Today is that most allegedly famous of holidays, National Artichoke Heart Day. Even if all of our smart phones were somehow simultaneously infected by a team of hardened gremlin soldiers who caused every device to fail to issue their reminder about today’s holiday, who could possibly forget such a thing?
Ok, National Artichoke Heart Day. Let’s just get this out there, I love the artichoke! I love everything about it. The sixteen year old grocery store cashier usually asks something like, “What is this?” when I try to buy one, but I just love this weird little evil cousin of cabbage. I love it’s weird and perverse shape, it’s scary pointy leaves, and I love its funky little flavor. I love steaming them, boiling them, and yes I even love sprinkling several of their sweet little blessed hearts across the top of my salad.
So, why would someone peel, cut and throw away 80% of the vegetable just to get what lies at its base? I remember this wonderful bit that Alfalfa performed on “The Little Rascals” in which he sat down at a diner counter and was served an artichoke. Not knowing what to do with the item, he peeled down the first layer of leaves. Noticing a complete lack of result, he made one of his trademark double takes at his opponent, and escalated his frantic search for the food that surely was harbored deep inside. After a complete frenzy, and finding nothing of substance inside the fancy green packaging, he finally collapses in defeat over the decimated artichoke. Whenever I recall this portrayal of an artichoke’s ultimate waste it makes me laugh.
Purchasing a package of artichokes today, I had every intention of extracting and cooking up their hearts. As I proceeds to cut away all those delicious meat based leaves, my goal being to get to that tender heart about which poor little Alfalfa was too ill-informed to know, it all began to cause me to feel a pain in my own heart.
Why am I wasting all these joyous meaty little leaves? I should be dipping them in ranch dressing! Was this how I would feel if I were to kill an elephant just to lob off its tusks?
Still, much like I have an antique piano with ivory keys, and several little Japanese ivory Netsuke figurines, it just doesn’t seem so horrible if someone else does it. So, I bought a can of artichoke hearts.
The only problem remaining was that tonight was scheduled as hard and fast “Taco Night.” This is something I will not cancel. I proposed to my wife that it was because we already promised our daughter a taco night, and it would be lying otherwise, but I know the truth. I simply won’t reschedule taco night.
This past Monday, Taco Bell highly promoted the premier of its Dorito Taco in Florida. I’ve had one.It’s alright, not much more to it than a regular Taco Supreme, but it’s good. But “locos” taco? I don’t think so. Locos is Spanish for crazy. I’m sorry Bell, but if you think your taco is locos because you crusted cheese on the shell, then just check this bad boy out!
In yo’ face, National Artichoke Heart Day!
See you Sunday for Lacy Oatmeal Cookie day.