Carmel-By-The-Sea and big artichokes

March 16, 2011

One of the nicest things about having more leisure time is when you wake up you can say something like, "Let's have lunch in Carmel today!" I love saying that.

After puttering the morning away, we leave at five minutes to noon and are parking the car at 1:10. An hour and fifteen minutes to drive to Carmel!!! It's true that the little red Corvette was zipping along maybe a little too zippy for it's own safety, but the co-pilot was knitting and chatting and not really paying too much attention to the safety detail.

To get to Carmel from our home we drive through a mountain pass, then head south on the Pacific Coast Highway. Once you enter Monterey County you enter artichoke country. On the right of the highway is the beautiful pacific and to the left are fields of the crazy looking artichoke plant.

Carmel was beautiful and after dutifully reporting in at the candy store,

we have lunch,
peek into some shops,
explore tiny pathways,
admire flowers,

walk to the beach,
and finally we gush over adorable cottages before we head on home.
But not until we stop at the artichoke stand.
I grew up eating artichokes for lunch. I remember walking home from school to watch my favorite soap opera and eating an artichoke served up on a TV tray. (Thanks mom for that nice memory!) No butter, no lemon, no salt, just a boiled artichoke, such is the palate of a 10 year old.
But now I'll stuff them with any manner of things. Usually I just make a stuffing mixture of what I have on hand, always bread crumbs and cheese, sometimes chopped olives and red peppers, whatever is on hand. This is what happened last night!

Prepare 3 large globe artichokes by cutting off bottom stem and 1/2" of the top. Snip the pointy tops off leaves and rub lemon half over all cut surfaces. Remove the inner purple leaves and dig out the fuzzy choke below them. The heart lies just below that. Douse with lemon juice.

In 2 Tbls. olive oil crumble and brown 8 oz. very lean sausage
1 lg. celery rib
, chopped fine
1/2 small onion, chopped fine

1 C. bread crumbs
1 C. shaved Parmesan cheese

1 chopped tomato
1/2 C. chopped Italian parsley
2 Tbls. olive oil

Mix it all together and stuff center cavity and each leaf. Put in a heavy pot on a vegetable steamer and 1 inch water. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until done, heart will be soft when pierced with a sharp knife. I finish it at the end with a quick run under the broiler for a bit of toasty color.

These were sooooo good!
On the knitting side of life, lots of things are happening. Yesterday I finished Tiny Tea Leaves for Easter for my 10 year old granddaughter and also a sweet little baby cardigan and cap. Pictures soon. Last night I started my new project, a test knit for the talented BabyCocktails. It's a summer sweater with boat neck and 3/4 sleeves that I will knit with the fabulous Rowan All Season's Cotton. I'm also about half through Emilien for my son.

Thank you for visiting me today and taking a little break from the tragic world events. My heart is breaking for Japan.

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  1. Here I am so happy in our 66 degrees today with a hint of what's to come with your pictures of those pretty geraniums - they won't make a show in my window boxes for at least another 2 1/2 months. I love the start of the seasons and spring buds will be here soon in SD! Thanks for sharing your happy day - and those artichokes :) I've never seen such a dish! Prayers for the Japanese precious people here too.

  2. Artichokes are my favourite veg. I was practically weened on them! My parents were from Calif. so we naturally had them.
    Your recipe looks devine!!

  3. Those poor Japaneses people what they are going through does break the heart. A tragedy that might just have as easily struck here in California.

    Thanks for sharing your trip to Carmel ~ I haven't been in many many years but truly one of the jewels of this State.

    I love your artichoke recipe ~ it looks incredible. I've made then braised with seasonings and like them that way very much too.

  4. Thanks for taking us on your road trip! I get so wistful looking at your images of Carmel--I used to go quite often when I lived in the Bay area, and I've stood by that tree on the beach. Sigh--it's lovely, isn't it. I don't think there's a yarn shop in Carmel, is there? They really need one!

  5. I was just there last week! I bought a lovely skein of cashmere blend yarn, Anzula "Squishy," at the yarn store, Knitting By the Sea. We were there from the east coast, on a "mini" vacation.

  6. Those Carmel cottages *are* very adorable!

    I love artichokes but always avoided making them myself because I thought they were complicated to prepare -- but you make it sound so doable, so I'm going to have to try!

    (Which soap opera did you rush home to see? My favorite was always Guiding Light)


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