Tag Archives: carrots

International Carrot Day

Carrot Song

carrot foot

If you’re going to put your foot in your mouth…..

vangogh2carrots

Vincent Van Gogh

Now it just so happens that I like my carrots in sticks to pick up dip – or hummus if I want to appear virtuous or in soups or in cakes but almost never boiled and served as a side and never never frozen and unless maybe they’re for a cake….carrot cake with cream cheese frosting…mmmmm…..and there’s a carrot upside  down cake I’d like to try, perhaps in a savory version…..

And salads – I really like a carrot salad, because they can usually be made ahead and travel well and still taste good, if not better.

And because of my recent moves and the power of the  Internet it seems as if several of my go-to carrot salads of the past 20 years are more or less versions of the same carrot salad.

Which just proves that good is good.

It was a page from Vegetarian Times from February of 2004 that led me to the website that helped put 2 +2+ 2 more carrots altogether….

VegetarianTimesMagazineCover

This is NOT the correct cover for this story…but it is the official sample cover on the Wikipedia site

SOOO – Paula Wolfert in C0uscous and  Other Good Foods from Morocco (published back in 1973) had a several carrot salads : a spiced, a sweet and a grated.

PWcouscous and other good foods

out and about since 1973

and then the story in Vegetarian Times in 2004 in which  Crescent Dragonwagon mentions that the Moroccan Carrot Salad in The Passionate Vegetarian is a version from  the Paula Wolfert… and here I’ve been toggling between each of them, Lo these many years….here’s link to the CD (CD for Crescent Dragonwood) version of

Moroccan Carrot Salad  

CDPassionateVeg

I just LOVE this cover -click Deep Feast, to link with Crescent Dragonwagon’s website

And thus we celebrate yet another International Carrot Day…

carrotwinter1wolfaerts

This is Winter who should be gone by now….see you later Winter, much, MUCH later, bye-bye!

carrots, boy and girl

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Filed under Books, Recipe, Spring

10th day of Christmas

There’s a little flexibility, shall we say, on what the tenth day of Christmas is  all about.

There are10 red

pipers piping

or

lords a leaping

or

ships a sailing

MAYFLOWER-II_Photo-courtesy-Plimoth-Plantation1

Mayflower II.

or

 

drummers drumming

or

cocks a crowing

rooster crowing

But enough about the music…..time to review the FOOD.

New Year’s Day had a food change of plans….so I still haven’t made the Overnight Baked Crunchy French Toast, but since the ingredients are in my fridge, I’ll be making that tonight for tomorrow’s  breakfast. And lunches and suppers and Freezer Treasures.

Usually

I have oatmeal for breakfast, which I started doing a few years ago. One month of oatmeal for breakfast  – and I swear no other deliberate or conscious changes –  it really did lower my cholesterol, just like the ads said it would. Still working.

I put different things in it, but not on a day to day sort of change – I just don’t have enough brain before coffee to make those sorts of choices – but more of a week to week thing. The Gracious Pantry  had a whole run of oatmeal add-in suggestions that I still haven’t run through.

I don’t like mushy oatmeal and I’d rather have salt and pepper then sugar and cream. First, coffee, though. No oatmeal before coffee.

Darth Coffee Roz Cummins

Roz Cummins posted this picture today and asked if the coffee maker  looked like Darth Vader, to which I replied, “I like my coffee on the Dark Side..” Enough Star Wars.

Back to New Year’s Day.

Since there were more then enough leftovers from the New Year’s Eve Chinese Food Feast at the ancestral home, making MORE food was uncalled for.

Redundant.

Just plain silly.

Wasteful, even.

No need for French Toast or Waffles or any other food.

take out carton

Carton, carton, what’s in the carton? And there were the things already moved to Tupperware….

There were egg rolls

Eggroll

There were 2 left, so Mum and I each took one. One carton down and out.

Egg foo young (Chinese: 芙蓉蛋; Jyutping: fu4 jung4 daan6*2, also spelled egg fooyung, egg foo yong, or egg fu yung)  – thank you Wikipedia

Egg_foo_young

Again, just one, so we each took half. Another carton down.

Chinese_Chickenfingers

Chicken fingers and Shrimp fingers. We each took a shrimp – which were pretty dang NOT SMALL, downright JUMBO Shrimp shrimp -and then there were NONE.

I’m starting to get groggy…food coma by association …..there was more ….spare me, spare RIBS – boneless spareribs and VERY tasty.

