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Trivia 1 lists the many and weird interesting facts about carrots.
which gives examples of the carrot in the Arts and
Sciences together with some fascinating "rock art" discovered by Brian Lee
in America. Here you will also find the famous icy sparks microwave
effect explained, and examples of carrot tattoos. Carrots can make antifreeze and see if carrots could unlock the mysteries
of the universe!
Fine Art works containing depictions of Carrots are now on a separate page. Click here to go there.
Carrots have been mentioned in many literary works, and here are several located by the World Carrot Museum.
If you know of more please let us know.
Shakespeare - "Remember, William," says Sir Hugh Evans in the Merry Wives of Windsor, 'Focative is Caret,' 'and that' replies Mrs. Quickly, 'is a good root."
"The man in the moon drinks claret, But he is a dull Jack-a-dandy; Would he know a sheep's head from a Carrot He should learn to drink cider and brandy." Song of Mad Tom in Midsummer Night's Dream.
Edward Lear - (English artist, writer; known for his 'literary nonsense' & limericks (1812-1888) - "There was an Old Person in gray, Whose feelings were tinged with dismay; She purchased two parrots, and fed them with carrots, Which pleased that Old Person in gray."
Mae West "I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond,"
Fran Lebowitz in Metropolitan Life (1978) "Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter."
Will Rogers (1879-1935) "Some guy invented Vitamin A out of a carrot. I'll bet he can't invent a good meal out of one."
Will Rogers (again) "An onion can make people cry but there has never been a vegetable to make people laugh"
Trollope - (From Brachester Towers) "HOW TO MAKE TEETHING CORALS - Take his coral my dear,' she said, and rub it well with carrot juice. Rub it till the juice dries on it and then give it him to play with' . . . 'Not got a coral? how can you expect that he should cut his teeth?"
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. "You ask What is life? That is the same as asking, What is a carrot; A carrot is a carrot and we know nothing more. Letter to his wife, Olga Knipper Chekhov (April 20, 1904)
J.B. Priestley (1894-1984) “But some of us are beginning to pull well away, in our irritation, from...the exquisite tasters, the vintage snobs, the three-star Michelin gourmets. There is, we feel, a decent area somewhere between boiled carrots and Beluga caviare, sour plonk and Chateau Lafitte, where we can take care of our gullets and bellies without worshipping them.”
John Robinson Jeffers (1187-1962) "Pleasure is the carrot dangled to lead the ass to market; or the precipice."
Pliny the Elder, a Roman Historian and scientist said:"There is one kind of wild pastinaca which grows spontaneously; by the Greeks it is known as staphylinos. Another kind is grown either from the root transplanted or else from seed, the ground being dug to a very considerable depth for the purpose. It begins to be fit for eating at the end of the year, but it is still better at the end of two; even then, however, it preserves its strong pungent flavour, which it is found impossible to get rid of." - It was the Carrot.
Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) "The day is coming when a single carrot freshly observed will set off a revolution."
Nicholas Culpeper (1653) said of carrots that "Wild carrots belong to Mercury, and expel wind and remove stitches in the side, promote the flow of urine and women's courses, and break and expel the stone; the seed has the same effect and is good for dropsy, and those whose bowels are swollen with wind: It cures colic, stone, and rising of the mother; being taken in wine or boiled in wine and taken, it helpeth conception. The leaves being applied with honey to running sores or ulcers cleanse them; I suppose the seeds of them perform this better than the roots: and though Galen recommended garden carrots highly to expel wind, yet they breed it first, and we may thank nature for expelling it, not they; for the seeds of them expel wind and so mend what the root marreth."
Greek Physician Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40-c. 90) wrote "Ye root ye thickness of a finger, a span long, sweet-smelling, edible being sodden [boiled]. Of this ye seed being drank...and it is good for ye [painful discharge of urine] in potions, and for ye bitings and strokes of venomous beasts; they say also, that they which take it before hand shall take no wrong of wilde beasts. It co-operates also to conception, and it also being [diuretic], both provoketh [poison], and being applied; but the leaves being beaten small with honey, and laid on, doth cleanse rapidly spreading destructive ulceration of soft tissues."
