Bubby Carrots

Just as I was finishing up a nice, nutritious article about how we Americans do not listen when we are told to eat our vegetables, a note arrived from perennial sophomore Bubby Spamden.

Hi Mr. C.,

You know I wouldn’t be writing unless I need help finishing some homework. But here’s the good news – it isn’t due today! I was supposed to hand it in last Friday but I was out sick. Usually you have to turn in your sick day assignments first thing on the next day you’re at school, but this is for health class and the teacher, Ms. Scrubmaven, made a big deal last week about how bacteria can live on paper money for weeks! Since I did my work ON paper, I told her I made the difficult choice to burn it last Saturday morning, and I would take an F if she had to give me one, but I was at peace with my decision because it probably protected her and the class from getting whatever miserable disease I had. And no, it wasn’t Friday-itis! She was so grateful, she gave me a week to re-write it.

So anyway, the paper is supposed to be about new ideas to convince us teenagers to eat more fruits and especially more vegetables. Everybody’s all worked up about getting us to eat healthy stuff all the time. These papers are going to be bound into a book and sent to the White House, so there’s no getting out of it. I think Ms. Scrubmaven has a fantasy where Michele Obama comes to Wendell Wilkie High School and helps us plant a victory garden.

Some high schools are getting vegetable vending machines and their halls are full of reporters and local TV news crews doing stories about it. And of course all the publicity hogs are crowding around so they can get on TV for buying a bag of carrots. It’s good for sales on the first day, I guess.

And then there’s a TV campaign on which the adults think is just dopey enough to convince us that tiny carrots are as good as Doritos. Ha. Nice try. They must think we’re easy to fool.

Anyway, I’m supposed to write about some old fashioned ways parents used to get their kids to eat vegetables, and whether or not any of those ideas would work today. I know you and your people are pretty ancient, and maybe you can remember what your parents did to convince you that you should eat good food instead of the junk you really wanted.

If not, you could always make stuff up. Ms. Scrubmaven isn’t going to check up on it, especially if the stories are good enough to get Executive Attention, if you know what I mean.


I told Bubby I don’t remember being forced to eat vegetables or even encouraged to do so, but I do recall that when mashed potatoes were served they were always dotted with green beans. My mom called it “Grasshoppers Caught in an Avalanche”.

How were you encouraged to eat vegetables? Did it work?

75 thoughts on “Bubby Carrots”

  1. i love the grasshoppers caught in an avalanche, Dale!
    oh, Bubby – first of all, “encouraged” wouldn’t be the word. maybe “threatened” or “badgered” but not for our health’s sake – for a clean plate’s sake. and my Mom dished up the plates, so the portion was what we had to eat. my brother and i were just talking about that when he visited. sauerkraut. Dad would say “eat it! it’ll put hair on your chest!” so now, 55years later, he still won’t eat it and i quite enjoy it once in awhile….
    i have to say that i quite love most veggies (except beets and lima beans) but this didn’t happen until i got out on my own.
    happy day, All
    and i’m glad to see Sherrilee is back!


    1. I noticed my kids will dish up bigger portions than what they can eat, thus wasting food and leaving a mess. There is no clean plate’s sake at our house, though I certainly grew up with the rule that the plate needed to be clean before I left the dinner table. Maybe our mothers wanted to be relieved of scraping leftovers into the garbage before doing up dishes. 😉


  2. Rise and Shine Babooners!

    Ah, vegetables. Yes, we were encouraged as children to eat vegetables. We actually grew many of our summer veggies in the garden, along with strawberries and raspberries. Like her mother before her, mom knew that stolen food tasted better, so they both “banned” carrots and kohlrabi from the garden. What better way to get us to eat them.

