Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Maple-Sugar Glazed Carrots

How is it possible that it's been a month since my last post? 

How many bloggers do you think open with that question? (Probably not very many successful ones!)

I haven't even posted about my garden. Which, I planted back on Memorial Day weekend... It's huge now. The tomatillos have mounted a full-scale takeover of bed #1, while too many zucchini planted in bed #2 are quickly overpowering my poor, stunted peppers. In three years of backyard gardening in this locale, I've never grown a robust pepper. I should probably read up on what sort of soil everything likes, but I mostly just plant and pray. Don't get me wrong -- I have learned a bit here and there, and I call my green-thumbed mom for advice pretty often.  

Anyway... I wish I could say I grew these carrots! We grew them our first year here, in our deepest raised bed, but they came out small and stubby. I suppose we should have tilled the ground more, before installing the bed, but we were eager beavers. Not to mention spoiled by the Vermont farm soil we left behind. This year I planted: black zucchini, Brandywine tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, basil, cilantro, parsley and "fake" jalepenos (they are not supposed to be spicy). Maybe I'll get around to posting the garden pictures next month.
We've been up to other stuff, too... I canned Blueberry Marmalade today. (Will post the recipe once I'm sure it sets up*.) My oldest is doing Vacation Fibre School at fibre space, and she LOVES it. She's a real knitter now. When I try to get her out the door to swim practice, it's "Just let me finish this row, Mom!"

I love it!
We spent an awesome, too-short weekend with our Creekhouse gang, in Seven Springs, PA. This was the best location for all of us to sort of meet in the middle, coming from CT, IN and VA. It was great. Getting together with those people and enjoying each other and all of our crazy, growing kids is never anything short of amazing.

I'm sure there's some other stuff... There are posts drafted for Mojito Cake, Louisiana Chocolate Pound Cake and The Best Way to Roast a Chicken. We are always cooking! 

Tonight I made this. It's simple. It's good. And I think you should try it. I got the Maple Sugar in the baking aisle @ Trader Joe's, but I've seen it elsewhere, too. It subs for sugar about 3/4 c. maple sugar to 1 c. sugar, and adds a great depth of flavor along with sweetness. I would like next to try rubbing it on fish before it hits the grill -- I'll let you know if I do, of course.

*UPDATE: The blueberry marmalade set and pairs perfectly, spread over pork tenderloin!

1 1/2 - 2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped into 3" long 1/4" thick julienne
3-4 TB butter
heaping 1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 -3 tsp maple sugar
kosher salt
ground pepper

Melt butter in large, deep pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and maple sugar; stir to dissolve. Add carrots and stir to coat with butter. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water just to cover about halfway up the carrots in your pan. You don't want to add too much, lest they turn soggy as you try to cook all of that water off. Cover and return to boil. Once water is boiling, cook about 1 minute covered, then remove the lid and stir & cook over high heat until most of the water has evaporated. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped herbs, if desired. I did -- just took the picture before I added the parsley. Rosemary would be good, too...

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