You have to kiss a few artichokes…

This year I embraced the artichoke. While attempting to master this spiny, unwelcoming creature, I pondered what courageous soul dove in for the first bite? Chokes arrive early in the season, about the time their alphabet friend the Asparagus is poking his head through the dirt. They demand prep work while cooking and eating, but upon surrendering to the complicated personality, a beautiful interactive meal emerges that leaves the consumer feeling spent and satisfied. The edible artichoke is the sizable bud of an even larger plant. And after my seasonal affair with the beautiful monster, I stumbled one afternoon upon an artichoke plant that had gone to flower in a Santa Monica community garden. The site stopped me in my tracks. Without telling a soul, Artichokes quietly bloom into show-stopping vibrant, neon purple flowers. Large, spiky petals. Are they petals? Prehistoric, with colors that typically require a snorkel to experience. My tumultuous love affair deepened, and I wanted to share the visual joy with you.

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