Evans and Mistress Quickly in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor (IV:1). -
"Remember, William," says Sir Hugh Evans, "Focative is Caret," "and that" replies Mrs. Quickly, "is a good root."
Shakespeare - Midsummer Nights Dream:
"The man in the moon drinks claret,
Richard Gardiner in Profitable Instructions for the Manuring, Sowing and Planting of Kitchen Gardens (1599) "Sowe Carrets in your Gardens, and humbly praise God for them, as for a singular and great blessing."
Irena Chalmers in "The Great Food Almanac". Eating a carrot a day is "like signing a life insurance policy"
Old Yiddish saying "Only in dreams are carrots as big as bears."
Irish Proverb "Never bolt your door with a boiled carrot."
An old Polish saying " If your husband is old and weak you must have him to drink the juice from two big carrots and one firm celery."
Old proverb How do you lead a horse to water? With lots of carrots.
John Stolarczyk (1950-?) "Remember a carrot is for life not just for Christmas"; "Gardeners never die then simply throw in the trowel"; "They are not all locked up yet".
Shel Silverstein What did the carrot say to the wheat? Lettuce rest, I'm feeling beet.
Seen in a health food store: "Shoplifters will be beaten over the head with an organic carrot."
In 1868 Charles Dickens wrote in his weekly literary magazine "All Year Round" -
Old ballad or early but uncertain date (1750’s). Cries of Old London
" Here's green coleworts and brocoli
Come buy my radishes
Here's fine savorys and ripe hautboys
Come buy my young green hastings ho ! *
Come buy my beans right Windsor beans
Two pence a bunch young carrots ho !
Here's fine nosegays ripe strawberries
With ready pickled salad also
Here's collyflowers and asparagus
New prunes twopence a pound
Let none despise the merry merry cries Of Famous London Town.
Grimm’s Fairy Tale No. 146 The Carrot King
Once there lived two brothers, both serving as soldiers. One brother was rich, the other poor. The poor one, seeking to alleviate his dire need, took off his soldier’s uniform and became a farmer. Now he spent his time digging, hoeing and hacking his little acre and sowed a row of carrots. The seed sprouted and a carrot soon grew that was so large and strong and noticeably thicker than the others. In fact, it would not stop growing. One could even say it was the Crown Prince or Ruler of all Carrots because never again has there been such a carrot (nor, I suspect, shall there ever be another one like it). Finally it was so big that it filled up an entire wagon and two oxen were required to pull it. The farmer did not know what to do with the thing, and he wondered whether the carrot was his fortune or misfortune. Finally he thought to himself “If you sell it, what great reward will you fetch? And the smaller carrots are just as good for eating. It is best that you present it to the king and honor him with the gift.”
So he loaded the carrot on his wagon, hitched up two oxen and drove to court to present the carrot to the king. “What kind of strange thing have you brought?” the king asked. “I have seen many odd things in my day, but never such a monster. From what type of seed could this have grown? Or perhaps, the vegetable has only grown this way for you because you are a child of fortune.”
“Oh no,” the farmer replied. “I am no fortune’s child. I am a poor soldier who could no longer feed himself. So I hung my soldier’s uniform on a nail and now tend the soil. I have a brother who is rich, whom you certainly know. But I have nothing and have been forgotten by the world.”
The king felt compassion for him and said “You shall overcome your poverty and will receive presents from me so that you shall be the equal of your rich brother.”
The king gave him enormous amounts of gold, farmland, fields and cattle and made him stone-rich, so that the riches of his brother did not compare. When his brother heard what had been accomplished with a single carrot, he was overcome with jealously and plotted how he, too, could secure such fortune for himself. But he wanted to do it in a much smarter way so he took gold and horses and brought them to the king. He thought the king would give him much greater riches in return, because his brother had received so much for a single carrot. The king received the brother’s gift and said, he did not know what to give him in return that could be rarer or better than the large carrot. So the rich brother had to accept his brother’s carrot as present from the king. He put it in his wagon and drove home. At home he did not know on whom he could take out his rage and anger until finally an evil thought came to him. He decided to kill his brother and so he hired murderers, who were instructed to lay in waiting. He now went to his brother and said “Dear brother, I know a secret treasure. Let us go out together, unearth it and share it.”
