I bought the artichokes with anticipation, but a week and a half later they were dry and shriveled in the fridge. It was always the idea of artichokes that I loved (I didn’t try one until well into adulthood); sometime in my early teens, I had watched someone on television prepare them, peel them apart, dip each piece in butter, pull it through their teeth.
And when I first ate an artichoke like that on my birthday of last year, I loved them for what they were, too. Adam cooked them for me, then, and I had only made them once since. Not for lack of love, but because a giant thistle can be intimidating.
Tonight I didn’t expect much. I took the artichokes from the back of the fridge and snipped away the most shriveled bits. I quartered them with a serrated knife and spooned out the choke with a spoon while the kids chased each other and pretended to be superheroes. Oil and leftover wine. A big pot. Shieldman hit Elsa/Ironman with one of his shields.
The kids and I ate together, the pot of chokes in the center of the table. Peeling apart. Pulling petals through our teeth. And they tasted good. Reed, who only had artichokes once before, already had established his favorite parts, his own techniques. And I realized that my kids will remember that time we lived in California and ate quartered artichokes from the big yellow pot all spring.