I have always loved food; it runs in the family. In that designation, I have always loved butter. I am not sure this is the type of thing one admits to people on a first meeting, or a first date, or, for that matter, over the internet; but its true. Having said this, and grown past the point where I could pretend that it was normal to eat butter like a lollypop, I have a love of all foods that can be considered conduits for butter: lobster and artichokes for example.
When I was very little, I learned about the joys of the artichoke and decided it was my favorite vegetable. I begged my parents to buy them more often. When my mom would say “What should be on the shopping list?,” I would reply “Donuts and artichokes”. Generally it didn’t work, sometimes it did. Artichokes were for special occasions, they were for when they were on sale. They were never often enough.
I was a dramatic child. This probably does not surprise many of my readers—the ones who knew me as a child, the ones who knew me only in later life, or the ones who know me through this blog. I used to tell my mother than she was denying me vegetables and the chance to grow up well-nourished when she refused to buy artichokes. I am pretty sure at some point or another I must have cried (to no avail) over the issue. Finally, having decided that my parents were horrible people for refusing to feed me artichokes everyday (for the record my parents are wonderful people and wonderful parents, but as I said, I was a dramatic child), I told them that when I grew up, I would eat an artichoke everyday.
In fact, I am sure I told them this on more than one occasion, because I remember their reply (which was always the same) from more than one occasion. They told me that I was more than welcome to eat an artichoke everyday once I was paying for said artichokes. Moreover, they gave me three options as to how to attain this goal. First, I could study agriculture, move to a farm, and grow, sell, and eat artichokes. I am not much of a farm girl and pushed this aside. Second, I could marry rich and have my partner buy me artichokes. I pushed this aside too. I would not depend on any man (or woman) to provide me with my artichoke fix! I had tried that with my folks and it failed as a scheme. Third, I could study something like nuclear medicine and earn oodles of money so that I could fulfill my fantasy. They would usually take this opportunity to remind me that I needed stellar grades to achieve such a proposition. Although I didn’t discard this option, I simply couldn’t see myself as a corporate lawyer or nuclear medicine turned brain surgeon. But, I figured, it could happen.
Keeping in mind that I still love butter and artichokes are the socially acceptable alternative to eating butter like a lollypop, I can safely say that this obsession continued. Luckily for me (as I am a social worker), I have come up with option 4: move to Chile. Artichokes here are plentiful, delicious and cheap. Just the other day my landlords were complaining that the artichoke was expensive this time of year, and I guess for Chile it is. Still, I am thrilled to buy my 5-8 artichokes a week for 2 USD. In the states, at best, that might get me two little runts of artichokes.