Slowly but surely, I’m trying to work myself out of the food rut I now occupy. Here’s the thing about ruts: they’re comfortable, if not always glamorous or practical. There’s a reason I eat cereal with berries most every morning; that reason, aside from Cereal Tastes Good, is the ease with which the meal is prepared. Breakfast on autopilot. Certain situations call for not-thinking, for a series of motions that carry you from Point A to Point B without the need for higher cognitive functioning. Breakfast, for me, is one of those situations.
Ruts are behavioral shortcuts that can, in the right dose, streamline one’s morning routine: one’s life.
Such streamlining can lead to complacency, though, and I know this firsthand. My diet has become borderline snooze. Friday, I felt itchy to eat something I’d never eaten before. I worked under the additional consideration of wanting to use materials I had at hand. (Note: I may or may not have been wearing loungewear on Friday afternoon — a sartorial choice that may or may not have influenced my resistance to hit up the Safeway.)
I began with a pound of carrots, The Victory Garden Cookbook, and a dream. Half an hour later, I had a batch of marinated carrots: tangy, tender-crisp coins that are perfect mixed with fresh greens or just eaten with a fork, even.
Out of respek for my main lady Marian Morash, I’m not going to post the recipe here. Really, you all should own The Victory Garden Cookbook: not only are the chapters divided by ingredient (which, helllllllllo, ease of use!), but the book features photos of rad, early-80s fashions — the perfect accompaniment to any cooking project. Or any project. Not normally one to preach about what y’all should/should not do, I do encourage the purchase of cookbooks, especially those central to one’s formative years.
Be advised that these carrots are totally noshable. I found myself sneaking back to the Tupperware, picking out a coin, returning the container to the fridge, and beginning anew. Bonus v 2.0: the recipe is exceedingly simple to prepare. I prepared it while talking on the phone and halfheartedly listening to this Chuck Berry album I bought for $1 on the street, and if my carrots turned out well, I’m sure yours will, too.
Bottom line: if you’re feeling lazy, making marinated carrots will make you feel like more of a functional adult. If you’re not feeling lazy, you’ll be pleased at having made a healthy, colorful side dish in 20 minutes flat. We’re all winners here!