The brother let himself be convinced and innocently went along. But when they were walking, the murderers fell upon him, tied him up and wanted to hang him on a tree. They were just about to carry out the evil deed when the sound of song and the beating of hooves could be heard in the distance. Such a terror seized them, that in their haste they pushed their prisoner into a sack, hung it on a tree and took flight. But the prisoner worked nimbly with his fingers until there was a hole in the sack, through which he could stick his head. But who should be the next one to come down the path but a wandering student, a young fellow who rode through the forest singing loudly. When the one hanging in the sack noticed that someone was passing below he called out “Greetings to you in this fine hour.”
The student looked all around and did not know from where the voice came. Finally he said “Who is calling me?” From the treetop the prisoner now called “Raise your eyes. I am sitting up here in the sack of wisdom. In only a short amount of time I have learned many things, among them that all learning is as elusive as the wind. Soon I will have mastered everything, will come down and be wiser than all humankind. I understand the stars and can read the signs of the heavens, can decipher the blowing of the winds, the sand in the sea, know all manner of healing sickness, recognize the powers of herbs, birds and stones. If you sat here in my place, you too would soon understand the wonder that flows out of my sack of wisdom.”
When the student heard all this he was amazed and said “Blessed be the hour when I found you. Couldn’t I too sit a while in the sack?” From above the prisoner replied as if he did not relish the idea. “I will let you sit here for a very short time in return for a reward and good words. But you must wait another hour; I still have to learn a bit more.”
When the student had waited a bit, he began to be restless. The time seemed too long and he begged immediate entry to the sack; his thirst for wisdom was far too great to wait any longer. The prisoner in the sack pretended he had finally given in and said “So that I can emerge from this cocoon of wisdom, you must lower the sack by that rope tied to the tree. Then you can crawl inside.”
The student lowered the sack, opened it and freed the man inside. Then he called out eagerly “Now pull me up into the tree quickly!” He wanted to walk into the sack standing upright. “Stop!” cried out the other. “That won’t do at all!” He grabbed him by the head and pushed him in backwards, tied the opening around his head and pulled the disciple of wisdom up into the tree, where he swayed back and forth in the air. “How do you fare up there my dear fellow? See, don’t you already feel wisdom dawning with experience? Now sit quietly until you become much smarter than you already are.”
And so he mounted the student’s horse, rode away and after an hour sent out someone to let the fellow out of the tree.
La Rochefoucauld (1665) "To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art."
M.F.K.Fisher "First we eat, then we do everything else."
Dr. Francis Peyre Porcher, in "Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests," 1863"...the root is edible, and possesses more aroma than any of our indigenous plants. It is used in spasmodic vomiting, flatulent colics, and nervous headaches."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 4 B.C. - 65 A.D.) "Even the most frugal man has to spend a fortune on dinner. The same amount that is spent on the gullet is considered disgraceful, unless it's for official honors, when it's beyond reproach."
Voltaire "The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease."
Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, as quoted by Coleman Andrews "To read about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for good things; it is also to better know by means of the recipes, the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is, above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."
Publilius Syrus (fl. B.C. 42) "Some remedies are worse than the disease."
Erasmus (1466-1536) "Prevention is better than cure."
AntoineLavoisier - 1700 - (the father of nutrition) "It is easy to foresee that other than the secretion of bile, or rather through the secretion of bile, an organ as important in size, connections and vascular structures as the liver fills a whole system of functions, the extent of which science has not yet grasped."
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), American Architect "Dining is and always was a great artistic opportunity."
H J Heinz -
power is stronger than Horsepower."
George Bernard Shaw "There is no love sincerer than the love of food."
Anon "Let my words, like vegetables, be tender and sweet, for tomorrow I may have to eat them."
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said "Let food be your medicine and medicine your food."
Philosopher 1850) "We are what we eat."
Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE) My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
Sign in Einstein's Office " Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts".
