Tuesday, 11 November 2008


I have an addiction which is taking control of my life. Unlike most people I didn't start young, I actually managed to get through school and varsity without ever picking one up (this is no lie). My enslavement started when I met my husband. He was already a junkie when I met him.

Keith gave me my first taste, he gave me one after a date and then became my sole supplier, for a number of years! I started slowly, maybe one a month, but over the years things have escalated and one no longer lasts more than 3 or 4 days. I can't even sleep without it. I now source my own product, having cut Keith out as the middle man.

What is this addiction? Reading. It takes me to far away places and introduces me to friends in places I only dream about visiting.

I spent last weekend with Frances Mayes at her home in Tuscany where she taught me how to enjoy the early season artichokes, simply done with lemon and olive oil. I decided last night that I would celebrate the early summer we were having (before the cold and rain arrived this morning), by making pan roasted baby artichokes and mushrooms.

5 Baby Artichokes
1 Punnet Mushrooms
1 Garlic Clove minced
Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
Jenny Morris Lemon Pepper

Before you start to prepare the artichokes, have a bowl of lemon water ready for them, otherwise they turn black very quickly.
Proceed to cut off the hard outer leaves and the top 1.5cm.
Peel the stalk, to reveal the soft under flesh.
Cut in half and if there is any furry choke remove it, but this should not happen if they are young.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and toss in the artichokes, mushrooms and the garlic.
Gently fry until the artichokes are done, then squeeze in the lemon juice and seasoning.
Serve while hot.

Anyone who says they have only one life to live
must not know how to read a book.

~Author Unknown


Kit said...

I share your addiction, but it has been a lifelong habit with me! My husband takes a book wherever he goes, even when we went to the Comedy Club in London, just in case!

I like Frances Mayes too, and artichokes, but I only cooked one forthe first time last year when I was given some by a friend. I love the flavour - it takes me right back to Italy.

jacoba said...

I share your addiction, I'm afraid but it is a kind addiction and a good friend as long as you do come out from behind it on occasion.

A girl has to eat, you know ........

Anonymous said...

I love artichokes and mushrooms and would devour this dish :)

Rose&Thorn said...

Kit - I was a slow starter, but I am making up for it now. Frances really makes me want to pack up everything and move to Tuscany.

Jacoba - At least it won't kill me, like some other addictions!

Maryann - I definitely had the lion's share of this dish!

Nikki said...

I'm getting on a plane...right now... #1 because it's warm there. #2 because I want you to make this for me. I put a little star next to it so I can come back to it whenever I want!

The Woman said...

Oh yum!!

I always find it difficult to get hold of fresh artichokes though, where do you source yours?

Ps: i'm an avid reader myself!

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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