Saturday, March 6, 2010

Carrots!!!



OK I'm way too excited. I will try to type this as coherently as possible. It's the uber excitement. And the insomnia. But where to begin? 'Cause it's kind of a long story, or at least one full of digressions and side tracks. For example, I didn't know I could send pictures from my phone to my computer! Heck, I didn't even know how to access pics on my phone, I barely even knew how to take them. But my borrowed camera, see, does not have a handy dandy nifty shnifty battery pack. It runs on double A's, and it sucks those down fast! So it was dead, and I needed pictures. Thus, the process of evolution. I figured out my phone cam. Necessity. The mother of invention.

So, anyway. Last winter, we hadn't harvested all our carrots. When the earth finally thawed, we dug up the sad leftovers. The frost had split them, warped them, disintegrated them. Sadness. Well, this year we again had not harvested all our carrots. We had a ton! They grow like weeds here. Except much tastier. Now, part of why we didn't harvest them was NOT laziness. It's that the earth itself acts as a root cellar. No pun intended, but carrots are roots. And omg I just realized that root cellars were the first "fridge". Necessity. Invention. Turn on, ye wheel o' time and life. Sorry. Insomnia here. End digression.

As I mentioned earlier, spring is starving time. The jobs are as dried up as last autumn's corn stalks. I really wanted to make some soup, and I knew there were carrots down in the garden. However, being under a couple feet of snow and all, the location was hard to pinpoint, but I guessed it out. An educated guess, of course. I only say that because I think on every test I ever took in high school the instructors would precaution us with, "now, if you don't know the answer, make an educated guess". I found the carrot patch. But the earth was rock hard frozen solid. I was bummed; I figured whatever we had left unharvested was ruined. Unreachable, anyway, to find out for sure, but what hope was there that they could have survived a frozen bed of dirt? This is the bed of dirt:



The last few days it has been warm, in the 50's even, the snow is all but gone (it hides in the shadows like a sneak), and it's like I can taste the memory of summer, a half remembered dream, a promise, a silent hope. Ugh, did I mention the insomnia? It's making me woozy. Anyway, this morning I felt, well, hungry, and angry at winter. I set my jaw and clenched my fists with determination and I swore that I would find those carrots, whether they were dessicated or not. I flung my trowel into the ground with the fervor of a spartan against his enemy. And holy cow to my surprise the dirt was soft and totally yielding. The tundra-like perma frost has been defeated. And even more amazing, the carrots. Oh sweet carrots, how do I love thee? The carrots had survived, resisted even, Old Cranky Man Winter. Not to mention this was a record year of snowfall, the most in 17 years here. It was a fabulous, joyful harvest. Food pulled up out of the ground, I felt like I created it, like Tom Hanks in Castaway, when he finally makes fire and he shouts out his prowess to the world. Probably it was god, or mother earth, or the great spirit or whatever you call divinity. It was certainly a gift. "Carrots! I have carrots!!!" Sing and rejoice. Have some soup. Warm your bones in the sweet sun, your hands wrapped around a steaming mug.

And my last digression, speaking of soup and carrots: When I had my wisdom teeth out (which is the nicest way to put it, seeing as the dentist had to actually cut into my BONE to extract those suckers and it took weeks to recover, adding the upper tooth hole tearing into my sinus's making me sick so really it should be called 'having body parts torn, mutilated, and amputated) for two thousand dollars WITH insurance.. I'm so not bitter. I swear. Ok maybe just a little. ANYway, during that awful recovery, my mom took really good care of me, and her mom, my Granny, came over and made me carrot soup. So dang delicious. I couldn't eat solids, and I actually lost something like 15 pounds in the first two weeks after that traumatizing yankage. She even bought me a blender to make the soup with. If I had the recipe I'd share it pronto. Hey, look at that, again the wheel turns and I'm back at an earlier realization: people who give their shoulder to lean on, wanting nothing, and giving out of pure love. I feel damn lucky, and I tell ya, it's not just the carrots.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

what gorgeous carrots! making me hungry for my famous carrot soup. wish I could make you some for your birthday Monday. I don't think it travels very well in the mail!
love you, granny

jill said...

Cool!! I'm going to leave my extra carrots in the ground next year. It all makes so much sense!
YUM - carrot soup!

jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

Sweet carrots. What a treat. Happy birthday Hermitgirl. Love and hugs.

Michael said...

Well, I was going to comment about how snow is an insulator, so the fact that you had so much is what actually prevented the carrots from freezing. But it was to long winded, so I will just applaud the saving of the carrots, and the delicious soup.

--MDB