Roasted apple-carrot combo becomes new favorite
Monday, March 24, 2014 4:19 AM
This has been an emotional day. Our family has been waiting for my daughter, Amanda, to make a decision on a new job. A week ago she was offered a garden center manager position out in Boston.
Honey Roasted Apples and Carrots
Makes 5 servings
(Source: Chef Marshall O'Brien)
1 pound Granny Smith apples
1 1/2 pounds carrots
2 tablespoons butter (unsalted preferred)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Quarter, core and cut unpeeled apples into medium chunks. Peel carrots, cut into medium segments (1/2 to 3/4 inch lengths). Melt butter, mix with honey and cinnamon.
Lay apples and carrots on a single layer in a roasting pan. Brush with butter and honey mixture. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes or until lightly golden and tender, but not mushy.
Remove from oven, serve.
Right now, she lives in Minnesota, within the Twin Cities metro area, so this would be a huge move. Within a day of her Boston job offer, another manager position she had applied for, that's within a 15-minute drive of her current home, was also offered to her.
When she called and told me about both jobs, I was careful to not say anything that might be construed as an endorsement of either position. Her story of the Boston interview sounded like an exhausting two-day experience starting with an interview beginning on the drive from the airport, right after they picked her up. Fortunately, it was broken by supper out with her boyfriend's aunt and uncle, who live within a 15-minute drive of the garden center.
Both were good opportunities. I was excited for her and waited for her to make a decision. When my son, Tyrel, said the job in Boston was "a chance of a lifetime," I wondered if I should share his thoughts.
Instead, I suggested that he offer his own ideas.
This morning, she called to say she had made a decision. I am really glad for her and while talking to her, I found the online connection to the garden center and it looked like it could be in Minnesota and not Massachusetts.
Yes, she is going to Boston - actually a suburb, a bit to the west.
Although I once traveled to Boston via car with my two youngest sons, Amanda had never been there and walked the Red Line (painted on the sidewalk) in downtown Boston that traces history, in a very historic city.
I can still see ourselves sitting in the North Church pew with head phones on listening to hoof beats of Revolutionary soldiers' horses. (If I remember correctly, the church was used during the war to house solders and their horses - thus the sound of hoof beats in our ears.)
I told Amanda about the Red Line, Plimoth Plantation, and the beautiful Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts that we visited on that trip, over a decade ago.
Now, a word about the weather.
It is such a relief to welcome the warmer temps we have had recently. I still have plenty of snow in the backyard. But wait, I am listening to the radio and they are talking snow. No!
There will also be more in St. Cloud where I am headed tomorrow for the Minnesota Farmers Market Association's annual meeting. Caitlin and I are driving up tomorrow evening. She currently manages a farmers market in St. Charles.
We are looking forward to learning the new state guidelines on sampling foods at markets and I am hoping to learn a few tips on accepting EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards, as we do at the Eyota Farmers Market. Again this season we will be offering a coupon program called "Market Bucks" for our EBT customers, thanks to The Center for Prevention Blue Cross Blue Shield. Each week, with an EBT purchase, our customer receives $5 in additional coupons to use at the market.
As spring beckons, so do thoughts of planting trees, planting in community garden plots and getting ready for a new farmers market season. My basement has become a "garden" with my son Logan's crops that he's starting for his CSA (Community Support Agriculture) customers, the farmers market and for me, too.
I am ready for spring and hope the snowstorms of winter are soon just a distant memory.
Tonight, I had two young men (grandsons) at my house eating chips with cheese, grilled cheese and drinking sugar free lemonade while their parents went to their sister's choir concert. Now, it is later and my dog, Delilah, thinks it should be her time for comfort by my side. Instead, I am writing - she is not pleased.
Although I tried creating a new pasta recipe, the white sauce didn't work quite right, so I need to practice a bit more before sharing it with you. Instead, I am offering the honey roasted apples and carrots recipe that Chef Marshall O'Brien of Minneapolis shared with the southeastern Minnesota school cooks two weeks ago, the day I wrote my last column.
It was a favorite of two Dover-Eyota school cooks (mine too), when I asked them for their best dish during an interview for the other story I wrote. Sometimes under a time crunch, I make really crazy mistakes when I write-the chef's recipe was to feed 25 with quantities incrementally increased to serve 200, using 40 pounds of apples and 64 pounds of carrots.
Unfortunately, when I shared this recipe for 25, I managed to not notice the "pounds" in the next column and in my haste left that off the recipe (instead saying, five apples and eight carrots). It was not until this Sunday night, when I made the recipe myself, that I realized my mistake.
Oh my! For you readers, I have pared down this recipe to five servings. It is a unique combo of flavors, taking advantage of how roasting a vegetable brings out the natural sugars in a vegetable (as Carrie Frank, Dover-Eyota's food and nutrition director has reminded me).
Cinnamon is a familiar spice with apples, but with carrots? This recipe is a good marriage of fruit, vegetable, spice and sweet.