Despite Mark’s doubts, I had been convinced all along that we could leave our carrots in the ground all of winter if we covered them with enough mulch and were willing to dig through snow. I was wrong, leading to a desperate rush to dig what I could salvage from the already partially frozen ground (even under 8 inches of dead leaves) in mid-November. We had a lot of casualties: smaller ones frozen all the way through already; bigger ones that snapped when I tried to pry them up; lots that were severed by my careless shovel. But, we still had a good enough harvest for us. They’re all buried in sand in a wooden box in our basement. Apparently, this will help keep them crisp. We had very poor luck in storage last year (they were all floppy within two or three weeks), so anything will be better than that. Either way, they’re in the basement until spring since the 50 pounds of sand will bust out the bottom of the box if we try to move them now.
We use carrots mostly in soups and stocks, and sometimes roasted in the oven with a little butter. Recently, we’ve been trying carrot salad, which I never liked before when it was mixed with raisins, apples, and mayo dressing. Instead, we mix shredded carrots with a light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice or white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, a bit of sugar, and some chopped parsley. It’s summery, but sometimes that’s a nice break from heavier winter food. Plus, it’s nice to get to shred, rather than try to chop, the more impressively disfigured ones.