First things first, let's all spend a minute admiring BA#33: Poached Salmon with Artichoke Confit. I'm going to, and I've already seen it.

Just take that right in.

Now let's discuss how this particular recipe teamed up with a really, really Augusty sort of day and two cranky children to drive me to the fists-raised, eyes-to-the-heavens, why-are-you-doing-this-to-me-Bon-Appetit near-breakdown that was set into motion the moment I resubscribed to this stupid magazine WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME AND WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE FALL.

Ahem. First of all, there are no delicate pea tendrils at HEB. There are no fava beans, fresh or frozen, at HEB. On the very special Monday in question, there was no flat-leaf parsley with which to replace the missing delicate pea tendrils at HEB even though flat-leaf parsley is an extremely basic grocery item that one would expect to find within any building claiming to house groceries. From what I recall, the only thing to be found at HEB yesterday was a giant 800-degree parking lot perfectly calibrated to provoke temper tantrums in two- and five- and thirty-four-year-olds.

Second, when I glanced through the recipe in order to make my shopping list, my eye skipped right past olive oil, as it always does with pantry staples, because of course I have olive oil, it's a staple, in my pantry, except whoops I don't have olive oil anymore since this recipe sucked up 3 1/2 CUPS OF IT.

Third, artichokes. Artichokes are the most confounding vegetation I've ever encountered including Romanesco cauliflower and the BA instructions did not help me very much. Now, is it my own fault and not Bon Appetit's that I've gotten this far in life without ever tackling a relatively common vegetable? Yep, and it's also my fault that I didn't carefully read the part about there being five gallons of olive oil in it before heading off to the worthless, empty grocery store but I still complained about that! Yes I did. Right there in the paragraph above this one, ICYMI. But it is Bon Appetit's fault that they have a feature in the back of the magazine called "Prep School" which I foolishly flipped to in search of the step-by-step guide to breaking down this armadillo of a plant only to find nothing about artichokes, because clearly they are super easy and obvious and everyone understands how to deal with them. But hey, there is a really nice feature explaining the complicated process of punching holes in a pie crust. So. That. Is. Helpful.

I had no idea, for example, which element was the "choke" that I was supposed to be scooping out with a spoon, so I just guessed what part seemed most like a choking hazard. Fortunately, five years of parenting have served to sensitize my choking-hazard radar and I was correct and none of us died but it was NO THANKS to the recipe itself.

Anyway, it tasted good. Like olive oil. No deaths. B+

We were also gifted a tiny, not-for-eating fish yesterday. It came with the name Flame, but Anna claims that he told her to call him Little Swim, so I guess that's his tribal name. Apparently Anna is pretty desperate to nurture something, so she tried to show Little Swim a good time by including him in the most fun activities she could think of, reading about the rainforest and playing Toca Boca.