Artichoke fail (and consolation prizes)

May 24, 2010

I am not going to show you a picture of the disaster that was me trying to steam artichokes last night. Perhaps the artichokes I purchased were inferior specimens (they were a dollar each at Trader Joe’s, and I should know better than to trust their produce, but sometimes I am weak). Perhaps it is not actually possible to steam fancy vegetables in a small metal colander balanced over a pot of boiling water — I did have a lid over them, but it wasn’t a great seal, so maybe there wasn’t enough pressure to cook them properly. Perhaps I lack patience. In any case, they came out tough, brown, and pretty much inedible, though believe me, I tried.

Perhaps this was the universe’s way of answering the following question: why are whole, untampered-with artichokes so much more expensive than canned or frozen artichoke hearts? The only answer I could come up with was that it’s easier to transport cans than large edible thistles. Now I know it’s so I can go back to eating artichokes-for-dummies, whether or not the prickly things are in season, and feel justified in having made the financially responsible choice.

Dinner was not completely ruined. I got Jacob to scramble some eggs, since his always come out better than mine. I think that’s because he uses an unholy quantity of butter, but as long as I don’t watch him, it doesn’t count, right? And thanks to my shiny new skillet (and the person who gave me the gift card with which I acquired it), we enjoyed the most photogenic home fries I’ve ever made, though probably only the second tastiest; I think I prefer Yukon Golds to the russets I used.

In other news, my friends Meghan and Tim are moving to the Netherlands this summer, and today I stopped by their house to adopt some things they can’t take along — a snazzy red lamp, a box fan, and a whole slew of spices and flours and vinegars. Highlights include a nearly-new quart jug of Vermont maple syrup and a Ziploc of Penzeys chiles de arbol.

Most of the cooking stuff is familiar, things I’d just run out of and wanted more of (cornmeal, molasses) or will need more of soon (oregano) or have never used but am excited to try (sherry vinegar, dried chickpeas). But because Meghan is an adventurous cook, not one to be dissuaded by unusual ingredients, the stash also includes barley flour, orange blossom water, and pomegranate molasses. I haven’t got a clue what to do with pomegranate molasses, except for walking around saying it aloud at every possible opportunity. Which I am doing already, thank you.




  1. I think (thank you epicurious search-by-ingredient) I made this with it: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pomegranate-Marinated-Lamb-with-Spices-and-Couscous-350408

    But if I had it to do over again, I would try this: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cranberry-Sauce-with-Red-Wine-Pomegranate-Molasses-and-Mediterranean-Herbs-355781

  2. Ooh, thank you! Those sound like good ideas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: