Now this is getting ridiculous . . .

I said I liked purple vegetables, but this is getting ridiculous.

Purple artichokes. Baby purple artichokes.

I can’t even find them listed in my gardening books. Nevertheless, there they were at Whole Foods. Artichokes no larger than a San Marino tomato, covered in deep purple-black leaves. Sitting in their bin staring at me, just daring me to buy them.

Waiting for me to chicken out.

You see, I can’t cook artichokes. I can cook just about anything else, but I fail at artichokes.

Your boat has just two burners in the galley? No problem, I can whip up a five-course meal. Forgot you were hosting a holiday party for 50 people? Don’t worry, I can create a buffet with at least a dozen different offerings. The holidays roll around, and I set up an assembly-line and solo-bake batches of ten different cookies in less than one day. I collect cookbooks and recipes, and when I get bored, I’ll pull them out and try something new. I have yet to meet a cuisine I didn’t like and couldn’t cook.

But I flunk Artichoke 101. I have literally stood in my little kitchen, watching a Youtube instructional video on how to cook artichokes, only to have them turn out either teeth-breaking hard or a spongy, soggy mess.

However, I am nothing if not persistent, and so I bought the baby purple artichokes. I clipped the leaves, simmered and steamed and — well, they weren’t a soggy mess, but they weren’t the most appetizing things I’ve ever eaten.

I take heart from the fact that at least this time, they were edible. I think I’m getting better at this artichoke-cooking thing. Or maybe it’s just that baby artichokes are a little easier to prepare. Either way, I plan on trying again, to see if maybe, with more intense practice, I’ll actually be able to cook tasty vegies instead of soggy mush.

Oh, and like just about every other purple vegetable — the baby purple artichokes turned green when cooked.


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