    Grandma and Grandpa had 8 children and 39 grandchildren. Their garden was immense. Grandma’s resourcefulness in raising and feeding this crew was truly amazing. With the many other vegetables, she and Grandpa would plant 8 rows of carrots and 8 rows of kohlrabi every spring, one for each child. Each child could eat that row. Even when the children had flown from the nest they did this, so the grandchildren could visit the same row. However, by the time the grandchildren were on the scene there was a myth that we had to “steal” the vegetables.

    I clearly remember the day when I was 5 or 6 that my cousin Mary Jane taught me how to “steal” kohlrabi. First I had to filch the salt shaker from the kitchen, then sneak to the garden, pull up several kohlrabi, then run for the corn to hide. We would break off the leaves and the root and peal the kohlrabi, either with our teeth or a stolen knife left in the garden by another cousin. Then we would eat the delicious veggie like an apple with salt. Yum.

    At our Pipestone family reunions in July there are still bowls of kohlrabi on the table.

    (A kohlrabi is a crustaceous vegetable related to cabbage and broccoli).


    1. i had a friend where we would do tomatoes in the garden with a salt shaker and a bowl of sugar. kohlrabi story is wonderful. i did just make a wonderful cole slaw the other day and what a great munchie snack that has turned out to be.


    2. Great story Jacque. My dad, when he was a kid, carried a salt shaker in his back pocket so he could salt tomatoes he filched from all the gardens in town. “Crustaceous” vegetable? That puts kohlrabi in the crayfish family, I think.


  3. i am a vegetarian that had a hard time with vegetables. it isn’t that i don’t ike them, they just don’t call out to me. i never get full. i get tired of eating them. after i am domne with the meal i am not satisfied i am ready for another meal, i like chinese food with sauce and rice to fill the void, chili with the bread and cheese to cover it and mop it up but a salad with no entree to follow does not work for me. a bowl of carrots or cucumbers or pearl onions or broccolli or the old roccoli calliflower carrott wit ranch dressing is ok ut not someting that calls out to you.
    i was thinkng yesterday about looking into healthy vending machines asa business venture and was trying to figure out what to put in them. it a stumper. apples , oranges, … what else.. salad, carrots .. what a bad machine. what else can go in there?
    rather than beat up on cynthia and kay lets do a recruiting effort with october as recruiting month. wait we should do one when dale is going to be there
    dale when do i owe you my outline for the guest blog bit?
    lets do it in november when dale is back and we have had a month to prepare
    can you believe october is 3 days a way???
    later babooners/ tuesday and wednesday are the early days outta here for me this go round. bye i’ll check back in ,


      1. Brown rice, good pasta, whole grain bread, farm fresh eggs and fine cheese! We are mostly vegetarians, but would never make it as vegans.


      2. I am not vegetarian, but have made lots of vegetarian meals. A very good vegetarian cook book, in my opinion, is “1000 Vegetarian Recipes” by Carol Gelles. She has some easy recipes and some harder ones plus a full range of foods from main dishes with pasta, beans, and grains to many kinds of soups, salads, breads, breakfast dishes and other things. She also has information on basic cooking methods and menu suggestions.


  4. Hey, Bubby! You know, a carrot a day keeps the doctor away. Here is a whole week’s worth of ’em: >>>>>>>.

    Sorry. Private joke.

    The real solution is something like your mom’s grasshopper in the avalanche. You start with the mashed potatoes and then you load them up with cooked green peas or corn. Now, drench the potatoes with vast amounts of some really fatty, salty gravy. If you can taste the veggies, you aren’t using enough gravy.

    Or you can use those faux baby carrots. Those are just factory-farm carrots that they stick in a pencil sharpener to make ’em look like baby carrots. Take a bunch of those things and drench them in some batter, like maybe Belgian waffle or pancake batter. Put them in the fridge to set the coating, then fry them in hot fat until the coating is dark. Put them on a plate and absolutely flood them with maple syrup. Because this is public radio, I’ll recommend you add a dusting of confectioner’s sugar on top to make them pretty. Using the sugar, you can write your initials. Now dig in! If you do this right, you won’t be able to taste the carrots at all. They never had that much flavor in the first place.

