Monday, August 9, 2010

Market Madness: carrots.

When I was a kid, our California back yard boasted a lot of neat stuff. There was the "playhouse", a hut that our mom wove out of sticks. It had a door, a window, and a loft area for storing toys. The thing was so well made, it took an axe to finally tear it down.

We had a chicken yard, too. A neighbor gave my sister and I two roosters, so we sectioned off a third of the yard for a chicken coop and scratching ground. We gradually amassed a whole flock of castoff hens with distinct personalities and some of the best eggs in Orange County.

Another well-remembered feature was the garden. Spinach, asparagus, sunflowers; there was a little bit of everything. I liked the green onions, but the carrots were my favorite. I probably killed quite a few in my impatience to "see if they were ready yet". Dig 'em up, sigh, put 'em back. As I got older, I learned to count off the days on the calendar before expecting a harvest.

I'm still impatient, but I keep more carrots alive.

Carrots are great. They come in cool colors, from white to orangey red to purple. They're loaded with nutrients, like the ever-popular Vitamin A. They're also a grat snack choice, and not just because of the flavor. Anybody can inhale a box of cookies with mindless ease. Chomping on a carrot takes work. When you eat a carrot, you know you've had a serious snack.

The only thing I've never really gotten into is cooked carrots. They strike me as mushy and bland. I'm told that cutting a carrot crossways slices through the cells of the carrot structure, allowing the "good stuff" to leak out into the cooking water. Maybe if I bake them whole or something...

How do you like your carrots? Have you ever grown them? What's your favorite kind?


  1. Sorry, not a fan of cooked carrots. I like them shredded in salads or plain dipped in salt.

  2. I tried growing carrots once- they were about as long as a finger, and we didn't have the heart to eat them.

  3. Carrots are best eaten raw. They're great in a soup or a pot roast or stew. But other than that, forget about the fancy schmancy. Just eat them raw.

    Stephen Tremp

  4. Ooooooo! Roast carrots! Food o' the gods! You take some carrots, right, and clean them and boil them whole for about 15 minutes. Then you toss them with good-quality olive oil and season salt or herbs, and you roast them at 350F for about 45 minutes. Oh, the FLAVOR--THE FLAVOR!!

    Ahem. I mean, carrots prepared in this way are rather enjoyable.

    Marian Allen


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