Carrots: Beyond The Relish Tray
My first distinct memory of eating carrots is from when I was about 7. Mom and Dad had gone out for the evening, leaving me and my sister in the care of our older brother, whose duty it was to serve us the dinner Mom had prepared. Dinner included her usual chopped salad with shredded lettuce and diced carrots, tomatoes, onions and celery. When serving the salad, my sly brother asked me if I liked carrots. I said yes, and in typical big-brother fashion, he proceeded to pick out every single tiny orange cube and add it to my plate.
Otherwise, I don’t remember carrots from my childhood. I’m sure my mother cooked them — added them to pot roast and soup, probably steamed them with a little butter. I know we had them raw for “relish trays” on special occasions, but mostly they faded into the background.
So I never thought much about cooking carrots for myself once I moved out on my own. I didn’t dislike them, but they were easy to ignore. I ate them when dining at friends’ homes, on the ubiquitous crudite platter or in the dreaded carrot-raisin slaw (dreaded for me because I loathe raisins), but they seldom found their way into my own kitchen. It didn’t help that, at the markets where I shopped, carrots came in 1-pound bags. I might have been willing to buy an occasional carrot or two, but I wasn’t willing to commit myself to a whole pound. -Janet A. Zimmerman (Photo credit: Dave Scantland for NPR)