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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Artichokes 

Celeste was a bottomless pit this afternoon and, after her bath, she extended her meal to fifteen courses* with yet another new food ... artichoke. She's getting older and we're getting a little more cavalier about waiting three days between new foods, especially when she's so gung ho to try new things.

She was wide awake after her bath, so Evelin and I had her sit down for dinner with us. She munched on a piece of whole-wheat rotini, but she watched us dipping the leaves into some lemon juice and melted butter and was pretty soon making grabs at the artichoke. I tried scraping some meat off the leaf for her, but she wasn't interested in that, so — watching her very closely — we gave her a leaf. She started chewing on the edible end (I'd snipped the thorns off, so there wasn't a chance she'd get poked) and pretty soon had stripped most of the meat off of it and was ready for another and then another.

I tried giving her a bite of the heart, but she wasn't interested. Maybe she gets that from me: When I was a kid, I used to eat down to the thin, prickly leaves and then want nothing to do with trying to get the choke out of the way. I don't remember my mother ever complaining that I didn't want to eat the heart ... more for her, I guess.

Just about every time I eat a whole artichoke, I go back to one memory: I was visiting J---, a friend who was studying in Sweden for a year (this was April 1994), and she took me to a gasque (formal dinner party) at Norrlands Nation. One of the early courses was an artichoke and J--- and I tried to discretely look around to see what the protocol in Sweden was for eating these things. (I'd earlier made a food faux pas by eating my potatoes without peeling them.) We quickly realized that pretty much everyone else was doing the same sort of looking around to see what others were doing, so prodding some Finnish friends of J---'s who were there with us, we all started diving in with our hands.

The other funny story from that trip was that the Swedish new wave/punk band KSMB — whose name is derived from Kurt-Sunes med Berits, and not the radio station in Lafayette, Louisiana that first came to mind when I saw their name — was on a reunion tour at the time, and they were playing an after-gasque party. I'd made the mistake of asking one of the people in J---'s dorm what Kay-Ess-Em-Bee sounded like, and he gave me the oddest look. It took a little while for us to figure out that I should have said Ko-Ess-Ehm-Bah. It seemed pretty funny at the time; also, the guy thought I was German for some reason ....

*It was about 4:30 p.m. when Celeste ate, and she hadn't had anything since about 12:00 p.m. When I got home, we played for a little while, and I saw some eye rubbing so, around 1:30 p.m., I tried getting her to go to bed, but she wanted to run a crib marathon instead, so around 2:00 p.m. I put her down next to me in the big bed and we both slept for about 90 minutes. After that, she played for a while, but started getting a bit fussy, so I signed EAT to her and she went bonkers.

Nearly an hour later, she was finishing up (and I'm not sure she was entirely sated). She ate: Cheerio's, some cheddar cheese, a tiny broccoli stalk/floweret, one cube of green beans mixed with ricotta, a few sweetpotato chunks, one cube of applesauce, three peach slices in her mesh feeder bag, two pieces of rotini, half of a little strawberry (it was tart), one cube of parsnip thinned with a little apple juice, and two-thirds of a Stage 2 jar of carrots thickened with some multigrain cereal, all washed down with some water.

After her bath, Celeste had some milk, stole some of Evelin's toast, ate three artichoke leaves, and capped it all off with a teething biscuit. Hopefully she's just storing up for a growth spurt, otherwise we are in serious trouble.

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