I was in Market Basket the other day, perusing the marked down vegetables, my favorite rack, because I know that the stuff is perfectly good, much cheaper and is going to end up in the dumpster if nobody wants it. Tomatoes with a weird bit on them, slightly rusty beans, a bag of basil with a wilted leaf or 2 and an abundance of artichokes that I know I can trim back severely and enjoy, in fact, when they are far enough gone to make it to the reduced section, they have a sweeter taste, and not just because I saved money, they really are sweeter. [shhhhh!]
The next step is to sit here with the cold cooked artichokes and leaf by leaf, scrape the meat off onto a dish for tapenade. It is tedious and I think, as I scrape off 1/8 teaspoon of edible bit, how much an artichoke goes through to get to me. In Castro California, a field of these marvelous edible thistles are tended and harvested and sent 3,000 miles to a store near me, and they are only $2.00 each, or, depending, they cost $2.00 each? Really?!
I am not a gardener, but if I were, that is what I would build a greenhouse for [and melons].
Peel, scrape, peel, scrape, after a few minutes the hairy bit and the heart, difficult not to just put it in my mouth after all that, but the heart is where the best is, and it is rude not to share.
There is almost a point to this story, I was thinking how like the journey and artichoke is. A little bit of something, a little bit of work to prepare,and one leaf at a time, stripping away obstacles to the center, some pleasure along the way, the occasional bitter surprise, or disappointed inhabitant, but pure joy at the heart