The Artichoke Bonus, Part One

But Wait, There’s More!
Artichokes are a favorite in my family. Lore has it that when my sister and I were small girls, my mother prepared a whole one for each of us, rather than giving us each a half.  She knew we would be full before getting close to the meaty heart, the prize of the fresh artichoke.

Apparently it was a sad day at the Seiler family table when we grew big enough to eat the whole artichoke. Until that time, Mom and Dad had “finished ours for us,” enjoying an extra artichoke heart apiece.

As my palate matured, I learned to enjoy marinated hearts in salads, on pizza, or in dip. Deep-fried artichoke hearts are a tasty indulgence.

Artichokes are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. On their own, they’re fat-free (although I prefer mine with mayonnaise, which is not fat-free). They would be a magnificent example of God’s creation and provision for us if the artichoke story stopped right here.

But it doesn’t.

Left on the plant, artichokes bloom into extravagant purple flowers. At this point they’re no longer edible, but they are a feast for the senses, each choke sporting a purple pom-pom, held aloft by architectural, gray-green foliage.

This time of year, the wild artichokes are blooming. Each time I see them, I remember how His blessings on us are greater than we can imagine.

11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)