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Are You a Carrot, Egg, Or Coffee Bean?

 

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.

1 carrotsSoon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed some carrots, in the second she placed a few eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. 

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.

She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.

She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter she asked, “Tell me, what you see?” 

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young woman replied.

The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.

She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.1 carrots 2

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked,

“What does it mean?” 

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. 

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hard!

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had transformed the water. 

Each object faced the exact same ‘adversity.’  But each reacted differently.

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“W

“Which are you?” the mother asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

When times are tough do I wilt and become soft, or tough and hard? Or do I work to change the water/situation around me?

“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.”  Horace

 

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 Featured Recipe        Pasta Primavera

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Primavera means spring in Italian. This dish is a celebration of spring vegetables!

Some recipes call for lots and lots and lots and LOTS of vegetables. I am too lazy to do all that cutting and prepping. So I only use a few vegetables. Plus I like the simpler taste of only a few vegetables as opposed to so many.

This recipe is modeled on the first time I ever had Pasta Primavera. Believe it or not, it was at an airport. This was MANY, MANY years ago when there were actually real restaurants and real kitchens at airports. Used to be real and delicious food on airplane fights too. The Pasta Primavera was fantastic and it only had a few vegetables in it, chief among them broccoli and carrots.

NOTE ON THE FETTUCINNE: The fettuccine I use today is a gift from my very good, dear, and very nice Twitter friend @doodeegoose – Cheryl. This is fresh home made from Riccardo’s in Watertown, NY. When I received the gift I knew I was going to use it in a recipe for More Thyme Than Dough.

IT WAS FANTASTIC! The pasta was SO good I wanted to eat the entire package with nothing on it. It was THAT good. No sauce needed.

You may remember Cheryl. She is Everyday Cook # 4.

Cheryl is very generous and sweet for sending me such a wonderful gift. Thank you, Cheryl. It made today’s recipe very special!

DISCLAIMER: I received neither payment nor remuneration of any kind for using or writing about the fettuccine.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

6 ounces fettuccine

½ cup broccoli florets or to taste

½ cup sliced carrots

1 clove garlic

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup whipping cream

½ cup chicken broth

½ – 1 cup Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons pine nuts – Optional

Peas or Snap peas* – Optional

Salt & pepper to taste

*I use peas if I have leftovers or some in the freezer. I had none today. But I saw the snap peas on the salad bar at the grocery store. So I got a few.

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Here is what you do:

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

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Slice the broccoli into bite size florets and the carrots into small, narrow sticks.

NOTE: I cheated. Today I bought already prepared vegetables off the salad bar at my local grocery store. This saves time. Hey!!! Life is about trade offs and time. I wanted to do some gardening today, not slice and dice vegetables. I have my priorities!

In a steamer steam the florets and carrots until crisp tender. I put the broccoli in first for a minute or two, then add the carrots for a minute or two.

NOTE: I steamed only the broccoli this time. Since the carrots were super thin I did not add the carrots to the steamer. I did add the snap peas the last 30 seconds or so before removing steam basket from pan and let drain.

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While the veggies are draining melt the butter in a skillet over medium low heat and press the garlic directly into the melted butter and sauté and stir until it becomes fragrant. This won’t take long.

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Then add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper if using, and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is thick and smooth. I add ½ cup of cheese first and wait to see how thick the sauce becomes. Then, if necessary, I add a few more tablespoons at a time until I get the consistency I want.

If the sauce gets too thick, not to worry. Just add a teaspoon or two of chicken broth to make it thinner. Just remember what Everyday Cook #9 , @Sookietex says: There are no cooking mistakes; just new recipes.

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Not too thick. Not too runny. Just the right thickness. I can mix the pasta and veggies into the sauce with ease.

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 Add the pasta and the broccoli and carrots (I added the carrots without cooking as they are so thin they will cook in the heat of the sauce.) and snap peas and gently toss or mix into the sauce until everything is hot.

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Divide the Pasta Primavera between 3 plates and serve with a salad and some garlic bread.

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With pine nuts on top. 

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Bon appétit!!! 

Cost

6 ounces fettuccine              $1.55

½ cup broccoli florets          $1.96

½ cup diced carrots             $0.45             

1 clove garlic                       $0.11

4 tablespoons butter             $0.31                          

½ cup whipping cream         $1.50

½ cup chicken broth             $0.44

½ – 1 cup Parm cheese        $2.04 – $4.08

2 tablespoons pine nuts        $1.57

Snap peas                           $0.58

Salt & pepper to taste

Total cost = $10.57 – $12.61  ~ depending on how much cheese you use.

Cost per person = $3.50 -$4.20

Quote of the Day

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.

Theodore Rubin

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6 comments to Are You a Carrot, Egg, Or Coffee Bean?

  • I love pasta primavera but that story is wonderful and one I needed to hear today 🙂

    • Roberta

      Isn’t it amazing how things and life interesects like that, Maureen? That post was a last minute substitution because I did not have time to write/finish the post I was working on.

      Glad it was what you needed right now. Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. Hugs.

  • Impressive parable. I love it. Definitely not a carrot nor a hard boiled egg. I suppose I’m the coffee.
    I do like veggies but I’m not so big on pasta. Ever since I was little I’ve served myself a bowl of pasta sauce and just dipped some of the pasta into the sauce. I much prefer the sauce.

    • Roberta

      LOL Julia. I think you are on to something there. 🙂 Sauces are mighty good. But you might change your mind if you had THIS pasta. It was so superior to any store bought.

  • Excellent and practical way to demonstrate how different people overcome, or are overcome by, adversity. I will definitely link back to this post. Thank you for this lesson Roberta.

    • Roberta

      You are very welcome, Peter. The least I can do considering how much you have done for me. Blessings.