Spare_ribs_with_Chinese_barbecue_sauce

Between the Jumbo Shrimp and Boneless Ribs, these seeming oxymora are beginning to sound  like the opening of a George Carlin routine…

george_carlin_0203

George Carlin 1937-2008

OF course, there were both fried rice AND noodles

Chinese_fried_rice_

Our version had considerably more soy sauce in it creation

 

Chinese noodles

These are more chop suey-ish then the noodles on the table…no flowers in our batch

Keep in mind, there are the leftovers.….

There was also some Beef Teriyaki, but that was put aside for my little brother to eat later, which he did.

Chicken Wings – Chinese Chicken Wings. We took one each.

And we heated the plates in the microwave and sat down and ate.

And ate.

and ATE.

We did not have seconds.

We did have some fruit later, and coffee and charmellas later then that.

While I was there and not stuffing my face, I packed up more of my things to take back to the shiny brand new  place. Which included various jars of beans as well as a jar of lentils that I was going to cook for supper.

mason jar storage

This looks like my cupboards. I have lived in houses with moths (do not store bird seed in the house, that’s why we have garages and steel cans, people!) and mice and I got tired of feeding both.

Perhaps, because of the Michael Pollan ‘In Defense of Food” that aired in December,

defense of food tv

it seems that the internet is full of New Year’s Resolutions

to cook.

At home.

As if you could go out and cook in other peoples house without their invitation or out on the street or ….where else would you be cooking? Because people who go out and cook in  kitchens other then their own do it to make a living, not their own meals. Life is not a cooking show.

And I do cook. At home. Sometimes at work, because that’s my job, too.  But even my recent spate of ‘not cooking’ still include coffee and oatmeal each morning; supper each night, although a few of them have been tea and toast.

(FLASHBACK: Ma and Pa Flynn used to have tea and toast each afternoon as they watched Merv. I’m becoming my great-grandparents. Without the Merv. )

mervgriffin

Merv Griffin . He sang, he danced, he played the piano, he  hosted, he created Jeopardy and he married Zsa-Zsa….

But not all of them.  I cooked down a 15 pound pumpkin and have had pumpkin and potato frittata as well as just plain pumpkin and potato ‘dish’; I made rice the other  night, but that dish also isn’t named, and it wasn’t a recipe per se.

Here’s the directions:

I open the fridge and said to myself,  “What’s a deep breath away from compost? What’s a day or two from talking back to me? What’s about to start walking around under it’s own power tonight?? What is that thing behind the egg nog?”

Then,  I  cooked the things that I had. I started with plain ole white rice cooked in the leftover carrot juice (if you cook carrots in carrot juice they are carroty X ∞ (that’s ‘carrot times infinity’), thank you Kevin from Solstice in Kingston. Cooking veg in veg broth or veg juice incredibly improves them!)

I also had some a deep breath away from perky pea-shoots that we great in salad earlier in the week, but were not quite up to salading again, so I added them in half way through. Topped the whole thing off with a little grated cheese. A lovely contrast of golden/orange  rice and greeny greens.If I had to name it, it would be:

Risi e Bisi : Variation for the Autumnal New England Kitchen.

That’s a name that could be twenty bucks a plate.

Or, as I called it : Supper. Actually, I called it, “hmm hm hmmm yum yummm yea” as part of a happy food hum. There was another veg and fruit and pear cider to drink. Hot chocolate with marshmallows later as both the coffee and dessert course.

Not the flashy production values of a new FoodNetwork Show, but pretty tasty and quick and note to myself to try veg juice with rice again.

I did not cook the lentils because….I ate enough food for 2 days. Seriously, I wasn’t very interested in breakfast the day after.

But I don’t have a dainty appetite, and I’ve since recovered.

Now, to make that Egg Nog French Toast…..

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Filed under Eating, Holiday

Carrot Tops

Carrot top was a phrase that confused me as a child. Why were redheads ‘carrot tops’ when it was pretty obvious that the tops of carrots were

GREEN

carrotAnd why doesn’t any one make a toy  top shaped like a carrot? They’re nearly ideal…..I did find carrot shaped furniture

Carrot Chest Punkin Patch Interiors

Carrot Chest Punkin Patch Interiors Is it just me or does this look like it could topple on these kids without warning?

Back to carrots.

So the carrots have been sitting in the fridge bin for about as long as they might and still be carrots and not compost.Time to make something.

I had a recipe note that I’ve been meaning to try. Recipe isn’t quite the right word.It cleans up to this:

Carrot and fresh Cranberry Slaw

Carrots – 4 cups

dried cranberries Fresh cranberries

Apple cider vinegar

oil

Fresh ginger

Shallot

Fennel – ¼ med bulb

I admit, even for me, this isn’t much to go on.I switched out fresh cranberries for the dried because  1) I like them better and 2)I also had some.

I was totally in love with the fresh ginger and the carrots together.

