Thursday, October 15, 2009

Baby Carrots

A sandwich bag full of baby carrots is a staple in my lunch pail. Just kidding, I don't use a lunch pail, I usually just throw stuff haphazardly into a leftover plastic grocery bag. Which needs to change because that's no kind of stable support for food swimming around in Tupperware containers. I'm holding out for one of those fancy neoprene designer BYO lunch bags. Such as below:


In any case, as usual I digress.

Baby carrots. Now my first thought when it comes to carrots brings me back to Gerlingen, Germany. When I was a young eager girl (hey wait, I still am!) - well, back in the earlier 2000's - I wanted to live in a foreign place and assimilate completely into the local everyday life. So I participated in an exchange program and lived with a family in southern Germany. A family of four, the Boehmlers, complete with a doggie and elder Oma living just down the street. I have to say, grandparent's houses are universally alike. They all have some type of musty old-people odor, the fridge always has some type of odd juice, and the color scheme is always from the 70's.

My german host parents were pretty damn hip. They owned a Metalbau (a metal-work company), they were well off, energetic, so welcoming, and full of zest for life. I loved this family, including their daughter who happened to be right around my age - absolutely PERFECT placement I have to say on behalf of the exchange program. She was my instant-german-BFF. Gerlingen is a 'burb right outside of the city of Stuttgart - easy access - and she spent the entirety of my many months living with them showing me every facet of her life and region.

Now Momma Boehmler when you first met her looked a little bit shockingly tan. I never pictured Germans having such a glow - with a slightly orange tint. By the end of my time there it was clear how she achieved this look - and it's been branded into my brain forever.

Every single night, after we finished our dinner of sausages, assorted cheeses, little baby pickles, and yumm-o fresh bread and butter.......Momma Boehmler would take stance behind the big countertop peninsula in the kitchen, and whip out the juicer. She would then proceed to plop down a monstrous bag of HUGEEE thick long stalky carrots - still covered in dirt, still with leaves attached, as if she had walked in straight from yanking them out of the farmer's tended ground. She peeled them all in a flash - astoundingly quickly - and would begin shoving each one down into the juicer. By the end of her pile she had a JUG of carrot juice at her fingertips.......and yes, she would drink every last drop.

This occurence happened.......every single night.

And this occurence.....caused her to have orange skin. And this is a not a joke. She knew it - owned it - and was even proud of it! Her carrot-juice-drinking-self. It's healthy for you - (insert illustrious list of health benefits here)

So I sit here at lunch everyday....and as I crunch into my first baby carrot my mind always shoots back to my orange german. And then I wonder if I keep eating carrots everyday at lunch, will my skin achieve a shade of orange too? Good thing I stick with the babies, and it's only a sandwich bag full, not a sack full.

I also wonder if anyone would take some baby carrots if I did a carrot bowl instead of a candy bowl at my desk.

Scanned in from the ye-old-days of developing actual film

My exchange program counselor - who I'd check in with periodically about how things were going

I WILL find some photos of my actual host family :-) And I'll have new ones soon anyways as they're currently in the US and I'll be seeing them this weekend - for the first time in years!


Tina Fabiano™ said...

What an awesome recollection! Your host family sound like characters out of a book. I remember years ago in German class when you said you had done an exchange, but I didn't know it was with such an interesting bunch! Hope your reunion is excellent!

Nomad said...

i wish i was smart enough to do some sort of exchange program when i was younger. cant think of a better way to immerse yourself into a foreign culture. jealous. you're making me want to buy a juiceman... those still around?

AManda said...

This sounds like such a great experience. I eat carrots all the time but I can't imagine eating enough to turn orange!

Anonymous said...

This is actually the "Gerber Glow" that the baby food company advertises. My mother (St. Louis, MO) used to feed us carrot baby food 'til our hands and feet turned orange on the palms and soles and would then feed us green stuff (peas, beans) 'til our palms and soles paled out. This way, her babies were all tanned and pretty. :) The antioxidants are good for you. If you get too orange, lay off the carrots and eat some peas :)

Elsa said...
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