I don’t remember the first time I ate an artichoke.  Like many foods, they just seem to have always been.

Artichokes grew just a few miles south of the ancestral home until they were plowed under for the Serramonte shopping center, 280 freeway, and houseshouseshouses. There’s a card room in San Bruno called Artichoke Joe’s that’s been around since 1916.  Artichokes have been around the area for a long time.  They were always on the table in season.  Mom used to put out mayonnaise for dipping, but I wasn’t a huge mayo fan in my youth and preferred them plain.  Still do, I think, although I certainly won’t turn down a good dipping sauce.

Which leads me to tonight’s dinner…

I’m now 3000 miles and too many years away from those artichokes of my youth, but one thing I don’t remember are artichokes the size of cabbages.  We’re talkin’ huge artichokes.  Really huge.

And sweet, and tender, and flavorful.

I loved every one of the million and a half petals that came off as I ate my way to the finish.

Two of them barely – and I do mean barely – fit into a 12 qt stock pot.

I added about 4″ of water to the pot and a splash of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt.  Then covered and cooked for about 40 minutes.

Dipping sauce tonight was mayonnaise with lemon juice and dill, salt & pepper.

And if you happen to find artichokes out there with a nice stalk or stem – cook it, don’t cut it all off!  The stem is just an extension of the heart.

It’s all good eatin’!