whole artichoke with vinaigrette heart

so i’m currently reading this book… it’s not a title you could boast about, really. chicklit, sound familiar? what? a girl sometimes needs a little down-time… let’s just say it’s a fun and fairly simple summer read, quite enjoyable*/**. the story is about a girl who splits up with her boyfriend that she really loves, because he doesn’t want to get married. then she meets her teenage love again and they rekindle and decide to get married in a whim. the future bride’s sister, who just went through a mean divorce, is alarmed and wants to protect her little sister from this – as she calls it – ‘unfortunate choice’ that, in her eyes, is clearly related to actually being heartbroken and devastated. of course, the newly married girl ends up divorced again, and in the arms of her real love. bladibla, happiness!
what i actually wanted to say is: it made me think what my unfortunate choices in life actually were? i don’t really regret a lot in my life, and i never really, majorly, fucked up (at least, i live with the quite healthy conscience that i haven’t, which, i’m aware, might be subjective… as in: there might be people who object. and who cares?). okay, so. i did think about getting a tattoo, but i couldn’t make up my mind about what to get: a skull on my knee? a swallow on my arm? a peace sign on my wrist? due to lack of decision making skills, i ended up without one. phew! tattoos are fine, but had i actually ended up with that skull on my knee (!) i don’t know i ever went out of the house again by now… besides, i think it’s safe to say that my taste in men wasn’t always spotless. so, there were a few, tiny, unfortunate choices for sure. like dating the wrong guy, to begin with. oh, and once i almost started a yoga teacher training – for 500 hours and everything. totally already envisioned myself in organic cotton jodpur pants, drinking heavily spiced teas and burning incense after incense, all year long. again, not entirely unhappy it didn’t come thus far. i guess i prefer manicures to yoga mats, all the same, when it comes down to it. me, a professional yogi? go figure. yeahyeah, i saw you smirking right there!
what i’m trying to explain is: i might have made a couple of unfortunate choices in the past – but their impact on my life is rather limited. when it comes down to it, they can be limited to picking the wrong dish in a restaurant, deciding on an unsuitable outfit (given the weather), or dying my hair (orange. once. don’t ask). and for fate that’s been nice on me, i’m entirely grateful. maybe i’m boring. but i like my life as it is, no major hiccups, no major fuckups, no major dramas. never been to jail (it was hard, that. laugh). not exactly living on the edge, not exactly burning bridges or fighting with crocodiles. but it’s a good life, all choices included.
did you make any unfortunate choices? how have they influenced your life? what would you change about your past, if you were given the chance?
* will i share the title of that trashy, trashy but so delicious (…) book with you – or am i too embarrassed? duh, if you know me at all, you must know that, all embarrassing revelations and image aspects aside, i would always would never try to hide any secrets – especially if they’re so indulgent – from you… even if the book in question is not really, properly approved (by whomever, the “intellectual and damn fucking serious book readers police”, maybe?). or maybe especially so. because let’s face it: (a girl’s) life is for trashy pleasures, sometimes. not all the time. but sometimes, isn’t it just what we need? a hinge of a modern fairy-tale, the expected happy ending, some snogging for good measure, some superfluous, shallow fun, laughing till your belly hurts, some sweet tears on the way to ‘happily ever after’ with the prince, accompanied by lots of kinky ans skimpy skirts…? you know you’ll definitely won’t build your brain with this one book here, but here goes nothing: the book is called ‘wedding night’ and it’s by the brilliant sophie kinsella (you do remember the ‘shopaholic’ series, clearly?) that i simply adore. okay, it’s out! so now be reminded that my iq is still the same (probably) and i’m still pretty cool (definitely). if you don’t judge me by my cover, that is (haha, i love this). if at all, i’m refined, and come with a slightly too distinct taste for trashy exquisite literature (it’s always been like this). so, blame me. lovers gonna love, haters gonna hate. what side will you take?
** also, of course i read ‘real’ books****, too, and totally love it. i’m a bookworm (as we say in german)! i consume everything from serious shit revelations about the world economy*** (granted, it only happened once… and it totally wasn’t for a course at uni) to mangas (this whole backwards reading in itself is fun). and all the way from austen to blyton to kinsella (obviously) to vogue (gotcha!) – and i love it. oh, and blogs, of course. i love thee, blogs, most of all.
*** is ‘world economy’ and actual term…? i can’t be sure. but you get the picture. ahem.
**** cookbooks, cookbooks, cookbooks. what, they don’t count? let’s make them count. which reminds me: a cookbook review is looong overdue! hurry up, scarlett, people get impatient.
whole artichoke with vinaigrette heart
4 large artichokes
2 lemons, juice
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch chives
1 white onion
1 garlic clove
1 tomato
1 cup olive oil
1 drop harissa
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. fleur de sel
heat a large saucepan with water (no salt), add the lemon juice and place the lemons in it, too. as always with artichokes, wear disposable gloves if you can to prevent your skin from turning brown. wash and clean the artichokes. chop off the bottom of the artichokes, remove the outer, sturdy leaves. chop off 1/3 from the top of the leaves in a straight line, with a very sharp knife. remove the centermost, finest leaves of the artichokes by pulling at them from the top / centre. pull them out. now, below the finest leaves in the middle, remove the ‘hay’ with a spoon. clean under the running water to remove all the parts you don’t want on your artichoke. place in the boiling lemon water. proceed, one by one. cook the artichokes for 40-45 minutes, or until desired doneness. artichoke is done when you can remove a leaf, easily, without having to pull too hard. in the meantime, make the vinaigrette. 
chop up the parsley and chives, very finely. finely chop the onion too, and mince the garlic. skin the tomato (by putting it in the hot water for 30 seconds, then peeling it off with your hands), deseed it and finely chop it. put everything in a bowl. add the olive oil, harissa and honey, and season with fleur de sel. stir to combine and let sit at room temperature until you use it. remove the artichokes from the water, drain well (the water hides inside the leaves). put on a plate, then fill the center with the vinaigrette.
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