George Orwell "By the time you reach 40 you get the face you deserve"
Ralph Waldo Emmerson (1803-1882) "Weed - a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
Chinese Proverb "He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skill of the physician."
Quintilianus, Instituitio oratoria Non ut edam vivo, sed vivam edo. I do not live to eat, but eat to live.
English Proverb Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork.
Chief Seattle Native American Indian Chief "Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the Earth is our Mother. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the Sons of the Earth. If men spit upon the ground they spit upon themselves.
This we know - the Earth does not belong to Man, Man belongs to the Earth.
All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the Sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web he does to himself . to harm the Earth is to heap contempt on his creator."
Emma by Jane Austen
They must not oversalt the leg; and then, if it is not oversalted, and if it is very thoroughly boiled, just as Serle boils ours, and eaten very moderately of, with a boiled turnip, and a little carrot or parsnip, I do not consider it unwholesome.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
I was a dull black, so he called me Darkie; then he would give me a piece of bread, which was very good, and sometimes he brought a carrot for my mother.
Road to Wigan Pier (chapter 6) by George Orwell
This man’s allowance
was thirty-two shillings a week, and besides his wife he had two children, one
aged two years and five months and the other ten months. Here is the list: (
carrots and onions - 4 pence)
Mens Wives by William Makepeace Thackeray (Chapter 3)
Had she expected to see the fascinating stranger so soon again? I think she had. Her big eyes said as much, as, furtively looking up at Mr. Walker’s face, they caught his looks; and then bouncing down again towards her plate, pretended to be very busy in looking at the boiled beef and carrots there displayed. She blushed far redder than those carrots, but her shining ringlets hid her confusion together with her lovely face.
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Extract from Act 1 ESTRAGON: (violently). I'm hungry! VLADIMIR: Do you want a carrot? (and subsequent references) (full extract here)
The Island of Doctor Moreau by HG Wells
It was littered with scraps of carrot, shreds of green stuff, and indescribable filth.
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
there the sorry, useless stuff lay; I had no more manner of business for it; and often thought with myself that I would have given a handful of it for a gross of tobacco-pipes; or for a hand-mill to grind my corn; nay, I would have given it all for a sixpenny-worth of turnip and carrot seed out of England, or for a handful of peas and beans, and a bottle of ink.
The Wisdom Of Father Brown by Gilbert K Chesterton
I think we must
chuck it up and apologize to old Carrots.
Then consider what
victual or esculent things there are, which grow speedily, and within the year;
as parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions, radish, artichokes of Hierusalem, maize,
and the like.
So now my lord and lady duke and duchess, here is your governor Sancho Panza, who in the bare ten days he has held the government has come by the knowledge that he would not give anything to be governor, not to say of an island, but of the whole world; and that point being settled, kissing your worships' feet, and imitating the game of the boys when they say, 'leap thou, and give me one,' I take a leap out of the government and pass into the service of my master Don Quixote; for after all, though in it I eat my bread in fear and trembling, at any rate I take my fill; and for my part, so long as I'm full, it's all alike to me whether it's with carrots or with partridges.
The War Of The Worlds by H G Wells
I found some young
onions, a couple of gladiolus bulbs, and a quantity of immature carrots, all of
which I secured, and, scrambling over a ruined wall, went on my way through
scarlet and crimson trees towards Kew-- it was like walking through an avenue of
gigantic blood drops--possessed with two ideas: to get more food, and to limp,
as soon and as far as my strength permitted, out of this accursed unearthly
region of the pit.
"--"Then," says she, "I believe there is a piece of cold buttock and carrot, which will fit you.
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
said the hoarse gentleman, who was driving his donkey in a truck, with a carrot for a whip.
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Snagsby whether he means Carrots, or the Colonel, or Gallows, or Young Chisel, or Terrier Tip, or Lanky, or the Brick.
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
When a boy gets weak and ill and don't relish his meals, we give him a change of diet--turn him out, for an hour or so every day, into a neighbour's turnip field, or sometimes, if it's a delicate case, a turnip field and a piece of carrots alternately, and let him eat as many as he likes.
Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy
Out of the whole ninety-five there were eight in particular--Dumpling, Fancy, Lofty, Mist, Old Pretty, Young Pretty, Tidy, and Loud--who, though the teats of one or two were as hard as carrots, gave down to her with a readiness that made her work on them a mere touch of the fingers.
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
It never occurred to Tom, when Maud sat watching him with her face full of wistfulness, that she wanted to be petted as much as ever he did in his neglected boyhood, or that when he called her "Pug" before people, her little feelings were as deeply wounded as his used to be, when the boys called him "Carrots." He was fond of her in his fashion, but he did n't take the trouble to show it, so Maud worshipped him afar off, afraid to betray the affection that no rebuff could kill or cool.
Of Human Bondage by Somerset W Maugham
The feast consisted of a pot-au-feu, which Miss Chalice had made, of a leg of mutton roasted round the corner and brought round hot and savoury (Miss Chalice had cooked the potatoes, and the studio was redolent of the carrots she had fried; fried carrots were her specialty); and this was to be followed by poires flambees, pears with burning brandy, which Cronshaw had volunteered to make.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Early in the morning and late in the fading twilight and on all the days Colin and Mary did not see him, Dickon worked there planting or tending potatoes and cabbages, turnips and carrots and herbs for his mother.
The Original Peter Rabbit Books by Beatrix Potter
I went into the garden; there I found Cross-patch and Suck-suck rooting up carrots.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
however, to have been abandoned in the deserted kitchen-garden; and where
cabbages, carrots, radishes, pease, and melons had once flourished, a scanty
crop of lucerne alone bore evidence of its being deemed worthy of cultivation.
It doesn't cost him
much to give us our little handful of victual and bit of clothing; but how do we
know he cares for us any more than we care for the worms and things in the
garden, so as we rear our carrots and onions?
Then what did you grate the carrots on? This was an airy slim boy in shrimp-coloured tights that made him look like a forked carrot, the rest of his gear was blue silk and dainty laces and ruffles; and he had long yellow curls, and wore a plumed pink satin cap tilted complacently over his ear.
Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog) by Jerome K Jerome
At last, an empty cab turned up (it is a street where, as a rule, and when they are not wanted, empty cabs pass at the rate of three a minute, and hang about, and get in your way), and packing ourselves and our belongings into it, and shooting out a couple of Montmorency's friends, who had evidently sworn never to forsake him, we drove away amidst the cheers of the crowd, Biggs's boy shying a carrot after us for luck.
House Of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The butcher's cart,
with its snowy canopy, was an acceptable object; so was the fish-cart, heralded
by its horn; so, likewise, was the countryman's cart of vegetables, plodding
from door to door, with long pauses of the patient horse, while his owner drove
a trade in turnips, carrots, summer-squashes, string-beans, green peas, and new
potatoes, with half the housewives of the neighbourhood.
"Well, they didn't pick you for your looks, that's sure and certain," was Mrs. Rachel Lynde's emphatic comment. Mrs. Rachel was one of those delightful and popular people who pride themselves on speaking their mind without fear or favor. "She's terrible skinny and homely, Marilla. Come here, child, and let me have a look at you. Lawful heart, did any one ever see such freckles? And hair as red as carrots!
The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf
'Keep your mouth shut, Miss Smith; they're as yellow as carrots!' across a table, mind you. To me she's always been civility itself.
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
There was a
half-eaten raw carrot on the table near him.
shouted one of them,
a young thick-necked peasant with a fleshy face red as a carrot.
A man here and there
was gnawing a frozen carrot, with a kind of animal satisfaction expressed in his
face; and thunderous snores came from generals who lay muffled up in ragged
But carrots grow
There was a pretty garden around the house, where blue trees and blue flowers grew in abundance and in one place were beds of blue cabbages, blue carrots and blue lettuce, all of which were delicious to eat.
The Red One by Jack London
Beside him, an unrolled bundle showed itself as consisting of a ragged overcoat and containing an empty and smoke-blackened tomato can, an empty and battered condensed milk can, some dog-meat partly wrapped in brown paper and evidently begged from some butcher-shop, a carrot that had been run over in the street by a wagon-wheel, three greenish- cankered and decayed potatoes, and a sugar-bun with a mouthful bitten from it and rescued from the gutter, as was made patent by the gutter-filth that still encrusted it.
