Food & Drink Magazine

Carrots Solari – a Spectacular Embarressment

By Skfsullivan @spectacularlyd

CARROTS SOLARI – A SPECTACULAR EMBARRESSMENTSpecD doesn’t usually dwell on Recipes to Regret but a recent acquisition of farmer’s market carrots stimulated a Proustianesque shame from my past, hence this cautionary tale in this “recipe” for Carrots Solari.

At a certain point during college I was what we now call “over programmed.” Out the door around 7:30 or 8 am for a full day of classes. Straight from school to one of my two jobs, seven nights a week.

The fun job was the show on the Goldenrod Showboat, a dilapidated dinner theater anchored on the Mississippi at the base of the Gateway Arch. The very same 19th century showboat Edna Ferber based “Show Boat” on I might add. True! When not treading the boards I waited tables at an French restaurant in the tony suburb of Frontenac.

I was pulling 14 to 16 hours days.  Such is the lot of the young, poor student.

Anyway my great friend Jim Solari, nicknamed Mr. Wonderful #1 to distinguish him from his successor Mr. Wonderful #2, threw a party one Saturday night. My culinary aspirations already on the ascendancy, I volunteered to bring crudités.

I managed to swing by the Soulard farmer’s market to snatch a big bunch of carrots, freshly pulled from the Missouri dirt.  My plan was to peel and slice them at Solari’s elegant apartment in St. Louis’s fashionable Central West End.

Arriving at the party I deposited my crumpled paper bag in the kitchen as I started a quick round of hellos, fully intending to finish up my contribution to the feast. The whole gang was there. I lost track of time. There was a champagne fountain! Who wouldn’t get distracted?

The hilarity grew as everyone’s eyes turned red, developed glassy stares and an epidemic of the muchies set in.

Solari began passing a silver tray carrying my bunch of mud-clotted carrots, green tops and all. Au naturel has never been less appealing.

As he passed the tray, straight of face and sincere in tone, he murmured, “May I offer you a carrot? Sean brought them.”

I survive as living proof that it’s impossible to die from mortification while laughing uncontrollably.

Moral of the story: if you’re going to bring crudités, do prepare them properly in advance.

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