Last night I came home with a craving for a good hearty vegetable dish to accompany a beautiful roast of pork. I was determined to find a perfect recipe to make with these beautiful carrots and beets I had lying around all fresh and beautiful for the past 2 or 3 days. So Orange Liqueur Glazed Carrots & Beets it was.
Freshly picked, they were the perfect size, small to medium, and were almost baby like.
The young man, Fenio, who planted and picked them is a real gem with his genuine smile and smart look. He is learning to become a carpenter in the foot steps of his uncle who is a truly talented tradesman. With his spare time, he enjoys growing a vegetable garden in the area of Fort-Jacques overlooking the Port-au-Prince bay, which brings him some extra cash here and there.
His vegetable gardens were truly gracious this season and so was he.
It is with the same pride that any green thumb would have brought forward the collect of his labour, that this Sunday he brought me a bountiful basket filled with freshly picked vegetables as a gift. The thing is, this pride was somehow concealed under a veil of humility like none other, which I found so admirable, but borderline anxious. Almost as if he was waiting on my seal of approval on his harvest delights, kind of unsure if I would find them beautiful.
The glow of content on Fenio’s face when I clapped with joy was overwhelming. I told him that the day I would be able to grow even one orange from my yard that looked as beautiful and impeccable as his vegetables, I would walk up, no, dance up the mountain top, just to bring it to him, and show him that his good lessons and advice on gardening had indeed come in handy.
Little did he know that I was serious in saying that the odds of that were truly slim, as I am the complete opposite of a green thumb. I love plants. Love flowers. Love beautiful gardens. But somehow, I am incapable of maintaining or growing anything green successfully. Give praise where it is due, my home garden is the true great success of my wonderful gardner, Frantz, nicknamed “The Man” (L’homme in French) :) Someone I admire tremendously. The most hard working, driven young entrepreneur for whom I have the greatest respect, but that’s another story I’ll have to tell you some other day.
Lately other moms often talk to me about growing pains, and wonder if the boys, now 10, have any? Thank goodness, for now at least, they do not. But I think that this expression matches perfectly my agronomic experiments: all growing pains!!!
I may water, fertilize, caress, chant, converse, whisper, water, water some more, de-pot or re-pot, all in all, the end result is always quite disappointing.
Mother nature offers its beauties to all of us to treasure and enjoy, but she definitely leaves the joy of harvesting to only a deserving few. I believe, that is a fair trade with humanity. Think about it. If we all could grow our veggies and fruits equally, and were all graced with the same capacity to make beautiful beets and carrots as Fenio, he would never know the joy and excitement of bringing his pride offerings to someone as appreciative as me. And I would certainly not value and prep these beautiful glazed carrots and beets the same way, as I would have them daily I guess. Coated and glazed with a delicious Haitian Orange Rum Liqueur buttery syrup, they are a perfect celebration of Fall.
So here’s to you Mother nature! And to Fenio of course !
Ingredients for 4-6
1.5 lb small to medium carrots 2 lb small to medium beets 1 cup orange rum liqueur (Haitian Berling Orange Liqueur preferably) 1 tbsp salted butter 1/4 tsp coriander 1/2 lime juice 1/4 cup water 4 sprigs of fresh thyme Fresh cracked black pepper
Wash your vegetables thoroughly.
Boil the carrots and beets separately.
Carrots will take approximately 10 minutes.
Beets will take 20-25 minutes depending on their size.
Once the carrots are boiled, remove the heads and peel them of their skin gently.
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, place your Orange Liqueur, and bring it to a medium simmer, allowing it to bubble and get to a syrup texture.
Add in your butter, and with a spatula or wooden spoon, mix together.
Add in your your carrots and toss the, around gently to get them covered entirely with the glaze.
Let them simmer for about 10 minutes, the time it takes for your beets to finish boiling and for you to quickly peel them removing skin and ends.
When you are ready for the beets, bring up the heat a little allowing the glaze to caramelize, and turn your carrots a little darker in coating.
Remove the carrots, reduce the heat and add in your water and lime juice to the light caramel glaze, to thin it.
Add in your beets, and toss them around gently to coat them with the glaze. Keep mixing for another 10 minutes allowing them to fully get coated and caramelized on the outside.
Once ready, top with a splash of fresh cracked black pepper and your leaves of fresh thyme.
Serve warm and accompany with your favorite piece of grilled meat or a nice slice of perfectly roasted pork.