I love color – well, some colors. And I am very color-sensitive – no, I don’t want that violetty-purple, I want a more blue purple. It matters.
Colors signal emotion, colors express personality.
And there is a group, every year, who decides what THIS YEAR’s colors will be, did you know that? The color choices are documented by Pantone, a company who created a color card flip system so that colors, shades, tints, etc. could be standardized and reliably reproduced by those who need them to be accurately rendered, which is just about everybody in advertising, fashion, photography, etc.
But this is where it gets really cool. If you want to know what color everyone will be wearing this coming fall, or even next spring or summer, you can find it at fashion trendsetter.com. They have the fashion color forecasts from at least ten different sources, with names like apple cinnamon, bijou blue, vetiver and pale khaki coming up for fall 2007-8. You can see the full selection by clicking on fashion trendsetter and the assorted collections there.
“Where did you find ARTICHOKES?” I asked the man, and I could see him wondering if he needed to back away from this wild-eyed woman who was staring at the big bag in his basket.
Well, they weren’t really very nice artichokes, kind of scrawny, kind of past-the-sell-date look to them, but . . . artichokes. I adore artichokes.
When my husband was invited to the family house for the first time, to have dinner, my mother served artichokes. My husband, to this day, thinks it was a test to see if he knew how to eat them. I just laugh . . . I don’t THINK it was a test. We ate artichokes all the time.
Here is how you fix artichokes:
With a sharp knife you cut off about an inch of the top, which will include a lot of leaves, and the long stem at the bottom. With kitchen scissors, you cut off the sharp points on the remaining leaves.
You fill a pot with water, put the artichokes in, bottom down, and pour a little bit of olive oil right into the center of all their leaves. Add a little salt to the water, bring it to a full boil and then turn down the heat and let them simmer for 45 – 60 minutes. The artichoke is done when you can reach in and pull a leaf off fairly easily.
(Some people say to cook them less, but I hate a tough artichoke).
You can serve the artichoke either as an hors d’oeuvre, where everyone grabs a leaf and dips into something (be sure to provide a bowl for the leaves) or as a first course, where everyone has his/her own artichoke. You can put a variety of dips in the center of the table (melted butter is classic, oil and vinegar dressing is great, and mayonnaise is also classic.)
Eating the artichoke:
You pluck a leaf off the artichoke, holding the tip of the leaf in your hand, and dip it into something delicious, then scrape the “meat” off the base of the artichoke leaf with your teeth.
When the leaves start getting thin and insubstantial, you get a sharp little knife, take all the remaining leaves off, and LIGHTLY scrape off the “choke” at the center of the leaf. I emphasize LIGHTLY because the great bonus of the artichoke is the heart, which is underneath those chokes. Once the chokes and tiny leaves are gone, you can cut the heart into small pieces and dip each one . . . sheer bliss.
For me, an artichoke is an excuse to make up a batch of aioli. Start to finish, last night with the blender it took me ten minutes – and that was spending two or three minutes gathering the ingredients. Here you can find the instructions for making Mayonnaise, Aioli and Rouille using the best olive oil and knowing exactly what healthy ingredients are in it, no preservatives, and it keeps in the refrigerator. It also makes great gifts.
So yummy, so healthy and SO so easy!