Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Confronting Carrots

Carrots.....sometimes they trouble me.....deep sigh.....I guess you could say I have a bit of a history with carrots. 

Quite a long while ago when my health completely crashed and I had to leave my life behind, my doctor at the time (one of the very few who were actually willing to work with patients with problems like mine) suggested a health cure that involved living in a bubble environment and going on a four day rotation diet.  Yeah, I did it and I don't like to talk about this a whole lot because it was an awful, awful time so I'd rather not recall really--although the doctor was right and he helped me a lot.

Because my food allergies were such a problem, the rotation diet was supposed to help me to essentially re-set my response to food.  There were a very great number of foods I was sensitive to:  wheat, rice, milk, tomatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, tea, coffee, anything with yeast or fermentation--and there were so many other items that I can't even remember them all.  I used to say that if you wanted to kill me, all you had to do was serve me a pizza.  

The foods that I could have were extremely limited:  potatoes, carrots, parsnips, winter squash, summer squash, oatmeal, oranges.....and that was just about it.  I had to rotate what I ate on a four day basis:  day one was potatoes, day two was carrots and parsnips, and so on.

So every fourth day for two years I ate nothing but carrots and parsnips.  Since parsnips are not-so-very-easy to find here in Mississippi, I mostly ate carrots.  Imagine a whole day with nothing but  plain carrots for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  Imagine doing that again and again and again every fourth day for two long's little wonder that I came to dislike carrots. 

I've mostly gotten over that distaste, and I like to have carrots in soup, carrots in salads, carrots made into carrot hot dogs (my recipe is in this post), even carrots with just butter and salt.  I can live with them now.  It wasn't the carrots' fault after all.  (And, just so you know, for ten [not two, ten] years I went without bread, cheese, or tea--some the things I love most.  It was very, very difficult to do and deeply disheartening--I've worked hard to get to the place where I am now, and I try never to take it for granted.) 

Now, as I've mentioned before, kind people bring me things they have extra--things they don't know what to do with, things I can use or sell.  I appreciate that incredibly.  It helps keep me going and it helps put the carrots on my table, so to speak.  So I was grateful and happy the other day when someone unexpectedly brought me a large box full of seed packets.  Wonderful!  She said that they were for planting.  It was so kind of her to think of me and to share.  I appreciate that deeply.

Then I spent a couple of happy hours at my dining table sorting packets.  Oh, there were wonderful things to be found--like Jacob's Cattle beans.  I love Jacob's Cattle!  You can only buy those very, very expensive beans from Maine.  There were seeds for real old-fashioned English peas from England--peas are one of my favorites to grow and I have success even though anyone will tell you that you that it is not possible to grow green peas in Mississippi.  (Peas never make it out of my garden though; I eat them raw and warm from the sun right out of the pod.)  There were seeds for things that I would like to try growing like arnica and louffa.  There were even sprouter seeds for mung and clover.  There were heirloom varieties of tomatoes and squash and peppers.....even ghost peppers which I've always thought a little scary.  Who is crazy enough to eat a pepper that is so hot that it can kill you?! 

There were so many seeds!  I sorted them into three shoe boxes and a basket.  I was both inspired and a little overwhelmed.

If I had many, many acres under the plow, maybe I could get all those seeds planted but, really, there's just no way I can use them all in my little container garden. 

I'm not even sure whether I can sell the seeds because the dates on the packets have passed by.  I tried calling eBay to ask questions about seed sales but the out-sourced operators didn't understand what I was talking about and after 45 minutes I gave up.  Maybe I'll try to sell some anyway.  Surely someone would want to risk buying old seeds for an odd-looking squash called Red Warty Thing.  That name definitely made me laugh.  But I can always give things away so I've already shared a few seed packets and I'll share more where I can. 

But.....the real problem, the Great Big Orange Elephant in the Room, is that there were no less than 102 packets of carrot seeds.  The stuff of nightmares.  Carrots!  A Carrot Conundrum.  102 packets, each with 1500 seeds.  This is gonna be interesting.

Life is good.
So are carrots.....oh my.

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