So... you may remember I turned in my Saab convertible. The lease was up. I had my fling.
Like all flings, it was bound to end badly. One of us had to go. Since he was young and hot, I figured there was a better chance of him getting picked up on the lot than me.
So goodbye Saab. It was real. It was fun. It was real fun.
On to car shopping.
After looking at 14 million cars at approximately 1,271 car dealers I was ready to make a decision. My decision? I decided I hated car shopping.
Really. Hate. It.
It took hours of my life that I will never get back.
Now, don't get me wrong. Every sales person in every dealership was friendly. Knowledgeable. Polite. Well trained. IT IS THE PROCESS THAT KILLS ME.
Car dealers in my area no longer put new cars on the lot. They park them inside or in back or behind or below the actual dealership. This forces the wanna be car buyer to go INSIDE the dealership to see an actual car.
Once inside you have to give your name, date of birth, official ID, marriage license, and any identifying marks such as tattoos or birth marks to the receptionist. This is so the car dealership owners can track you down if you don't buy a car that day.
Then you wait for an associate, or selling specialist, or salesperson (to the uninitiated).
If you are deemed sane and somewhat harmless (it helps if you have buckets of cash with you).. you are then allowed into the inner sanctum to look at an actual automobile.
I've learned my lesson with cars. You may love them, you may hate them - but never, never get rid of the one you have... you'll end up having to go car shopping.
Parmesan Crusted Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Aioli Dipping Sauce: (makes about 1 1/2 dozen)
1 can artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry and cut in half
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 egg, beaten
oil for frying
Mix the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and parsley together in a shallow pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Dredge artichoke halves in beaten egg, then coat with bread crumb / cheese mixture. Place on a rack and allow to "dry" for about 30 minutes or refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan. When very hot, add artichoke hearts and fry for about 2 minutes. Turn and fry other side. Drain on paper towels.
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
Whisk together lemon zest, juice, mayonnaise and garlic and refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve artichoke hearts warm with aioli on the side for dipping.