The Carrot Turning Upside Down and Inside Out

Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:48 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
The Carrot Turning Upside Down and Inside Out

by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

We’ve just celebrated the darkness of Winter solstice and are now rejoicing with the increasing light of the days.  Ever so slowly we approach the Summer Solstice by way of the Spring Equinox. Winter and Summer Solstices complement each other, like night and day, and are polar opposite.  One seems to reflect the other turned inside out or outside in.

We sense the quiet, contemplative mode of winter and the jubilant, social business of summer. Through the year we live between the heavier, more earthiness of winter and the lighter, almost buoyant consciousness of summer. The plants also live within these polarities of ‘inwardness’ and ‘outwardness’.  Through observation we notice how these polarities of the lighter, peripheral cosmic forces and the denser, heavier earthly forces work magically together through contraction and expansion in the different parts of the plant that we enjoy as food.

The root has its life in the moist soil. It hugs the earth and penetrates into its dark, cool, watery realm. Here it grows vertically down while simultaneously branching out. The forces of the earth support this beginning process of a plant. The root anchors and sustains the plant with life. Without the foothold in the solid earth there would be no plant. The roots are very similar to the soil wherein they grow. As the earth, they contain many salts and minerals. Roots are very firm and tough. They are primarily a product of densifying and contracting earth forces. The stronger these forces are at work the harder, more rigid and solid the roots become. The cosmic forces are also present in the root and the new shoots but they have given themselves over to the physical and earthly realm. Even though the leaves and flowers of perennial plants wither and decay, their roots sleep in the ground through the winter. When spring returns new life sprouts forth from the wintered roots. The earthly, downward moving forces, so dominating during the wintertime, are the primary creators of all roots.

What happens between the root and the stem? It is a phenomenal experience to observe in detail the different parts of plants. Look for example at a sprouting burdock newly dug from under the spring snow or another sprouting root vegetable (carrot, celeriac, beet or daikon) left in the refrigerator over the winter month. Bring your attention to the place where the root and stem meet. Notice how different the growth forces are of the root and of the beginning leaves. One creates the upward growing green tops, the other the downward reaching compact root. What happens there between these two forces of growth? Like the forces active around Summer and Winter Solstice, these growth forces are also lighter, upward lifting or heavier, downward reaching.

On the base where the top is connected with the root the forces intensify immensely. At this place the centripetal downward spiraling movement changes into a centrifugal upward spiraling force. And if we continue to study the root and the top a little closer, we find the inside core of the root has become the outer peripheral fibrous layers of the leafy greens. What is happening between the root and stem is a complete turning upside down and inside out. The vermilion red carrot and the deep green top belong together and complement each other like night and day or summer and winter. The place where the root and stem meet is the threshold between two worlds. When we clean roots we make sure to trim neatly around these transformative parts of the vegetables and include them in our meal or soup stocks.

Walnut Breaded Celeriac Root
The celeriac root has a unique flavor. I use celeriac in soup stocks, roast or fry it, with or without the crispy breading. 

1/2 c walnuts
1 egg
1 – 1 &1/2 cups roasted breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 dash of pepper
1 big celery root peeled and sliced in thick rounds, then quartered
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or butter

Soak the walnuts for 6-8 hours in lightly salted water. Drain and finely chop the nuts.

Beat the egg in a flat dish.

On parchment paper mix the breadcrumbs, walnuts, salt and pepper.

Place flour on another piece of parchment paper. Coat each piece of celeriac first in flour, then egg mixture, and last with the breadcrumb mixture. 

Heat a frying pan, and add oil or butter. Fry the celery piece about 5-7 minutes on each side until the breading is golden and the celeriac tender. Serve hot.

Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.

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