I had a shallot and this seemed like a good place to park it, ditto the dregs of a fennel bulb.

But it needed something more….

Trimmed and peeled the carrots and got out the handy dandy grater that I bought at Woolworth’s when I first moved out of the ancestral abode ever so many decades ago -sooo last century

The Woolworths is the little bity low down part towards the center

The Woolworths in Plymouth Center, several decades before I went shopping there.

cheese grater 4 sided

Grates more then cheese – stale bread for bread crumbs, carrots and cabbages for slaw, the occasional knuckle, ect.

Grate the carrot

Carrot, gratedAdd the cranberries….a couple of handfuls – I picked through them ( a good berry bounces) and rinsed and dried them first. Or used the dried cranberries.

Two or three handfuls should be enough

Two or three handfuls should be enough

Chop the shallot.

shallots are between onions and garlic in the taste spectrum. Substitute as you wish.

shallots are between onions and garlic in the taste spectrum. Substitute as you wish.

If you don’t have fennel you might use celery

This is also known as Florence Fennel - a little more anise then celery; good crunch, too.

This is also known as Florence Fennel – a little more anise then celery; good crunch, too.

Chop and add.Mix and mingle together Smelling good.

Cut and peel a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger. Avoiding cutting your thumb.Grate or chop finely and add.

This is more ginger then I used, but if you like things zingy

This is more ginger then I used, but if you like things zingy

Now for oil and vinegar…..apple cider vinegar is a good choice, and I had a bottle out.

apple cider vinegarAnd then I remembered….I had purchased flavored oil and vinegar from Omega Olive Oil at the Plymouth Farmers Market in the winter, but between the snow and the fire and the relocation I had forgotten….where are they now?

Blood Orange Oil and Ginger Balsamic Vinegar……now this bowl is singing good..

Sometimes it’s the little things that make something go from good to great.  These carrots were tops!

.

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Filed under Recipe, Summer

Misc.

“Inspiration does exist but it must find you working.”

—Pablo Picasso

Inspiration - Picasso

Thank you, Karen Resta for sharing

So, here I am working the blog thing and the rain is finally falling….and my umbrella is safely in car, not here with me in the coffee shop…..but after WEEKS of dry, a little rain isn’t a bother, not at all. It’s rather a relief. And I’m not made of sugar, so I won’t melt when I go out in it when I’m done here.

And it’s not that I’ve been uninspired as much as overwhelmed. And I’m no big fan of the whelmed feeling – that surge, that WAVE, that upside down feeling, both over turned and covered over.

Arcimbolo - The Cook - c. 1570

Arcimbolo – The Cook – c. 1570

The same painting, upside right. The bowl in whelmed.

The same painting, upside right. The bowl in whelmed.

And I’m trying to avoid whiny – both in others and in myself.

expectations

On the NOT whiny front:

In the Month of May assorted Pilgrim colleagues

recreated a painting:

The Cok - the sign

BTS - Molly  and Sally

BTS – Molly and Sally

 roasted ribs  on a spit

roasted butter on a spit (that’s right, BUTTER)

and assorted other feats of culinary awesomeness

Meanwhile on the home front…..

garrison

A reasonable facsimile of the ancestral abode….

Packing, sorting, soot removing……and missing my books. I grab at random tomes each time I go through the old address not currently fit for habitation.

One recent grab –

Marlena Speiler's From Pantry t Table  - helped me feed my boy and keep my sanity  back in the '90's...and now for those carrots I have to use soon....

Marlena Spieler’s From Pantry to Table – helped me feed my boy and keep my sanity back in the ’90’s…and now for those carrots I have to use soon….

 AND the Hokusai show is still at the MFA.

I haven’t missed it yet….now THERE’S a wave to be overwhelmed by….

800px-Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa2

The Great Wave off Kanagawa


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Filed under 1990's, Books

Salad Noodles

The salad days of summer continue……
Some people have signature dishes, something that they always bring, that they always serve.
I am not one of those people.
In part because, I have a very, very low threshold for boredom.
In part because there is very little I don’t truly believe that I could do better next time – and that means  little changes, and those little changes add up over time.
In part, because once I ‘file’ a recipe – out of sight, out of mind.
Going through my books and folders for this blog has been a real trip down memory lane.
In the ‘why did I stop making that’ category:

RAINBOW PEANUT NOODLES

It’s tasty, it’s easy, it travels well…..but once I put my copy of  the cookbook Asian Noodles  away…….when I picked it up, it fell open to the peanut dressing recipe.

