Anna Freud and Artichokes

A recent post called “Farewell Sigmund Freud (and hello roasted garlic chocolate truffles) attracted some attention so I’m back with another Freud-inspired post.

Today’s post honors the 1895 birth of Anna Freud (youngest daughter of Sigmund and founder of child psychoanalysis) and the release of the David Cronenberg film The Dangerous Method (which examines the relationship between Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Sabina Spielrein, the woman who drove them apart).

Freud’s favorite food was the artichoke (something he wrote about in the Botanical Monograph Dream included in The Interpretation of Dreams.) In 1923, just before he was told he had cancer, he took Anna to Rome on vacation and wrote to a friend, “I realize here for the first time what good company my little daughter is.” He was right. She grew up to be a brilliant analyst; a presence both formidable and self-effacing. And very funny.

Here she is in her own words on setting up a meeting with professors at Yale Law School where she lectured on children’s rights: “You will not be surprised on the other hand that at my age there are also some preconditions which will have to be fulfilled to make the plan feasible. I shall have to be alive in 1968, in good health and in possession of my faculties. The first two are always easier to ascertain than the third.” Fortunately, all conditions were met. Miss Freud lived another fourteen lucid and productive years.

An artichoke lover cannot go to Rome and not have Carciofi alla Romana (Roman-style artichokes braised in wine and olive oil). Buon appetito! Guten Appetit! The beautiful photograph was taken by Elizabeth Minchilli who lives in Rome.

Carciofi all Romana
8 artichokes
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. chopped fresh mint
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 c. boiling water
Salt to taste
1 T. plus 3/4 c. olive oil

Remove coarse outer leaves and choke from each artichoke. Please clean artichokes in a bowl of cold water with the juice of one lemon to prevent discoloration.

Combine parsley, mint, garlic, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. In the cavity of each artichoke from which the choke was removed, place spoonful of the herb mixture. Arrange all chokes, snuggly, in a deep pan that doesn’t give them room to fall over. Add the wine, boiling water, remaining oil and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Sigmund and Anna


3 responses to “Anna Freud and Artichokes

  1. MMMMMM. I love artichokes. Thanks! How does the mint work? I wouldn’t have thought of it.

  2. As a lover of artichokes and garlic I will definitely use this recipe. I hope I don’t develop a neurosis.

  3. I wouldn’t have thought of mint either but it adds a nice depth of flavor. And Carol, from one neurotic to another (no offense), it might be too late for both of us.

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