Friday, January 11, 2013

The Fiasco of Frozen Carrots

I realized this morning that I had completely forgotten about my mystery carrots!

Wait... you did, too?

Hooray!  I'm not alone!!!

I discovered some surprise carrots growing in my lettuce patch at the end of November.

The carrots I discovered in November: beautiful green tops, and in perfect health.
Remember these?

After oooo-ing and ahhh-ing for a while, I raced off to grab some milk jugs to protect them.  The plan was simple:  Protect them until I was ready to harvest, then have some really nice and healthy munchies.

Simple plans, however, are sometimes prone to failure.

As you have probably figured out by now... I forgot about them.  It's now January.  We've gone through a few snowfalls, and the temperature has been below freezing every night.  Not good for the carrots.  I raced out to check on them, and the tops of the jugs were, of course covered with snow.

A thin layer of snow half covers the opening of the milk jugs placed atop the soil.

Some of the snow in the yard had melted the day before, so I knew the jugs had been covered with a lot more snow previously than what I had just discovered.  Oops.

Step 2?  Torture myself further.

I removed one of the milk jugs to peer inside.

Dark green carrot leaves surrounded by a thin layer of snow.  Soil at the bottom, then a layer of leaves around where the jug was sitting.  A thick layer of snow over that.

Yeah... not good.  The carrot leaf that wasn't covered with snow had strong evidence of frost damage.  Aside from the obvious snow around it, the leaves had turned an unhealthy green.  The ground was solid.

A masochist by nature, I elected to try to dig this one out.  

My trusty shovel, however, couldn't get the job done.  I only succeeded in removing the top few millimeters of soil.  Ugh.  So I took a break, in order to plan a new strategy.  I thought and thought.

I came up with some pretty awesome ideas, if I do say so myself...

Stick figure holding out a chainsaw while yelling "#@*!
A little too extreme?  Bummer.  That could've been fun.

 Finally, I found my weeding tool and a mallet.  I'd use those to pierce through the frozen soil.

There was just one problem...

Either my husband or I had left the mallet outside at the end of fall, and, well... it was kind of frozen to the bench that had been left by a previous occupant of this house.

A dandelion weeding tool sits beside a snow covered mallet... as well as an old plastic toy

Good thing I had the weeding tool, right?  I used it to pierce through the ice along the edges, then used it as a lever to break the mallet away from the bench.  Slowly, of course.  I didn't want the handle to crack!

It was rushed inside so that I could run it under cold water to get rid of the remaining ice, then I quickly dried it.  Still cold, the towel got stuck to the head of the mallet, so I used a few highly effective magical words,

"*!@!& @*!* $*&*!!!" in a speech bubble

And managed to remove the towel.

Then I went outside again, ready to get that frozen carrot.  It was beginning to feel like a lot of work...

I placed the tip of the weeding tool into the frozen soil and used the mallet to pound it in.  It wasn't exactly easy.  After I pounded the weeding tool into a few well placed areas, I was finally able to remove the carrot.

Most of it, anyway. 

I managed to leave the tip in the soil, so had to go through and remove the remaining carrot, as well.  Finally I got it all out - in three separate chunks.

A bright orange, frozen carrot in three chunks.

At least it was out, right?

Surprisingly, though frozen, it doesn't look too bad.  I may go ahead and try it out, see how it tastes.

I'll wait to remove the others until much later, though, I think!

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