Okay, I know they are carrots. Only carrots. And they are covered in soil. But they are MY carrots, grown organically and pest and disease free and what is more, the first carrots I have grown in at least 20 years, so they are special carrots. If you garden, I’m sure you understand.
They are a variety called Maestro, that promised “real carrot fly resistance”and there hasn’t been a sign of those beasties, so I guess they live up to their labelling.
I made this sowing at the beginning of April and a later one at the beginning of May and today I am going to make another one, buoyed up by the success. But these objects of great beauty are of course only worth the growing if they pass muster in the kitchen. Last night I consulted my favourite cookery book , a 1970s tome entitled “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Simone Beck,Louisette Bertholle and Julia Child. It’s the one cookery book I would save from the shelf if there was a fire and I could only save one cookery book. On the inside cover it has my name and the date March 20th 1976. I had been married 3 months and I was at Teacher training college in Liverpool. Seems like a very long time ago. ( But not as long ago a the 1950s in Birmingham, where I was born , and where my dad had an allotment. He grew carrots on his too and there was no greater delight than pulling up a young carrot, rinsing it under the cold water tap and eating it out in the sunshine. Except possibly stealing peas and popping the lovely green pods..)
The book has been well used, as you can see, and the back cover has parted company with the rest of it, but well, age brings a few wrinkles. I digress- from the French tome I made Navarin Printanier -Spring lamb stew, for my boys. ( I don’t eat meat.) This is a favourite recipe and features young carrots, peas, beans, shallots, baby potatoes and baby turnips, although I left those out last night, together with lamb, garlic, rosemary and bay leaves and a little tomato puree and stock. It cooks for a couple of hours and makes the house smell great. The carrots were as sweet and well textured as I hoped they would be.