    See how much fun eating veggies can be? Next week’s lesson will be about how you can break into those vending machines and switch bags of gummy bears and Snickers bars for all those yucky raw veggies.


      1. I could include my special recipe (cooked just once) for “Lethal Chicken.” You put a chicken in an electric skillet, covering the pieces with six or seven cups of Wesson Oil. Set the temp thingie for 200 degrees and let it cook all day, making sure that way that the chicken absorbs all the oil. That’s it! I can report (with a little bit of authorial pride) that a single chicken cooked this way put three healthy men on their backs in bed moaning and slugging down Alka Seltzer for five hours.


  5. We hardly ever ate vegs growing up except for the occaional frozen bag. When I was in college we joined a food coop and suddenly had real vegetables. We needed to buy a book not only for cooking directions but to ID the things themselves. I think the trick is to undervalue them and let it seem rebellious and counter culture to eat veggies.


  6. Greetings! We also had a large garden, apple and pear trees and SWEET CORN! We just didn’t have a choice — we ate what Mom made. Besides the fact, we had to weed that humongous garden, so we felt that eating the stuff was payback for all the work. But I enjoy all vegetables. And I do remember kohlrabi as we grew a lot of it and ate a lot of it too — loved it.

    Jacque, I love your Mom’s idea of “stolen vegetables” as being more attractive and tasty somehow. Of course, there was always the mashed potato volcanoes filled with lava and chunks of rock (gravy and veggies).

    Steve, your culinary treatment of vegetables is nutritionally dubious at best, but better than no veggies at all. My younger brother hated zucchini (but we had tons of it), so Mom would make zucchini bread or something and tell him what he just ate — then he would have a fit. Fond memories of those fresh veggies and raspberries from garden …


  7. Like barb in Blackhoof, eating my vegetables was a requirement for a clean plate. Hungry, and even starving, children in India were often referenced. Apart from the occasional salad, the vegetables that appeared on the table were mostly canned or frozen. I can remember an incident where I attempted to clean my plate of soggy, dull green beans by putting them under the table for the dog, but I was out of luck. Even the dog rejected them!

    Morning, all!


    1. We had a dog growing up that would get fed the left over veggies from dinner – she would eat the peas in peas and carrots, but avoided the little square carrots. How she managed that with her big collie nose, I don’t know, but she only at the peas.


  8. No one made me eat anything. On some Sundays my mom wold make a pot roast with potatoes and we would have canned veggies. The only really fresh vegetable I remember is sweet corn from my uncles’ farms. I think that’s why I started cooking for myself when I was in Grade 5. I always liked reading cook books and my mom would always help out at my dad’s coffee shop/gas station every day after she was done teaching, so I was left to my own devices to feed myself. We rarely ate together since my parents always worked so late. I mainly ate fresh fruit, toast, and cold cereal until I started cooking for myself. I don’t remember the grocery stores in Luverne having much fresh produce, but maybe I just didn’t know what to look for. My dad hates vegetables, as did his mother. She lived on pork roast, candy, and chips and died at age 91. My mom loves fresh veggies but never cooked them. Now when they visit us they really like the veggies we make for them, even my dad as long as they don’t have a strong smell. My kids eat far more veggies than I ever did as a kid.


      1. I tried, but the story is too close the the lives of some of the children and adults I work with and it is too painful for me to get through. When I was a teenager and my mom and I were having our mother-daughter battles, she would always lament “I should have spent more time with you when you were little!” Perhaps, but then maybe I would never have learned to cook or have become so independent.


  9. I don’t really remember being “forced” to eat anything as a child. Taste, but not necessarily eat. I was a barbarian who disliked fresh tomatoes-fortunately, with age comes wisdom.

    We lived in town, but Dad was a farm boy, so there was always a garden and our frozen veggies were largely from there. During the summer, we could watch cartoons in the morning, as long as we were shelling out a bucket of peas or cutting the green beans, or something like that.

