the first artichoke

Danny with artichoke

Soon after I met Danny, I learned his three favorite foods: avocados, crab, and artichokes. At the time, this was a sign to me. I like this guy.

Every year for his birthday in July, I find some way to combine avocados, crab, and artichokes into his birthday meal. We always eat well on that day.

A few years ago, Danny decided it was time for a new tattoo. He already had the word Imagine, a portrait of John Lennon, and a tangerine tree on one arm. (This was another sign to me. I really like this guy.) But after Lucy arrived in our lives, he wanted something to mark her aliveness. He had a young man on the island tattoo a picture of Lucy’s hands holding a fresh artichoke.

Last year, for Father’s Day, Lucy and I planted two tiny artichoke starts in our brand-new garden. They grew, the leaves longer and more silvery each week. But nothing else grew. Just leaves.

This year, the plants grew enormously tall. Strong stalks reached toward the sky. And when we returned home from Italy, we saw them. The first small artichokes.

Lucy will tell you, “I grew artichokes for my Dada, all by myself!”

Yesterday, we harvested the first of the artichokes. Danny boiled them in hot salty water, then made warm lemon butter for dipping. We dipped the thick leaves in the butter and dragged them over our teeth to reach the fleshy bites inside.

It’s amazing how life comes full circle. I can’t wait to see what comes next.