Rainbow Peanut Noodles

 

Chinese Peanut Dressing

One 1/3 inch thick slice fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half

8 cloves garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon hot chile paste (or more…)

½ cup smooth peanut butter (or more…)

¼ cup soy sauce

3 ½ tablespoons sugar

3 1.2 tablespoons Chines black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons chicken broth or water (or more)

  1. In a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, finely chop the ginger and the garlic.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. The dressing should be the consistency of thick cream. If it’s too thick, add more liquid; if it’s too think add more peanut butter.
  3. Refrigerate in a cover container (this is a good time to use a Mason jar). The dressing will keep for 2 to 3 weeks, she says – mine has never lasted past the 10 day mark.

Page 122.

Rainbow Noodle Salad

1 # thin noodles, cooked until just tender, rinsed under cold water, drained and tossed with 2 teas toasted sesame oil

8-10 carrots (2#) peeled and grated

4 good sized cukes, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, shredded and squeezed dry

4 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained

2 ripe bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into thin strings (about 2 cups)

4 cups sliced cooked chicken, cut into thin strips (or the meat from a Friday night special supermarket  rotisserie chicken. Save the bones for broth)

2-3 tablespoons minced scallion greens (or garlic scapes)

  1. Arrange noodles in a large serving bowl or platter.
  2. Arrange vegetables in concentric circles over the noodles and pile the chicken in the center – or if there are vegetarians or food allergy issues, arrange the meat and veggies in smaller bowls/plates around the noodle bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the scallions or scapes all around on top.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled with the Chinese Peanut Sauce.

12 servings, depending on your crowd and what else is on the table.

Nina Simonds. Asian Noodles. Hearst Books. 1997. p.82.

Nina Simonds

Nina Simonds

Nina Simonds has a blog that has a tahini version of this sauce at ninasimonds.

Asian Noodles Nina SimmondsThe leftovers, should there be any, are great with eggs as a fritatta , just  leave off any cheese.

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Filed under Books, Recipe

Orange You Glad, Two

I should have begun with Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunrise

and Sunsets also often have orange.

Sunset

Sunset

A Tequila Sunrise also has an orange layer.

Tequilla Sunrise

Tequilla Sunrise

Tang

We begged begged for Tang when it first came out. Astronauts drank it! One taste - finishing of the jar was it's own form of punishment.

We begged begged for Tang when it first came out. Astronauts drank it! One taste – finishing off the jar was it’s own form of punishment.

Darling clementines  – these are my favorite fruit of winter. I save the peels in a jar in my  kitchen because I love the scent. My mother says that her mother used to keep orange peels on the back of the old black stove for the same reason. And I love the name. Well played clementine people, well played.

Darling Clementines

Darling Clementines. The box says to wash before use. I keep wondering what was lost in that translation . ‘Use’ means eating, right? That’s what I do with them!

Carrots – don’t come in just orange, and originally were violet or black, and yellow and red, as well as white. Violet and red carrots cross to make orange carrots, (it’s not a color wheel, it’s genetics) a hybrid in honor of the Prince of Orange, who was ruling the Netherlands in the 17th century. By the 18th century it was a common color for carrots throughout Europe.

Orange carrot - this is what happens in rocky ground - carrots like sandy soil

Orange carrot – this is what happens in rocky ground – carrots like sandy soil

Sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

Butternut squash

Butternut squash

Butternut squash

Golden Gravy from Valicenti Organics from Hollis NH(www.gimmiespaghetti.com)is made with butternut squash

Apricots,

Dried apricots

Dried apricots

which are pretty darn near close to perfect just the way they are (in dried form), and brought closer to heaven if they’re half dipped in dark chocolate (thank you Judith Campbell)

Mario Batalio’s crocsMario Batali clogs

Racheal Ray’s housewares line

Rachael Ray bread knife

Rachael Ray bread knife

Fiesta Ware

Fiesta Ware Tangerine Orange

Fiesta Ware Tangerine Orange

Red lentils…..which make incredibly great dal and are much more orange then red.

red, brown and green lentils

red, brown and green lentils

Turkey baster – my favorite turkey baster

My favorite turkey baster

My favorite turkey baster

 

Pay As You Throw bags for the town of Plymouth (at last we are getting town trash pick-up!My first day is Tuesday. Welcome to the 21st century, Plymouth)

Orange trash bags for Plymouth's pay As You Throw, which now has pick up!

Orange trash bags for Plymouth’s Pay As You Throw, which now has pick up!

Great Tupperware bowl.

This is  a huge bowl - I think the color is pumpkin...I've had it for so long, they have different names for everything now. Great for holding bread dough in the fridge.

This is a huge bowl – I think the color is pumpkin…I’ve had it for so long, they have different names for everything now. Great for holding bread dough in the fridge.

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Filed under Perception ways