Yea! It’s Friday!
Tonight my sweet husband and I are going on our first date since early December. Yes, I know; it’s been much too long, and that’s not good for a marriage. But for me, finding a good sitter is about as hard as securing front-row seats at a Hannah Montana concert.
Finally, we have not one but two new sitters (both college students), so I feel there are a few more date nights in my immediate future! I’ve been waiting months to enjoy a meal in a restaurant where no one at the table orders French fries, chicken fingers, or plain pasta, or needs me to cut his meat. Kent, my husband, promised me he will do none of the above tonight, so I’m pretty much good to go!
We’re going to a restaurant near our home that serves a fantastic grilled artichoke for an appetizer. It’s yummy, but we’ve been there before with friends who refuse to order it because they don’t know how to eat it.
I don’t correct my friends’ etiquette or share unsolicited advice, but when it comes to my favorite dish at one of my favorite restaurants, I have been known to offer my tablemates my — what should we call it? — free how-to demonstration! My offer hasn’t been turned down yet!
Don’t let the spiky, sophisticated veggie intimidate you! Artichokes are actually fun finger foods, complete with pulling the leaves through your teeth and disposing of the remains on your plate. It’s, as one of my boys says, “fun eatin’
If you’ve not tried them, they’re easy to cook in the microwave, and your kids will probably think it’s fun. Give it a try one Friday night. They go great with pizza, which is a Friday night tradition in our house!
Today is Fast Facts Day! So here’s your…
Fast Guide to Eating the Very Hardest-to-Eat Food: Artichokes!
I’ve broken it down into easy steps so you’ll always artfully eat your artichoke!
- Before cooking, cut off the thorny tip of each leaf. Then trim the bottom stem so that the artichoke will sit upright on your plate.
- The artichoke needs to be served on a large enough plate so that there is room for the discarded leaves after each one is pulled through your teeth. If the artichoke is served on a small plate placed on top of a larger plate, then place the discarded leaves on the larger bottom plate. Sometimes, an empty side plate or bowl will be brought to the table when the artichoke is served; if this is the case, dispose of the leaves in it.
- Artichokes are served with sauce or melted butter. Spoon a small amount from the container onto the corner of your plate.
- Pull one leaf at a time off with your hands.
- Dip the leaf in butter or sauce.
- Hold the leaf by the bottom and pull it through your teeth. This will scrape off the tasty edible portion. (This is what makes the kids think it’s fun eatin’!)
- Discard what’s left of the leaf on the proper plate. Try to keep the leaves in a somewhat neat pile. Otherwise, it can begin to look like the bottom of a trash bag dropped open on your plate — not a pretty sight for your tablemates. 🙂
- The bottom of the artichoke is called the heart or fond, which is French for “bottom.”
- When you’ve eaten all the leaves, the tastiest part is about to be yours!
- Cut out the fond with your knife and fork. It’s easy!
- Now cut the fond one bite at a time with your knife and eat it with your fork. Use your fork to dip each bite of the fond into the sauce.
- Because artichokes are partly finger food, it’s nice to serve warm, damp towels to guests afterwards so they can clean their fingers.
There you go! The hardest-to-eat food demystified and made easy! That’s my passion: making it easy for us to shine in every interaction!
There are lots of recipes online, so why not look one up and serve your family this fun food? It just might be a new favorite!
Think of me tonight at 6:30 PM. If all goes according to plan, my sweetie and I will be sharing one!
Have a blessed weekend!