Friday, October 28, 2005

Carrot Souffle

The holidays are upon us. As we alternate bouts of guilt and indulgence, I have yet another sinful contribution to make for your holiday table: Carrot Souffle. What? you say, I never heard of such a thing! Well, get over it. I can tell you from personal experience that of all the hundreds of offerings that I have had experience with on a cafeteria line, carrot souffle was probably the most fun to sell.

"I'll have some of those sweet potatoes," pointing...

"That isn't sweet potatoes. It's carrot souffle."

"What! I thought it was sweet potato souffle."

"No, ma'am, it's carrots. "

"Well give me some broccoli instead."

"Carrot souffle is really good. Here, taste it," offering a sample.

Customer fumbles with a roll of silver, takes out a fork and cautiously tastes a bit.
"Hey, that's really good. Gimme some of that."

I don't know how many times I have watched that scene. For an otherwise bored and boring cafeteria line worker, standing there for hours doing one of the world's most monotonous jobs, it was a rare chance to have anything resembling a human exchange with an endless line of otherwise faceless people who went past treating the servers with the same measure of indiffernce that they were typically being handled.

"Smile!" the manangement said. "Show some teeth!" (You couldn't always say that, of course, because for many of them teeth were ugly or missing altogether, but it could be another way to lift the mood. Don't get me started.)

Anyway, I found a link to the Carrot Souffle recipe from what I consider a totally reliable source, the blogmaster at Golden Pond, profiled as Vietnam Catfish. (It's a long story.)

If you want to impress the family and add a special dish to the holiday table, have at it. It's more a dessert than a vegetable. Very sweet. I have known it to be cooked in a pie shell like sweet potato or pumpkin pie, and the result is excellent if you haven't made it too fragile. But it is a "souffle" so treat it with respect.

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