“Pleasure is the carrot dangled to lead the ass to market; or the precipice.” – Robinson Jeffers
It has been cold and damp here in central New York for the last few days. The common lament is “I refuse to turn on my furnace this early”, instead we resort to lighting a fire if we are lucky enough to have a stove or fireplace, using space heaters or baking something to add heat to the house. It has been cold enough to turn it on, and a couple times I have been tempted but not so much. My daughter said today that is very autumnal and she is right. The driveway is covered with leaves, the mist is rising off the hills as the warm soil and cold air collide, the air smells of leaves and wet. There is this bush in my backyard that has white berries on it. I have such a difficult time with my Peterson’s Guide to Trees and Shrubs I have said it a thousand times before, mainly because it is too scientific, leaves alternating obloid blah blah. I just want, white berries, green flowers, smells so good the bees cluster in its branches. I guess not. I prefer my artist’s mind, it works best for me. But alas I do not know what this bush is. But in the wet grey morning the red stems and white berries and dark green deeply veined leaves struck my artist eye.
Lately I have been thinking alot about food specifically the baby carrot. It is a rather hideous thing to eat, I suppose one could say it has enjoyed favor among school children and people who enjoy dips and entertaining. But have you actually ever eaten one? They are awful. It is like chewing a stick of wood, sometimes dry, some times slimy but always utterly devoid of flavor. If you are like me and do not like ranch dressing (which I call “ass sauce”) and cannot eat blue cheese or parmesean peppercorn you would realize how unpalatable the horrid little orange chunks of gnashing crumbling cough cough, are. Also baby carrots are basically like rocks that you find all smooth and worn down on the beach, they are tumbled in water until they are now baby carrots. (Did you think they were actually tender tiny carrots?) No they are regular size carrots that have been worn down into little chunks of orange beach glass (and just as tasty).
Now give me the organic farmer’s market carrot any day of the week. I know I know you have to peel them and cut them so much work for a vegetable. Its so time consuming it actually takes about two whole minutes to prepare one, that is if you have to eat them as sticks. I am rather fond of the washed but not peeled or scrubbed whole carrot. The delicious the flavor of the soil adds an earthiness to the sweetness that is like eating some favorite childhood candy, ripe with memory. And this carrot, if you wash it requires a minimum amount of water to its process. And you really don’t even have to dip it in ass sauce. But best of all, most important of all, it has flavor and the texture is carrot like (not wood chip like). I wonder if all that flavor is also the flavor of rich nutrients because after I made carrot ginger soup with it, I wanted nothing with vitamin A in it for days after. Only now a week later am I thinking about carrots again, and how yummy one would taste in my lunch tomorrow. Yes, washed, not scrubbed, and I may break it in half so it fits into my Tupperware but unpeeled and yummy sweet goodness. I recommend that you try the old fashioned carrot again, and leave the baby carrots for those who don’t really care what their food tastes like.