On Menu Monday I Wonder How I Once Resolved to Eat More Carrots
Eat Local Carrots
No vegetable is more ubiquitous than the carrot, right? We whittle them down into stubbies and entice by calling them baby. We color up peas with little cubes of them. A French chef could not make do without her mirepoix, one-third being of carrot. Yet, for years, a devotee to local foods, to one confined to eating what came from around me, I found myself parsing out my carrot enjoyment. Carrots are a four season component to kid’s lunch bags, but in my CSAs and such for a long time, they came like twice a year. Really. It was like last week kohlrabi; this week carrots. The limited amount of carrots I accumulated needed to be stocked up and store away for when we did need to make soup. God forbid we enjoy a little glazed carrot or worse, drag them through some hummus. Carrots were a luxury for this Local Family.
One year, in the spirit of self-improvement and world harmony I made two resolutions: to get people to stop saying arugula and use the correct term, rocket and to eat more carrots. Of these, I did get around to a post on rocket but was never able to raise quite the uproar. The latter, though, the carrots, I made even less traction. All my best intentions to buy more carrots, put away carrots from the market, to not treat carrots as a rare delicacy faded as we kept up with stocks of spinach and the like but were still not supplied with many carrots. I’m telling you, for years, I could never get enough carrots to fulfil my desire to eat more carrots. Dreams of Moroccan style salads and enhanced vision remained just dreams.
Then Chris Covelli, the owner and savant behind Tomato Mountain Organic Farm had an epiphany. He could stoke his own dreams, a dream of providing a four-season CSA, by planting gobs of carrots. He knew, like I know, that certain foods, especially carrots, store for long periods (i.e., forever) if kept in good conditions. From one fall harvest, the stalwart of boxes to come could come. And yes, carrots would come in the fall and carrots would come in the Spring. Chris once wrote in his newsletter that he was subsisting on his, that is last fall’s carrots during a summer bike tour. I was a free man. I was getting my carrots.
Can you tell from that picture above how many carrots came in the CSA box last week. It was the first carrot bag of the season. The first of many, many carrot bags. I can now imitate Bugs Bunny. I can make boeuf aux carottes if my wife decided to eat beef again. I can put a little color on a fall side salad. I can do any damn thing I want because carrots are no longer a luxury for me.
Living as a Local Family causes you to make odd compromises, reveal in things you did not thing you would relish–mmmm sprouts! If your farmer only gives you a few carrots, they become as precious as caviar. If you get Chris’s CSA, they’re as common place as you’d expect.