    I’ve read that getting kids involved with the food prep makes them more invested in the eating of same, so I suppose that was part of it, but mostly, it was what there was, so we ate it.

    We get a kick out of what we have on the table that we grew. Bonus points for the salad made from volunteer plants of lettuce and tomatoes that grow in the weed patch formerly known as the garden. It has largely been overrun this year by a volunteer squash vine that I hope is producing something edible. Otherwise, we will have interesting Halloween decorations. This thing just sprang up of its own accord at the base of the compost bin and has at least 4 huge squash set on.

    I can’t think it is good for my character to have this kind of laziness rewarded.


  10. Good morning and eat your veggies!

    My mother had training in nutrition due to having a college degree in home economics. Both of my parents came from large rural living families that had large gardens and we had a fairly large garden that provided fresh fruit and vegetables and some that were canned or frozen. Our diet always included vegetables and fruit and food was not wasted by leaving any on the plate. I remember jokes about being part of the clean plate club, but these were just jokes and we just didn’t usually fail to eat what ever was served. I like just about any kind of food as long as it is fairly well prepared.

    I though that people who some how identified with baboons would probably all like vegetables. Come on, eat your veggies! Okay, I know there are lots of people who are not fond of various vegetables and the current eating habits often do not include them.
    However, this is changing as we all know. If you are not eating your veggies, get with it! Join the clean plate club and put some veggies on that plate!!! Of course, I am one of those old fashioned people that Bubby mentioned and I guess the clean plate club is not of much interest in this day and age.


    1. my mom went back to school when we were all going to school to get a minor in homes ec. she had a n art history, education, interior design , ready for the suburban scchools but wen she got the home ec degree that was too funny. we knew it was holidays at moms house because those 24 packs of dinner rolls you buy in the 12×16 pan would be burned black for sure. her idea of exotic vegetable were the ones where the corn and carrots and beane were all mixed in one frozen food bag. she did green bean cassorole every time there was an occasion and her forzen fruit salad was good. but that was it. i grew up with zero cuisine knowledge. my hippie veggie books starting back in the sixties were a new window on the universe. a lot of vegie food tastes like tree bark so i had to search for the correct ways to make my pallette dance. i’m there now but i’m alone. my kids laugh at my sunday morning extravaganza’s and the way i whip stuff up and cook for 3 hours and clean for 3 more. all i get out of the deal is baked eggs and potatoes or a lasagne or something. why not just hit bk dad? shut up you little twits. ah life is grand


      1. Tim, I also read about more exotic foods in the sixties that were not part of my mother’s fairly bland cooking and were probably not part of the home ec training that your mother and my mother received. At first I had trouble with some of this cooking that was new to me. Now, I manage to find interesting things to cook that don’t usually take too much time. I don’t think cooking good interesting meals has to be too difficult, but of course there are some things that do require extra work.


      2. I still have, and use regularly, my Moosewood Cookbook and Alice’s Restaurant ckbk, tim. Alice’s still has the little record in the back, so it’s probably worth some bucks.


      3. Is the Moosewood Cookbook by the same woman who did Enchanted Broccoli Forest? We love that one.

        We also love Crescent Dragonwagon’s Passionate Vegetarian-a weighty tome, but an excellent resource. She also gives ideas as to how to improvise and adapt the recipes.


  11. I don’t remember being forced to eat vegetables, nor were there creative ways to cover them up (like grasshoppers caught in an avalanche). A certain number of them, when appropriate, were drizzled in maple syrup or maybe a dash of brown sugar – things like squash or new carrots. Mostly my mom followed the “two bites” rule: you didn’t have to clean your plate, but you had to take two good-sized bites of everything. She gave up on trying to get my brother and I to like beets (I’m with you BiB on that), but it did get me to like many other things like brussels sprouts.

    Now as a parent the problem I have is sort of the opposite – Daughter will eat vegetables willingly (broccoli is a favorite), but is not at all excited or enthusiastic about protein that is not dairy-based or peanut butter.


