I point to tall, green, feathery fronds in the garden: “Pull that, Liam.” He yanks and his eyes go wide with shock and awe. “A carrot!!” Like it’s the last thing in the world he expected. A garden will do that to you. Flowers that become apples, feathery ferns that become asparagus, seeds that become tomatoes with tart juice that runs down your chin. The very idea of a world that renews itself, quivering with life, is enough to shake me to my roots. That I can feel connected to it, and watch it giving birth to itself each spring is truly a gift. The birds and the butterflies are back, the trees are greening, the sap is running, the earth is quickening. Quick, fling the doors open wide and let it in!
1 bunch carrots, peeled and grated on the large holes of a grater
1/3 c. minced onion
1/3 c. grated cheddar
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. creme fraiche, sour cream, or heavy cream (if using cream, reduce quantity to 1/4 c.)
salt & pepper
oil for frying (I use grapeseed)
Combine carrots, onion, cheese, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add flour and toss to coat evenly. Whisk together creme fraiche and egg, then add to carrot mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet until ripples form. Drop carrot mixture a flatten slightly. When browned, carefully flip over to brown and crisp the other side. Drain on paper towels or a grocery bag and serve warm.