artichokepic.jpg (10548 bytes) Artichoke

Cynara scolymus

September 28, 2004. During late Spring the family indulged in steamed artichokes a few times. There were five of us, so we accumulated quite a few leaves from the blossoms.  Granted, this is not a weed and wouldn't, in fact, even grow here; but I had to give this plant a whirl.  

I stored the leaves in the crisper until I had enough to make a modest amount of processed fiber. The leaves are tough, so I figured they would take some washing soda. I placed them in a pot and, since it has been so long since I did this, I can't recall for how long I cooked it before it finally passed the finger test where I grip each end of a piece of the plant with my index finger and thumb and pull gently, but firmly across the grain to see if it breaks. I do remember the inner leaves turned a rich royal purple for a few minutes. I don't recall what color the tea was or if it yielded any particularly interesting dye. The resulting fiber was stringy and interesting and looks like it will make a pretty paper.

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Last revised: November 14 2008