Vegetables As Art: Part 1


 As you may have guessed I'm a
 "little bit of a crazy" 
when it comes to flowers...
I love all varieties, shapes and sizes

I'm not picky 
and I'll try just about anything in
 an arrangement at least once

well, maybe not poison ivy!

 This year in the vegetable garden I planted leeks...
I wanted leeks to eat and sauté 
but I was secretly hoping they would blossom
 and they did!
 These are little globes of 
oniony smelling 
leek flowers
 The flowers are pretty large actually...around 3 to 4 inches across
 tinged with a bit of purple and lime green
 I picked these just before I harvested the leeks and they have already lasted about a week 
in this arrangement of old milk bottles

The flowers that had not opened when I cut these,  
are now fully in bloom... 
which was another surprise
 I have planted Allium bulbs in the past, in my perennial beds, which are ornamental and not edible,
 but honestly, these are just as pretty 
and you get the benefit of the edible leeks as well

Two for the price of one!!!

  now onto the  
"vegetables as art"
 part of this story
 About 10 years ago I purchased this cookbook (originally publish in 1996) 
and it changed the way I look at the beauty of vegetables

I am a HUGE fan of Alice Waters 
and her cooking style

Alice and her staff have been the innovative force behind the 
"farm to table" philosophy and style of cooking 
in her landmark Berkeley California restaurant 
Chez Panisse
since 1971 

Anyone who is interested in cooking, organic farming and home gardening 
has heard of Alice Waters

She embraces the art of French cooking and was a friend and peer 
of the legendary Julia Child

She has supported her local community of farmers and growers 
from San Diego to the Oregon Border and beyond in search of 
of interesting and beautiful fresh produce, 
poultry, fish and charcuterie  

"Alice Waters and her suppliers share the belief 
that optimal flavor and environmental harmony go hand in hand"

 When I purchased this book, primarily for the recipes, it was actually the art work
that left me so in love with this cookbook 

all of the art included in this book is the work of Patricia Curtan, print maker,
 designer and long time collaborator at Chez Panisse

Patricia works with linoleum blocks or Linotype on a very old printing press.  She studied the art of printmaking and letter press early on in her collaboration with Alice 
which resulted in a collection of amazing menus 

these are just some of the beautiful interpretations of garden vegetables
 throughout this wonderful book

she manages to take the humble butternut squash 
and make it a package of gold 

and here are the simple and beautiful leek blossoms that have found their way
 into my love of
 honest and simple flower arrangements
much more to come...vegetables are beautiful !
yes indeed

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  1. I adore lino-cuts. It's one of my favorite projects to do with my students. They don't like it so much, though...they always cut their fingers b/c they don't listen to me about finger placement and hand positioning while cutting. Love your drink carrier, too!

    1. Andrea, you are always such a great advocate of the small things that matter. Lino cut is so very simple but I agree about kids with little knives. I want to explore this medium again!

      xx and hope you are having a fun summer Andrea!


  2. Your leek flowers are very interesting. I love leeks, but never would have thought. Love it.

  3. I love oddball flowers- the more quirky looking the better! A rose is rose is a rose- but a leek flower- now that is interesting!

    Mimi@A House Romance

  4. Yayy for the love of flowers, gardening, cooking and art-making. I love Patricia's work, and I marvel at the simplicity and balance in her beautiful designs and her amazing mix of just the right color/inks. If you haven't already seen it, she gives a marvelous 45 minute presentation on her book and the early days at CP that will leave you appreciating her work even more. Is here:


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