  12. Morning all… my mom and Anna’s took a lesson from the same book. You had to have two bites of everything served on the table, although they could be any size bites. Of course, my mother didn’t have a really wide repetoire (my grandfather was a super control freak, so my mom’s family had the same seven meals every week… that was it) so with the exception of lima beans out of a can, nothing horrifically heinous ever made it to the table.

    I became a vegetarian when I was 16 (that was a laugh a minute with a passive/aggressive parent who only knew how to cook vegetables by opening a can) so I didn’t really learn to eat vegetables when I went away to college. It was the mid-70s, so there was an “alternative vegetarian” cafeteria line where I discovered asian food, curry and lots of vegetables that I had never even HEARD of.

    I’ve managed to escape the “teach your child what you were taught” abyss. My daughter loves vegetables, will eat salads of her own accord. When she was little she would eat broccoli, although she always preferred to have something to dip it in. Those were fun years… we didn’t always have ranch dressing around, so I remember her eating broccoli w/ yogurt once!


  13. One of the only times I remember being spanked, I believe it was because I wouldn’t eat cooked carrots. But that was an exception, I usually loved everything that came across my plate. Veggies, besides potatoes and tomatoes, were usually the “Midwest Four” — peas, carrots, green beans, corn — canned or frozen. An occasional can of beets. We had no garden because my dad had to weed their garden so much when he was growing up that he didn’t want anything to do with one.

    I was so elated when I got out in the wide world and discovered broccoli, squash, asparagus, avocados, cauliflower, artichokes, peppers, parsnips, kohlrabi, eggplant… just last year I found turnips. Gotta go, I’m hungry.


  14. Hmmm…’Extreme Carrots.’ I get that this is designed to appeal to kids…jet-powered shopping cart, ‘X-gamer’ guy, cute girl (note that she’s ‘shooting him down’), lots of shouting, ‘splosion, and dino. I get that it’s meant to be a parody of everything that’s supposed to be hip and cool. But, to me, it comes off as a parody of a marketing focus group that thinks it’s making a hip parody. And that double parody reverse twist just doesn’t come off right, IMHO. I think that the ‘extreme veggies’ campaign could work…just with a little more originality.

    Show a kid struggling on a test (all kids have been there), then show the kid next to him, breezing through the same test, with an external brain made of cauliflower. The first kid mutters something like, “…should’ve eaten my vegetables…”

    Do a commercial where the family dog eats the veggies off a kid’s plate, then we flash between the dog going outside to do all of these over-the-top things and the kid sitting in front of the television playing what are obviously (from the audio) really dreadful video games. End it with, “Your dog just texted me to tell you…thanks for the veggies.”

    Play off of the whole environmental movement. Instead of ‘extreme veggies,’ use ‘Go Green,’ and tie outdoor activities/energy to eating veggies.

    Use Peter & Lou’s “Didn’t eat their vegetables” song. It’s an entire series of commercials just waiting to happen.

    …stuff just off the top of my head…


    1. i tell my kids if i fed the pets in the house the same crap that the kids eat, the authorities would come and take me away for animal abuse. potato chips and cheese pizza do not a well tuned human being make.


    2. That’s a cool idea.
      My 15 yr old wanted Tofu the other day “…because they talk about it in the movie ‘Kung Fu Panda’….”
      And my wife fried it up in some olive oil and daughter LOVED it!
      Couldn’t bring myself to sample it… wife said it was good.


  15. Morning–

    I don’t really remember being forced to eat veggies either… wonder why my mother didn’t love me that much??
    I also love Kohlrabi! Plant it but don’t always get much out of it… I enjoy peeling potatoes and cutting slices to eat while I’m doing that. With salt of course.

    I remember Mom’s garden having cabbage (and the big ‘dusting gun’ that I played with… wonder what kind of damage that caused…) Boy, I sure liked the cabbage core!

