Sunday, December 13, 2009

Artichoke (how to cook and how to eat) , Sajama (a cultural experience), Christmas Concert!

Last night Jeffrey decided we should go see his friend Pedro's band. Pedro is from Chili and Jeffrey met him a few years ago when they worked together at a film equipment rental warehouse. I was expecting us to be in a different environment, but this was hilarious. It was held in a Chilean restaurant and everyone was speaking Spanish, I kept thinking "This is defiantly a new experience for me". The music was awesome "from the Andes" instrumental music that was led by a wooden pipe/flute like instrument. Sometimes someone would sing to their music and people would get up and dance. We were the only white people there, but we were having so much fun!! I really need to remember my camera when we go out, pictures would have been good to have! This picture came from the email flyer.

Tonight we went to see a Christmas concert at the First Baptist Church of Pasadena (the church where I attend BSF). Two church choirs came together to sing Christmas songs. One of the choirs was from an African American church and the music was AMAZING!! Jeffrey and I had the best time, we were wishing some of our family could have been here to experience it with us! I didn't get a picture of the choir, but when we were leaving there were some Carolers outside of the church that were so cute I had to take a picture. The concert started at 6 so I made dinner before so that we wouldn't be hungry and could keep our attention on worshiping the Lord. Every since I made my goat cheese pasta last week I have been wanting more, so I made it again but this time with an artichoke and some shrimp for Protein boy!

Most people are intimated by Artichokes. Sometimes at the grocery store the checkers will not know what it is and then they poke their fingers because they are unaware of the poky leaves (for some wicked reason I always find this humorous). Really all you need to do is boil it for about 45 minutes and make a really good sauce! You may need 1 for each person depending on the size. This was an extra big one and I knew we were having enough food to only make one.

Cooking the Artichoke
Cut the Artichoke top off with a sharp knife.

Cut off the stem leaving about 1/2 inch.

Now take your handy kitchen scissors and cut off the tops of the pointy leaves that you missed.

Put water in your pot and you can use a steamer if you want to (I have never seen a difference in using it or putting the artichoke straight in the water)

Boil it for about 45 min. It is done when a leaf can be pulled out easily with a pair of tongs.
Drain artichoke, Cut off the stem completely and reserve it for eating. Set the artichoke up on a plate.

Lemon Sauce
I used to make this sauce with butter but it makes my tummy hurt. I started making it will oil and it tastes great with less tummy ache. This sauce also tastes great over broccoli
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 Lemons (1/4 cup lemon juice)
Parmesan (in the green can)
Parmesano Reggiano (optional, you know I love this stuff!)

Put the oil and lemon juice in a bowl.

I don't measure the salt just start puring some in the sauce and the stir and taste until you feel like there is enough (it will no longer be bitter).

Put about 1/2 cup of Parmesan in the sauce, you may need more. Stir. When you raise your fork and some of the sauce is left on the fork you have enough Parmesan.

Then I add about 2 Tb of Parmesano Reggiano.

Stir and taste to see if you have enough of the ingredients.

How to eat an Artichoke: eating artichokes cause more stress for people than cooking one, so I am going to try to show you how to do it.
Pull off a leaf. The leaves around the outside have less meat than the ones inside.

Dip leaf into sauce.

Holding onto to the leaf by the tip of the leaf, bite down and pull out of your mouth scraping the meat off with your top teeth.

Put the leaf on a "trash" plate.

When all the leaves are eaten you are left with the poky middle which can "choke" you (get it...arti'choke').
Take a spoon and scrape the pokes off the top of the heart.

You are left with the base of the artichoke or the "heart" which can also be eaten.


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