HELEN LANG: How to use up a lifetime supply of carrots

Home again after a whole week of being totally spoiled. Actually I don’t approve. You get lazy, and expect instant attention.

Home again after a whole week of being totally spoiled. Actually I don’t approve. You get lazy, and expect instant attention.

I observed this in my brother’s behavior. He doesn’t even brush his own hair, for heaven’s sake. I love him dearly but am disappointed he isn’t more independent. He just lies back and enjoys being waited upon. No! I’m not jealous! I would hate it, unless I were totally helpless, and then I guess I’d have to accept being assisted. In the meanwhile, stand back, I’m coming through!

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, on to gardening. although there isn’t much of that going on right now.

I was given an amaryllis bulb (red) by one of his staff, as he would never plant it. I put it in soil, half way up the bulb, and watered it well before putting it in the west window where it will get lots of sunlight.

Already, it’s sending up a green shoot.

I’m afraid it is only a leaf, whereas if it’s going to bloom it seems best to have the bud show up first. At least this has been my previous experience.

One of the girls at my brother’s place has started five paper white narcissus in a large vase with a narrow neck, which will keep the leaves from falling over, as they seem to do in a sort of drunken display, unless supported some way. They, too, have already started sending out green leaves.

They are a delight when they flower — they are not only beautiful, but they smell heavenly. I hope to get to a nursery before they are all sold.

Annie, how about it?

Herb’s large garden doesn’t look much better than my balcony … rather lonesome and sad … but I think fondly of all the bulbs busily producing roots under that bare soil, planning a glorious display this coming spring.

The carrots out on the balcony  in their big pot are still looking pretty spry, which reminds me that, in a weak moment, I bought a big bag of carrots  — about a lifetime supply!

Now I’m faced with thinking of some way to use them before they shrivel up. Oh, I know there are carrot cakes, muffins, milk shakes … no, no, not milk shakes,  maybe soup.

I have been considering this possibility and will give it a try. I plan to slice up a lot of the carrots, a couple of peeled sweet potatoes, add half a peeled and diced acorn squash and a sliced onion or two. I’ll put these in a large pot in water. I’d like to add either chicken or beef broth, but my daughter is a vegetarian so that is out. I’m stuck with a broth made from soy sauce, a dash of honey-garlic sauce.,a generous sprinkle of Knorr’s beef powder (is that cheating?) and a couple of sticks of sliced up celery plus, of course, the water.

If it tastes wonderful, or even moderately good, I’ll let you know (in case you make the mistake I did and end up with a whole winter’s supply of carrots in one pastic bag).

If it tastes revolting I won’t mention it, of course.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.