memory I have of each food (or drink) taught me something about  people, life, God, or myself.

My one hope is that you will enjoy each post like a good meal, walk away satisfied, and come back for more.

So, there it is: 26 days in April, 26 letters of the alphabet, 26 foods or drinks I've got memories about, each one written in a maximum of 26 sentences.

Here we go.

A is for Artichokes

It was Spring Break 1984 when I met my first artichoke. Strange looking creature, that artichoke, but captivating with its green spiky armor. Normally I would have been skeptical to try it, except I trusted the cook.

My Aunt Linda, quite arguably the world’s best chef, prepared a meal of orange roughy, spinach salad, baked potatoes, and steamed artichokes with lemon butter.

I remember the care she took to strip away the toughest outer leaves of each artichoke before steaming it.

I remember the oak table, with its thick, shiny brown beams, set with thick, brown cotton napkins, sturdy earthenware plates, wine glasses, and water goblets.

I remember thinking what a double luxury this was to get away from cafeteria food and have food served as art, with love and candles.

I remember that Aunt Linda put on a  Joan Baez record, and then we sat down to eat.

We talked, ate, talked, drank, talked, laughed, talked, cried. Being with her, a person who cherished me, who accepted me as I was, who created a soft place for me to land--there was nothing quite like it.

Aunt Linda had to show and tell me how to eat artichokes; peel, dip, eat, savor. Peel, dip--"don't be afraid to get messy!"--eat, savor. "The best part is the heart," she said.

Artichokes, that night nearly 30 years ago, became my personal metaphor for how to get to know people.

Peel their rough edges away carefully.
Dip yourself into their world and don't be afraid of the mess.
Eat up experiences with the people you love.
Savor time with the people who love you.

And always remember, the best part is their heart.


Mary said...

I am a foodie myself, so I love the connection with food, memories and insight.

Well done. Look forward to reading more!

Lea Culp said...

Well, my friend, your going to have to really try hard to "top" this post in the next 27 entries. But, I am sure you will. What a great analogy, absolutely loved it! The best part is their heart - how true! Happy April!

Joyce said...

This was fabulous! I love your theme...I'm not in the groove yet. I'll look forward to reading more!

Changes in the wind said...

This is just awesome! Happy A-Z challenge!

Susan Kane said...

It took me years to appreciate the artichoke. Even now, I still like only the heart, esp. on pizza.

Nel said...

What fun! I love your post, and such a good message at the end! I too am doing A - Z. Looking forward to reading more.
until next time...nel

Heidi Mannan said...

I love artichokes! I recently learned they make great paint stamps as well. If you cut off the very top, dip in in paint and stamp, it looks like you painted a rose.

Jo said...

I love artichokes. I met my first before 1953 (not sure when) and for some years I didn't like them, I remember staying with a French family who served the most delectable ones and I still was in the not liking stage. Not sure when I started liking them, but we always dipped them in vinaigrette dressing with lots of garlic. I eat some every week. Funny, I too started with Artichokes.


Anonymous said...

What a great theme!
Looking forward to more.
Popping from AtoZ