Celebrating Carrots. . . and Macaroni

April 4 is International Carrot Day. Let the fanfare begin. . . . ho-hum. Nothing.
First of all, who decides on these celebrations and picks the day? I don’t really think there’s a mad rush to go out and celebrate the carrot anywhere.

There are a few rather obscure facts I discovered during my research on carrots (not involving recipes) that may be of interest, however.

  • During World War II, the British started a rumor that their pilots were able to shoot down German planes more accurately because they were eating huge amounts of carrots to improve their eyesight. According to research, the British did not want the knowledge that they had achieved advancements in their radar systems to become known to the enemy. Therefore, they launched what has now become an urban legend. The British themselves bought into the story to the point that backyard gardens cropped up (pun intended) all over.
  • The other fact is even further back in history – BC, to be exact. Evidently, there are properties in the seeds and leaves of carrots that were used to counteract poisons used in that time period. Carrots as poison prevention? Who knew?

For those who really like carrots, my apologies – I’m not a big fan. I do like them in carrot cake and have been known to justify eating carrot cake because there’s a vegetable in it. Admit it, you’ve done the same thing, haven’t you? And, they make a crunchy addition to a salad – those little shreds that someone probably sacrificed their knuckles to create.

Why is it that babies seem to love carrots all mushed up, but not once they get a few years older? You can always tell if a baby loves carrots because their hands take on an orange tint.

What does macaroni have to do with carrots? Nothing, but it does counterbalance the “I’m not going to eat those carrots, I’ll sit here ‘til they root to the table but they’re not getting past my lips,” stance that many kids take.

So, let’s talk macaroni – a kid’s favorite meal it seems. That blue box of macaroni has magical powers because it is actually something that kids ask for and will eat as much as you’ll let them have. It’s a side dish that never goes wrong. You can have a full, five-course meal you spent hours preparing and your child will ignore everything else for the bowl of macaroni. They claim the entire bowl for themselves. The shape of the noodles is also important. Are they regular noodles, spirals, animal shapes, etc.? No change in flavor. It just proves that presentation does matter to kids, right?

It’s ironic that the cheesy powder is the same color as carrots. Maybe to add some nutritional value, we should grind up a carrot or two and mix it into the cheese. Wonder if anyone would notice?

Never mind, I’ll just celebrate carrot day with a slice of carrot cake! Here’s to the carrot!