As promised the pics of our gardens are going to start rolling in. The raised bed closest to the center of the shed is our carrot and onion bed.
This year we’ve combined our carrots and onions in one raised bed. The thinking behind this companion planting is to naturally deter pests. We have concluded that for us, this has been a very successful combination! Nice big first crop with absolutely no pest problems. As you near the vicinity of the bed, the aroma of fresh onions is quite powerful and can only assume an excellent bug repellent.
The three types of carrots that we’ve planted are Scarlett Nantes (nice mild flavor although a wee bit hairy), Yellowstone (kind of deformed looking as well as being the most prolific) and Red Core Chantenay (which are stalkier with broader shoulders), In the same bed are red, white and yellow onions which need to mellow in the earth for awhile to sweeten their flavor.
There’s only so much mirepoix you can make for the freezer. What else can you possibly do with all those carrots, you ask? Buckle up kids, cause here’s a recipe for the ages!
24K Gold Carrot Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 tsp. of baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbl. ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of cooking oil
- 4 cups of grated raw carrots
- 1 Granny Smith apple, grated
- 1 cup chopped pecans
1. In a large bowl, beat eggs, until foamy. Slowly add the oil.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add to the egg mixture.
3. Mix in carrots, apple and nuts.
4. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9″ rounds cake pans. Bake approx. 25 minutes or until toothpick tester comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 10 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
- 1 cup toasted coconut
- Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add in sugar, one cup at a time. Add vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
- After you frost the cake, press the toasted coconut around the sides for a truly delectable touch!
Throw a couple of these in the freezer for fall/winter consumption and you will be able to enjoy your homegrown carrots year round! They also make great cupcakes.