The Artichoke.


A photographic blog celebrating mouth-watering concoctions, health inspired whimsies and storytelling rampages

 Today, let us talk about the artichoke and its complete and utter magnificence.

In October, artichoke thoughts were incessant. Thoughts of their beauty, the culinary process in order to dissect them, and the plethora of metaphors attributed to the thistle had me on a rampage. I then set out to find them. Typically, the the peak of artichoke season is in between March to May and then again in October. Prior to arriving at the Durango Farmer’s Market, I called out to friends that frequent the place, begging them to be on the look out for me.  And so it was. Little baby artichokes were nestled in to a carefully weaved basket, grown by Rohwer’s Farm It was only moments later that I ran into the phenomenally talented stylist, Celeste Greene.  We decided then and there to join forces and create a beautiful artichoke scene in her valley studio. There, we would sip on fresh pomegranate cocktails, cook, style, photograph and let the ideas come about.

Table scenes worth swooning over…

Celeste, working her magic.

Artichokes, Cyanara Scolymus, are native to the Mediterranean region. The eating of this thistle requires attention; step by step action, focus and at the same time, abandonment. To this day, my mother tells me that I have terrible table manners because of my lack luster to pick up a fork and knife. Yes, the artichoke does require a sharp knife to slice off the tips of thorns and the weighted stem. But, it also requires the simplicity of your fingers touch, gently or ravenously pulling away petals. There are so many ways to prepare an artichoke from boiling, roasting, frying, stuffing.. We chose something like this to prepare them Roasted Baby Artichokes- The Food Network.  After choosing your preferred method of preparation, you can explore the infinite World of dips and sauces ranging from creamy hollandaise, to lemon thyme butter etcetera.. After pulling away the baby petals, slicing off the thorn covered tips and base, there laid the perfect scene. Isn’t it a beautiful metaphor? Nothing comes for free. Artichokes make us work for it. We continue to peel away what does not serve us.  All those layers, those petals laid out, begging for reflection. There is no cutting corners here. There is nothing to do but move through it, never around it when it comes to these thistles. That is where the true beauty lies.

In the next step, we grated rock salt on top of the artichoke hearts, tossed them in olive oil, lemon juice and pepper.

Ever since this day, my appreciation for artichokes grew. These thistles are incredibly healthy for the human body, containing antioxidants, B vitamins, Vitamin C, folic acid and beyond. They have been a beautiful reminder to do my work. Artichokes eventually bloom into the most magnificent flower, but if the human chooses to harvest them before that moment, when they are still tightly enclosed, hibernating, ready to prepare, then they can be a beacon of reminders. Reminders to peel away the layers, get through the tough parts, use limbs, use sharp utensils, be creative, use your imagination, and get to the real HEART of the matter.

HEARTS, laid out.

The end & the beginning.

Special thanks to Rohwer’s Farm & Stylist, Celeste Greene: Stylist & Event Planner

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