Before Adam by Jack London
He took me up the open space, between the caves and the river, and into the forest beyond, where, in a grassy place among the trees, we made a meal of stringy-rooted carrots.
Martin Eden by Jack London
And yet his work
stands out from the ruck of the contemporary versifiers as a balas ruby among
The place was a sort of store-house; containing bags of potatoes and baskets of carrots, onions and turnips.
• The Carrot Seed- Ruth Kraus
• Carrot Soup- John Segal
• Harry Loves Carrots- Roy A. Barnes
• The Giant Carrot- Jan Peck ( Russian Folktale)
• Garlic, Onion, Beet, Spinach, Mango, Carrot, Grapefruit Juice- Natalie Van Balen
• Carrots Don’t Talk- Katherine Lewis
• Just Enough Carrots- Stuart J. Murphy (Math) • Mommy, What Do Carrots Do? – Judy Tenzyk
• Crunching Carrots, NOT Candy- Judy Slack * voted one of 100 books by NEA as a fun nutritional picture book for kids.
• If Carrots Ruled the World- Create Poems • The Enormous Carrot- Lynn Garner –(Narrated mini story book)
• Edward Hopper and the Carrot Crunch- Mike Smith (MacMillian winner for Art) • Nanna’s Carrots- Aunty Rozzy (Audio Book) • Ugly Vegetables- Grace Lin
• Top and Bottoms – Janet Stevens (Caldecott winner)
• What Will I Do with All Those Root Vegetables- Elaine Borish
CARROT POETRY -
| Deaths Sweet
The world blurs before my eyes,
I breathe in gasps and not sighs,
I drift away from reality from all the crys and screams,
I understand that all this pain god necessary deems,
I come to a minds-eye field of Queen Annes lace,
I run across embodied by youthful grace.
I fall into deaths sweet embrace,
and somewhere far from here an white haired woman
forever sleeps, an free smile on her face.
Today I think
Only with scents, - scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot's seed,
An the square mustard field;
Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery.
Now Hare This McKimson-1958
Oh the carrots that bloom in the spring time
I'd rather have carrots than fish
Or pheasants or fowl or even an owl
In fact they are my favorite dish.
The Carrot By E Pasquill.
|Up in Ohakune,
amongst the rocks and snow,
How they grow the finest carrots,
Im sure youd like to know,
The earth is very fertile,
The temperatures are cold,
These are some of the secrets that grow Ohakune gold.
The Ohakune carrot is sold throughout the land,
|And now from what
they tell me, they sell millions in Japan.
With its vitamins and minerals, this vege is a treat,
Caramelised or roasted, mashed up with a swede,
The taste is just fantastic, Im sure you will agree,
Next time youre in Ohakune, a sample you must taste,
Of the Ohakune carrot, in a lovely carrot cake.
Volcanic Vegetables - Carrots By Cynthia Gallaher Chicago USA
I never guessed there were volcanoes in Illinois,
until I found them in my own garden.
Now, it happens every fall,
when I’m led to tall crater tops
issuing feathery green smoke.
I dig around gently in pitch-black earth
and touch something just beneath the surface,
where emerges the orange-hot lava of carrots
urged out in thick, hearty bunches.
I always make sure to wear gloves.
It’s rumoured carrots are good for the eyes,
yet who can’t help but see their radiance
when garden work is done
and twilight duskiness rises
like a dark mountain.
No matter how cold and crisp to the touch,
the carrots glow
like candles in my basket,
as they lead me up the
backstairs of my house.
I wash away a layer of mud and
pretend the carrots have been waiting all summer
to be released from their ebony underworld,
from their earthly wrap,
to their full expression on my brazen stove.
I slice each root,
carrot circles wink approval,
and the steamer collects a cache
which I cook and am paid
in richly colored coins to do so.
After dinner, I toss one from my plate
back into the earth for good luck.
Soon, the curling autumn fog rolls in, followed by winter snows,
cooling this upheaval of golden abundance
in layers of chalky ash.
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