    Seems to me this has been a tough year for sweet corn. We got some but with the hot weather it all got ready at the same time that it didn’t seem to last as long in the season… got some in the freezer but I ought to freeze a few more bags if I can find it. Blanched and cut; not on the ear…


    1. Just watched the video- THAT IS GREAT!
      I have to send it to a friend that eats lots of carrots as his snack; and he used to listen to RH before he retired…
      I have invited him to the TB Blog…


  16. I wasn’t able to post yesterday. It was a really awful day for me too. If you have ever been called in as a witness in an investigation of a coworker, you will know how I felt. Kinda like hiking in that really high and scary place.

    We were required to eat our vegetables. It was a firm requirement. We couldn’t leave the table until they were gone. I heard the familiar, “…starving kids in India…” and “clean plate club” phrases, but it was a requirement. I liked some of the veggies, so it wasn’t too bad, but the only thing worse than canned asparagus is canned spinach :{ and I remember feeling really queasy about that.

    I love vegetables now – really love all of them!

    Here is a recipe I made up for vegan chili. It’s easy, nutritious and satisfying.

    Krista’s Vegan Chili
    Olive oil
    Garlic (can be roasted and minced or fresh minced)
    One large yellow onion
    Four to six medium carrots, sliced into 1-inch half moons
    Four to six celery stalks with the leafy greens attached, sliced
    One package of sliced fresh mushrooms
    One bell pepper, diced up – any color
    One jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (optional – I like the heat)
    32 ounces canned tomatoes (Muir Glen diced tomatoes work well)
    2 – 4 ounces tomato paste
    28 ounces of your choice of beans: kidney beans are good. I like 2 cans of Westbrae chili beans
    ½ to 1 cup of textured vegetable protein (tvp) or Boca Burger crumbles
    Unmeasured splashes of red wine and/or lemon juice (about ¼ cup total) I prefer the flavor of red wine
    1 heaping T cumin powder
    1 heaping T chili powder (or more)
    1 heaping t dried basil
    1 t salt
    Black pepper to taste


    Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat until onions are getting soft. Add carrots and sauté 3 minutes; add celery and mushrooms and sauté 3 minutes; add peppers and sauté 3 minutes. Transfer veggies to a large crock pot set on high.

    Pour in the tomatoes, tomato paste and beans. Add the wine, spices and seasonings. Hold off on the tvp or Boca Burger crumbles for awhile. Cook for a few hours on high, then turn down to low and cook for awhile longer. I don’t measure the time. Add tvp or crumbles about ½ hour before serving.

    Maybe this well help you get excited about eating your veggies, tim!

    Gorgeous day out there, Baboons!


      1. i guess i could hide carrots and celery and peppers in there. they just don’t seem neccessary
        i do onions mushroom black olives tomatos and beans. cumin, chili powder garlic beer and peanut butter. ill try vegetables next time.
        i do vegie up my tomato sauce in the lasagna and past i make. thank for the suggestion


      2. Hey tim – let’s see that vegetarian lasagna recipe for Kitchen Congress. I’ve found all kinds of things stuffed back in pantry while moving — 2 boxes of lasagna noodles for example.


