The above box of artichokes is waiting to be dealt with. If you have ever dealt with artichokes, you will know that it's not a quick task.
When I worked at Yetman's Restaurant, Ali, Shirley and I would great the arrival of Desmond's artichokes with both glee and glum knowledge that the succulent little globes would take a while to blitz through. We would call it the 'artichoke fest'. If we were lucky and the weather was being kind, we would sit on the grass in Ali's beautiful cottage garden surrounded by beagles, bowls of water, rubber gloves, endless lemons, very sharp knives, vegetable peelers and chopping boards.
As I remember, we would often have a conveyor belt system going on, one person peeling, two people trimming. I tried to entice Stu into helping me deal with the first batch I did last week, I failed and did it alone...
The artichoke's I have are from Wiveton Hall, a blissfully idyllic farm on the North Norfolk coast between Cley and Blakeney. These artichoke's, like last weeks, will be preserved in herb infused olive oil and should keep indefinitely ready for eating with salads, stuffed with lemon and pancetta or heaped on top of toasted ciabatta and goats cheese. The recipe I used to preserve them can be found here.