I have never been a fan of cooked carrots: they’re mushy, tasteless, innocuous, congealing and unappealing.
That being said, today’s recipe for cooked carrots — Sweet Italian CARROTS! — is worth writing in all capital letters and tacking an exclamation point on at the end, because these carrots are tasty, firm yet soft, intriguing, and pleasing to the palate. They’re also colorful — orange flecked with green — and when you live with a Norwegian Artist, color is an important part of your life.
There are few ingredients in this dish, which brings to mind one of the general rules of cooking:
The fewer the ingredients, the better each one of those ingredients should be. I used fresh herbs, which are still surviving — albeit shivering — outside below the porches; organic carrots grown in our garden; organic butter; organic free trade sugar.
You’ll notice the word “organic” a lot, and while yes, organic food tends to cost more than agri-business-produced, pesticide laden, potentially genetically modified fare, it’s worth trying to incorporate it when you can, because it does taste better.
Consider growing a garden next year and providing something, anything, for your table that you have literally nurtured with your hands. You don’t have to provide all your food, yourself — that’s such an overwhelming thought that you’re discouraged from starting in the first place — but even an apartment grower can baby along a basil plant.
Do not underestimate the sense of pride, self-worth, and independence you develop from growing a food that you prepare and then present at your table. It’s worth as much, or more, than the actual cost of the food you produced.
That being said — use what you have — the carrots that are quietly drying up in the vegetable crisper, the dried herbs in the cupboard, the sugar in your bin. If all you’ve got is margarine, that will have to do, but give butter a try — organic is guaranteed (for now) to mean that no growth hormones, like rBST or rBGH have been used, but some inorganic brands as well are free of these. As a consumer, you just have to look out for yourself and out for your family, because that’s one of the general rules of life:
NO ONE cares about you and your family the way you do. Take care of yourselves.
Now, onto the carrots. They won’t take long, which is why I took more time to chat beforehand.
Recipe: CARROTS! Serves 4-6 as a side dish
2 Tablespoons butter
2-4 heads garlic, minced
2-3 carrots, cut into 2-inch long match stick shapes — 2 cups worth
1/2 cup chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon organic Chicken Broth base)
1/3 cup fresh herbs (I used rosemary, oregano, and sage; the basil died with the first frost), chopped fine, or 1 Tablespoon dried herbs
2 Tablespoons sugar
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a frying or saute pan and add the garlic. Stir about for three minutes to release the aromatic aroma and flavor of the garlic.
Add the carrots and stir to coat with the butter; pour over the chicken broth; cover and let cook 5-10 minutes, until the carrots are done to the point that you like (I like mine soft but still firm — not mushy). Sprinkle over the sugar and the herbs, stir for one minute until heated through.
Join me Tuesdays for Recipes that are generally quick, easy, inexpensive, and always, I hope, delicious.
Check out the Norwegian Artist at Steve Henderson Fine Art. He sells original paintings for reasonable prices and licensed prints — because he believes that art should be a part of all people’s lives, not just that of billionaire collectors.
If you’d like to learn to paint yourself, Step by Step Watercolor Success is available at Steve’s website and at Amazon.com.
Look at my book, Live Happily on Less if you want ideas on how to change your lifestyle so that you’re more independent and better able to use the resources you have been given.
Read Grammar Despair if you don’t know when to use “Him and Me” versus “He and I” (many, many people are flummoxed by this).
Watch Steve’s YouTube videos of his Santa paintings, brought to life step by step, or his Painting Women of Beauty and Grace.
Find me on Commonsense Christianity at BeliefNet.