      3. thaw the frozen spinich, if you are doing cans or real never mind. i use frozen. two boxes, bags whatever.
        now start with the onions. throw them in the big pan and turn it on low. just enough to get them burbling. too much blackens the onions and screws up the whole deal. i use a 12″ cast iron and 3 large yellow onions in olive oil or whatever you’ve got. vegetable oil or canola oil are fine, i’m just an olive oil kinda guy once that gets going. get to work on the tomato sauce. the correct ratio of tomato sauce, tomato paste and stewed, crushed tomatos is part personal preferrence part what you’ve got in the cupboard ( see joanne above) i go monster can of crushed tomatoes, coffee cup full of paste and tomato sauce in an in between size. one italian rule is never never never touch tomato sauce with a metal utensil. wooden spoons are rule. you can break the rule but you’ve been warned. add the herbs now. basil, thyme oregeno, a couple of bay leaves fennel and parsley. now more basil. if you are going to do the veggie crumbles (fake meat morningstar farms is the one i like best) to resemble meat do it now in oil, lots of oil, with chili powder and cumin, i throw the garlic in with the meat substatute. 2 full cloves (i like garlic) let it simmer with the onions on the burner next door while you get to work on the sauce now. if you have any hydrating to do ( i often use freeze dried mushrooms shitake, oyster, whatever comes in the monster plastic jug form costco) wine is the hyrdator of choice. i usually have a bottle sitting on the counter for just such a use. a little past sipping but perfect for wetting down the mushrooms. do those in a bowl off to the side for 20 minutes or so while the onions, fake meat and sauce are coming around. throw the veggies of choice, carrots, celery, green and or red peppers, in a pan and fry those up for a while carrots first and cook em to soften em up a little bit. about now throw the mushrooms in where there is room, usually onion pan but veggie pan is ok too
        meanwhile the tomato sauce is bubbling a way with some great smells starting to come up. let everything go for an hour, real slow. don’t forget to keep moving those onions, they can never get to brown but even a little black is unacceptable.
        over on the counter get out the popcorn bowl the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, mozerella cheese, 3 eggs and a jug of milk.
        shred the mozerella ( a pound- 2 lb) throw it in the bowl, add the ricotta and cottage cheese, the whole medium size container of each (12 -16 oz), 3 eggs and enough milk to turn the whole thing into a goo. stir it up until the eggs are invisible,
        now we combine the tomato sauce and the onion pan and the veggie pan together, get out two soup can sized cans of black olives or whatever you can handle. mince em til they’re small enough to become grit rather than chunks in the sauce
        stir them into the sauce and let it go for another hour.
        start the water for the noodles, boil them up and add the cold water to stop the cooking and leave them in the sink until you are ready for them.
        get out the lasagna pans. oil em up.
        noodles first, tomato sauce, noodle, white sauce, sprinkle on a layer of spinach then do it over. noodle red noodle white spinach noodle. that should be the top of the lasagna pan. seal it up with a little red sauce and a little white sauce. go 375 for an hour and a half (425 for an hour works but i like slower longer its already an all day event)
        when you pull it out or ten minutes before sprinkle a little more mozzarella on to make it pretty
        i usually do two boxes of noodles and two pans at a time with this recipe. you will get a feel for it the second time but it should come out pretty close.
        lasagna is always better the second day but it darn tolerable the day of the event. hope it works for you. enjoy


  17. When I was in college in Iowa I attended a conference in the Johnson Wax conference center in Racine, Wisconsin. That center had been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a home for the Johnson family. It was a strange and exciting weekend for me, for I had my first shattering contact with two aspects of life that I never guessed could be so thrilling: architecture and food.

    I won’t go into architecture here except to say I was thunderstruck by the feeling of a well-designed building, and I wandered about for three days trying pathetically to catch some of that feeling with sketches. I never knew how potent a building could be if all its parts sprang harmoniously from the imagination of a real artist.

    The first night we sat down to a meal cooked by the center’s staff. I ate my little dish of carrots and then just sat there in astonishment. Those carrots were as good as any ice cream I’d ever eaten. They had zing and complexity. (I assume they had lemon juice and cumin and maybe a tiny bit of cinnamon.) Whatever the cook had done to the carrots, it just rocked me. The word gobsmacked would apply.

    And I remember saying to myself, “My God! If a stupid carrot can taste this good, I don’t know a thing about the world of food!” I sat there thinking of all the things I liked to eat but had only tasted bland versions of. And in a larger sense, I saw a hint in this experience of the way my midwestern upbringing had limited my exposure to some of life’s pleasures. Food could be downright exciting. Books could be exciting. Movies could be exciting. Architecture could thrill me. I had been raised in a flat environment where people took pride in being average, but those exotic carrots hinted at how breathtaking the possibilities of life could be if you had the appetite to try and appreciate them.


