Santa Claus and Baby Carrots

17 Jan

Here’s a fun riddle for you: what do Santa Claus and baby carrots have in common? The answer: neither one is real. πŸ™‚ This is something I learned when I read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a couple of years ago. (A book I highly recommend, by the way.) So, yes, apparently baby carrots are made from normal sized carrots that are whittled into “baby” size. Then they dip them in some kind of preservative to keep them fresh, since they don’t have the protective outer layer like normal carrots. YUCK! No wonder I never liked baby carrots. Why am I giving you a lesson in baby carrots, you ask? Well, because I got some real carrots in my CSA box this week, so I decided to cut them up and eat them with hummus for a snack, just like some people would do with baby carrots.

These were so good! Like something you would actually want to eat! Because let’s face it, baby carrots are pretty much just a tasteless vehicle to get the dip in your mouth, right?

Speaking of my CSA box, I made a yummy salad for dinner tonight that used three different items from the box. I’m so proud of myself. πŸ˜€ I found the idea on the For the Love of Food blog. The salad consists of arugula, squash, pomegranate seeds and lentils, plus a delicious dressing. The original recipe called for delicata squash, but I used butternut squash because that’s what I had on hand. I also used the pre-cooked steamed lentils from Trader Joe’s instead of dried ones because I’m lazy and impatient.

I was especially happy to find a use for a pomegranate because I’ve been getting a ton of them in my CSA box. Having farm fresh fruits and veggies has definitely been a learning experience, particularly with these pomegranates. Before this, I never knew how to remove the seeds from a pomegranate. The first time I tried to do it, it was a bloody juicy mess! It seriously looked like an episode of Dexter in my kitchen. Then I thought there must be a better way, so I found this video online from everyone’s favorite domestic diva, Martha Stewart.


Essentially, you just beat the shit out of the pomegranate until all the seeds fall out. πŸ˜‰ This method was easier (notice I said easier, not easy), but it was still kind of messy.

The best tip I’ve come up with so far is to use a deep bowl, so that the juice doesn’t fly three feet across your kitchen and onto your freshly painted wall. Not that this happened to me or anything. πŸ˜‰

Then you get to use your pom seeds in a yummy salad, like so:

In other news, it’s a jungle out there, or a forest, or… something. πŸ˜‰ So here’s the deal, our house backs up to an avocado grove and behind that are the foothills of the Saddleback Mountains. That means wildlife! It’s pretty common for coyote sightings in our neighborhood, but last night was ridiculous! We have had a freaking owl hooting at night around here for the last couple of weeks, so last night it starts in around 10 PM and it seriously went on like all night. Then the coyotes started in with their howling too! Hubby and I both had to wear earplugs to get any sleep! Now I’m not a wildlife expert (shocking, I now), but I don’t think owls usually hoot for hours at a time. So this is either an owl on speed or there is no owl at all and one of our neighbors is screwing around.

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So anyone else ever had an “owl problem”? How did you handle it?

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9 Responses to “Santa Claus and Baby Carrots”

  1. Dustin Camp (@creamycamper) January 18, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    My mom cuts the pom in half and soaks it in cold water for a few hours. The seeds loosen from the shell and you can just push them out with your fingers…it’s WAY cleaner than the “beat the shit outta it” method. πŸ™‚

    • cabsanddogs January 18, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      HA HA!!! That does sound easier! Now I’ll have to start thinking ahead so I can use your method.

      • Erin January 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

        Ditto to what Dustin said. I score the outside into quarters then break it apart in a big bowl of water. The seeds fall to the bottom of the bowl and the white pith floats to the top. No mess and the cold water helps keep the seeds crisp.

      • cabsanddogs January 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

        I love the pom debate we have going on here. I can’t believe Martha led me astray. She must just like to beat things. πŸ˜‰

  2. Tee @ She Writes, Bites, and Window Shops January 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    Eeww I didn’t know that about baby carrots! I’ve always bought them for the convenience of being easy to grab out of the bag, but I’ll start buying the big guys from now on. Thank! πŸ™‚

    • cabsanddogs January 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      Once you try the regular carrots, you will taste the difference. I’m all about convenience too, but this is one of those times when the extra effort is worth it. πŸ™‚

      • Dustin Camp (@creamycamper) January 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

        I completely agree. My pups get carrots instead of processed dog treats. I used to buy baby carrots and bite one in half for them (each gets 1/2), but then I ate a few and realized I needed to cut up whole carrots, even for the dogs. They’re WAY better!

  3. Tammy January 19, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    That salad looks amazing. I know what you mean about wildlife. I still have a couple of pumpkins on my porch from Halloween (yes, lame, I know) and a couple of coyotes came up and tore one apart and ate it last week.

    • cabsanddogs January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      Wow! Those are some pretty brazen coyotes to come up onto your porch. I guess they will do what it takes to get food.

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