Y357: Yuk it up - Playing with Your Food

I made bread bowls for our Winter Solstice Gathering in the mobile home park. We had a simple menu of chili in bread bowls and chili con queso. Ok, I was chilly – no, cold – when I came up with the idea of these comfort foods. The idea was the longest night of the year and us huddled around the fire.

I thought of the crudité and bread for cheese dipping were an opportunity to play. As it turned out, I ran out of money and energy to carve this open hand, but I really think it would have be a funny approach to use to ask for contributions. I would like to think I will one day attempt some of these more elaborate food objects. They just tickle me so.

This made me think of a post I saved for soups, stews using carrorts. I am so bored with carrots as canned carrots were one of the few vegetables growing up that were most frequently served hot in my home. And in fairness - eating cold, raw carrots is about teeth. Chewing a raw carrot with my weakened (partial assisted) bite is a pain.

But all of that is surmountable and should be. Carrots are just too fine and nutritious a food to avoid. This is why the carrot flowers are good to yuk it up.

How To Make Carrot Flowers
You're going to cut a series of long, shallow wedges along the surface of the carrot. With your left (or non-dominate hand) hold the carrot on the chopping board. Place your knife against the carrot at a (more or less) 45 degree angle. Press down to make a shallow cut, being careful not to cut all the way through. Turn the carrot around and make a matching cut to meet the first cut. Carefully wiggle your knife to dislodge the carrot wedge and set aside. Repeat five or six times around the carrot, then slice the carrot into coins.

As always when using a knife, and especially when cutting down on hard, slippery surfaces: Use common sense and be careful! Curl your fingers under on the hand that's holding the carrot in place. Don't force the wedge -- if it doesn't want to come out, then run your knife through the cuts again to make them a little deeper. You can always recut the wedge shapes once you've cut the carrots into coins, so don't force things.

Have fun and experiment. Shallow wedges make a more delicate flower, deeper wedges create a graphic, Marimekko look. Carrot flowers cook-up just like carrot coins, only they're a tiny bit more delicate so use caution when stirring them, especially once they've become cooked and soft.

What to do with the leftover wedges? I usually snack on them while I'm cooking the flowers. Or they could go into stock.

Don’t want to be a buzz kill, but I recently read a phrase and felt instantly depressed. . . . a relish tray of carrots and celery. ZOMG, it was practically the only raw vegetable my childhood menu contained. I lie, there were tomatoes and radishes placed symmetrically atop cut up iceberg lettuce sometimes. Even cucumbers were drowned in vinegar. This wasn’t just my mother’s kitchen (for any touchy family members reading), it was school lunch programs and restaurants too. It's a sorry little image from the 1950's for me. Maybe it is what drives me to search for more beauty, color and drama in food.

More Images of funny food images from all slashfood and other places reminiscent of Saxton Freemann’s book, How are you Peeling?

Hat tip WebEcoist

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