    1. Very cool, Steve. Thanks for sharing that experience. There’s a scene in the movie “Julie & Julia” (Meryl Streep as Julia Child was outstanding), where a young Julia travels to France with her husband for his job. They’re eating a finely prepared meal, and Julia is sighing, moaning and weeping at the wonderful food and her husband is consoling her, “yes, yes, I know … “, understanding her passionate response to fine food compared to most American cooking of the time. A peak experience to be sure. And a great movie!


  18. Krista, thanks for the vegan chili recipe! I will try it later in the week. I don’t use much TVP, but I love mock duck/chicken, especially at The Evergreen on Nicollet. Speaking of vegetables, I fell in love with artichoke hearts on pizzas in college, but it was only last year that I had a whole artichoke, cooked up by my California-transplant friend. Then a couple of weeks ago another friend found some puffballs…and shared! Delicious!


    1. Welcome Crow Girl!

      I get tvp in bulk at Mississippi Market, nice as then you can get just one recipe’s worth to try it out.

      That sounds like really great chili, Krista, I am going to have to try it! I’ve also used bulgar wheat as the burger substitute. Works pretty well.


    2. welcome crow woman. a newbie is always welcomed till we get to know you and find out if those artichoke hearts are a sign of things to come.
      try adding adding some kalamata olives and pesto to that pizza. you may like it too


  19. I know it’s late, but all this talk of fine food reminded me of two fun and exquisite food experiences.
    1. Just after college, Jim and I went for a sampler free meal at an Ethiopian restaurant on the West Bank of U of MN area. It was fun because there were no utensils — you used the flat bread torn in pieces to scoop up the beans, rice, veggies, etc. I really enjoyed eating with my hands; it’s very freeing. But the food was unbelievably HOT — seared the inside of my mouth for a day it seemed.
    2. When I was in Southern California several years ago, my host took us to a gourmet raw cuisine restaurant. I’ve dabbled in raw foods diet in college, but this food was amazing! The flavors and textures are fresh, clean, complex and beautiful in a whole different way than cooked food. I was in heaven! Even though I ate a huge amount of food trying other folks’ dishes, I didn’t feel that heaviness like after most meals. The food was crafted with artistry and love. We even met the chef — a charming little Vietnamese guy who I believe had taken a vow of silence. Incredible restaurant.

    Vignette of the day: Driving down a fairly busy road, up ahead I see a squirrel racing at blistering speed across street, heading directly for a truck coming from other direction. He stopped, backtracked, dropped whatever goodies he was carrying and tried to finish crossing. I didn’t see the final result of his journey, but I yelled in encouragement — wondered how he fared and if he lived through it. City squirrels have a dangerous lifestyle it seems.


    1. I remember that restaurant, Joanne, and also loved it — think it was called Ooda… Was the first place I tasted a spiced, sweet tea related to Chai.

      Enjoyed the squirrel vignette; I have a soft spot for them.


      1. coal black and white are equally rare. i don;t think the same rules to black ones as albinos though, you can have a dominant black gene but i don;t think you can have a family of albinos.

        i just went and goggled it and the black eyed white squirrel is a recessive trait just like the black one
        albinos are a different deal with pink eyes or no color and it is very rare.


    2. my sons teacher in pre k was concerned because he wouldn’t eat with utensils at lunch. we told her we would start working on it if it was important to her. she said what do you mean? and we said there had not been reason to involve forks and spoons to that point. every thing but soup and juice works fine with fingers and we usually put those in a tippy cup. the teacher ended up being a really good friend but you could have driven a train down her jaw dropped expression. there weren’t many hippies at the international school at that time


    1. it is getting up there isn’t it. i see the river is over the road by my house as of last night. the river rose a foot or two yesterday. must be something down in mankato


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