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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Artichokes; Preparing them and Using them for Decoration

 Our raised vegetable garden is right behind the white rose bush just outside the dining room window. One day while admiring my roses, something caught my eye. I was shocked and amazed. After a year and half  of waiting, little teeny tiny artichokes were starring back at me.


 until I saw them there that summer morning, I had forgotten all about them.

 Here the artichokes are resting in a well suited vintage soup tureen. My display is simple. You can, however, create a mixed bouquet with other flowers and foliage. Artichokes aren't just delicious, they are beautiful as well. As the Vegetable....


 Or, as the flower. If you allow the artichoke to keep growing it will produce a beautiful purple thistle. Durable and sturdy, yet soft and delicate.


 These forgotten plants have brought much joy to me this summer.

The flowers I placed in a simple white pitcher from Crate and Barrel. The purple linen napkins, that are embroidered and read, "Bon Appetit," were a gift from my mother-in-law. The pretty shabby ironstone pitcher was my paternal grandmother's.

How to prepare artichokes:

Have you ever made artichokes? They are a family favorite here. If, you have never made them it might seem intimidating. It's Not!  Just warn your children to only eat tip of the inside leaf. I say this from experience. Lucas popped the whole leaf in his mouth his first time. My children have been in love with artichokes since they were 3 or 4.

When I make them for my family, I simply boil them whole, in a stockpot. About 30-40 minutes or until the leaves peel off easily. You can add a tablespoon of oil and salt to the water. Once cooked they are tender and easy to slice down the center of the stem. We eat them leaf by leaf. Then remove the thistle flower with a spoon.

When you make them for company you can snip the ends of each leaf.


Source

Then, slice them down the center, coat with lemon so they stay bright green. With a sharp knife remove the thistle in the center. Leaving as much of the heart as possible. Cutting them in half and removing the thistle cuts down on the cooking time mess at the table.

Serve warm with melted butter, mayonnaise, or a mixture of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard.

If have never grown artichokes or eaten them...I say....give it a try!

Bisous!

Karen I am joining these parties:

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Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

41 comments:

  1. Wow the flower looks really pretty. We don't grow them but I think I wouldn't mind having a go at them this spring. Even if it's just for the flower.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mel! They are very easy to grow. It was in the raised bed for almost a year. I would clean up the leaves every once and a while. We have a drip system so it was watered automatically when dry here. Next year, I'll be better prepared and try some fun bouquets!
      Karen

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  2. I don't think they grow in my zone but I sure would love to have them! They look so pretty in the ironstone jug and I do love the taste.

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  3. This is such a fabulous idea! I have never seen this done before so thank you for sharing with us :) Have a beautiful week!

    Hugs to you!

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  4. I haven't fixed artichoke in the longest time. I love to strip the "meat" from the leaves with me teeth after it has been dipped in butter. Yum! xo Diana

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  5. I NEVER knew artichokes flowered ( I must be living under a rock I guess lol ) how gorgeous - wonder if my florists sells them :)
    They look beautiful as flowers!
    XOXO

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  6. I am a new follower....and thought you might like to peek at my artichoke post, because great minds think alike. I have never had an artichoke in my garden, so I am jealous!!!

    http://sweetwaterstyle.blogspot.com/2012/07/one-way-to-love-thistles.html

    Thanks for the great post!

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  7. Your centerpiece is gorgeous and I have never been an artichoke fan but if I had known they were wonderful flowers I would have them in my garden...they are unbelievable and oh so pretty!

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  8. What a great surprise!! I have never tried to grow artichokes - they seem like they may be hard, but maybe we will try next summer! I don't think there is any room left in the garden for anything else this summer! Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

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  9. How pretty! I have some faux artichokes, but of course they don't flower. lol

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  10. What a delightful post!I really love artichokes and they can be an excellent decorative item, you are so right!
    Greetings!!!

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  11. I love artichokes! Did you know that you can make rennet from the thistle flower of an artichoke? You use the rennet to make goat or sheeps milk cheeses! This is a great alternative to the baby cow's stomach rennet - especially for vegetarians. You can see the instructions on my blog, if you are at all interested! Vickie @ Making Our Sustainable Life

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  12. Those are beautiful, and I know how tasty they can be! I had a similar situation a couple of years ago at our previous home. I was designing a large outdoor pot, looking at the nursery for various heights, textures & color. I found the perfect little plant with no name tag, but I loved it and planted it in my pot. It grew quite large and then one day I discovered what it was -- there were several artichokes on the plant. They were so pretty I couldn't bring myself to cut them off and cook them. They started to bloom in the Fall, so I cut them and used them in my Fall decor -- looked perfect along with pumpkins, leaves, & all things Fall. I really should plant some here!

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  13. We love artichokes Karen! I would love to grow them in my garden sometime. Yours are just lovely :-)

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  14. First, I had no idea that artichokes could (would) eventually bloom a flower nor one as beautiful as you have shown. Interesting. Second, I am completely intimidated to prepare artichokes but I love them. You made it sound so easy. I might give it a try!

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  15. I never knew that artichokes grew such beautiful flowers. And of course your gorgeous display makes them pop!! Would love to grow them here but living in zone 3 would probably be out of the question. Definitely pinning this post cuz I would love to try your recipe. Cheers and thank you!!

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  16. Artichokes are beautiful alone or mixed in arrangements. I never knew they grew those pretty purple thistles and they taste wonderful too. Thanks for the great recipe.

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  17. Karen,
    I LOVE the purple thistle!!
    Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving such sweet comments!! Especially on my weight loss!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

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  18. I have never seen them in full bloom, they are gorgeous!!! Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  19. Tres jolie !! j`adore

    Bonne semaine!!

    xxx Maria xxx

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  20. I've never thought to use artichokes for decorations! What a fabulous idea! :-)

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  21. LOVE it!! So pretty in your white pitcher. I'm addicted to white pitchers.
    Always fun stopping by, Karen.
    xoxo

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  22. This is a great post! Thanks for sharing these ideas.
    Hope you are having a great summer. I miss your posts. Will you be back posting soon?
    ~ Sarah

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sarah. I had amazing intentions of blogging like crazy this summer....and it just didn't happen. I realized as I cleaned and organized that my blogging was really motivating me to buy things for posts, hoard and was taking up a lot of time. So, instead I got rid of several pieces of furniture and bags and bags of things for donations. It felt good. Lucie and Stan leave tomorrow for France. She doesn't really remember her grandma because it has been so long, so this trip is good. Stan's mother is fair. Yesterday they saw something on her back (probably spine) and are going to run more scans. Not sure if I will continuing posting. It's tough with small kids and a full time job. Miss you!

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  23. Just catching up on my blog reading, after a hectic summer; and saw this post. I have never cooked artichokes; but, I love to use them for decorating. I have never seen the thistle on them before. How pretty!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by Shenita. I had such amazing intentions for my blog this summer and life just got in the way! Would you believe that these flowers are is in great shape? Dried wonderfully. :)

      Miss you guys!

      Delete
  24. Hi Karen, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello Karen,

    It's been a while since I've stopped by! Hope you are doing well. I never knew that artichokes could be so pretty. My goodness! I remember my Mom making these when I was a kid and I loved them. I've never made them myself but should give it a try. I bet my little guy would like them dipped in some mayo spread.

    xoxo,
    Heidi

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