I don’t like carrots. I don’t, really, at all.
First, carrots are the betrayer vegetable. When I was little, I was told that if I managed to choke down my carrots, they would make my eyes strong. And yet, I wound up legally blind by about age 8. Betrayer. Vegetable.
Then there’s the fact that they can’t seem to make up their minds about what they want to be.
Why, in faith, methinks she’s too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise and too little for a great praise: only this commendation I can afford her, that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.
They are too sweet for a vegetable, not sweet enough for a fruit, and have the unpleasant texture of a water chestnut. About their only redeeming quality is that they aren’t celery.
Over the last 40 years, I have probably choked down a couple dozen carrots a year, all with an equal amount–by weight–of ranch dressing.
So, you might imagine my shock today when I found myself not only eating carrots, but liking carrots. Loving carrots. Wanting to eat carrots to the exclusion of everything else on my plate. Saving my carrots for last, so that I could properly savor them.
Mother, if you want a DNA test, or a psych evaluation, I’m happy to comply.
I’m a notorious dilettante. My dear, darling, sweet husband calls me “flavor of the month girl”. This month, it’s salads in a jar.
Go ahead. Google it. Aren’t they pretty?
Being me, I bought copious quantities of mason jars, and vegetables, and dressings. Common wisdom is that the salad will stay fresh all day in the mason jars without going the extra step of vacuum sealing the jars. But if you vacuum seal them, there are promises of salads that stay fresh for a week, 10 days…TWO WEEKS. It’s nutty.
Of course, I bought a jar sealer, and a handheld foodsaver, and commenced to vacuum sealing my salads. Today was the first day of the vacuum-sealed SIAJ lunch, and it was life altering.
I’ve known for years that vacuum sealing a piece of meat in a marinade allows you to marinate faster and more efficiently. Something about the vacuum opening up the cellular structure of the meat. I never thought about it with vegetables, but I’m here to tell you, friends, that it works with vegetables, too.
So, I have my mason jar. And I put some balsamic vinaigrette in the bottom, and load in the carrots, followed by the rest of my salad. And I vacuum seal it, and the cellular structure of those carrots opens up, and they become the vegetable version of a ShamWOW, just sucking all that tasty vinaigrette into their very cells.
And after 12 hours of this, they taste nothing like carrots. They taste like little disks of balsamic heaven. Crunchy balsamic heaven.
No ranch dressing required.