Glazed Carrots

Well everyone, Christmas is only a handful of hours away. Pretty soon you’ll be spending time opening presents, singing carols, and doing your best to tolerate those family members that you absolutely cannot stand.

Perhaps this year you will be bringing your top secret mashed potatoes to dinner, or your award-winning deviled eggs, or even your patented fight-inducing egg nog.  There may be pots and pans simmering on your stove at this very moment.  This year, I will be bringing cranberry sauce, stuffing, and sweet potato casserole.  It seems every year I add another dish to my Christmas dinner repertoire.  Usually that decision comes after a revelation that I don’t like my mom’s (fill in the blank) and can’t believe I’ve been eating it for the past 30 years.

I always wondered when children decide to take over the Christmas dinner responsibilities from their parents.  I guess it’s when you have compiled a complete spread of recipes that exceeds the ones you’ve been eating for decades.  I will be there soon, apparently.

Today’s dish, just in time for your familial feast is Glazed Carrots.  This recipe comes from the Special Surprises section of the book.  This section has the most non-dessert, entree or side item-like dishes. We’ll see more of those in the New Year.  (We’ll also be getting to this recipe’s two alternate preparations: one for beets and one for yams!)

So, Kool-Aid and carrots.  What to say?  This is one of the few recipes I’ve made so far, where the Kool-Aid gets dominated by another flavor.  Here the carrots are obviously the most assertive.  Also, the salt and butter really cut the sweetness of the Kool-Aid, so what you’re left with is a weird mélange of carrot slices floating in a salty, sweetish, orangey translucent syrup.  Sounds enticing, right?  I’d love to say it works, but it doesn’t.  I’ve mentioned before that Orange is by far the most heinous of Kool-Aid flavors, and this dish is another reminder of that.  The medicine taste of the Orange Kool-Aid comes in at the end of the chew, and therefore is the last flavor you’re left thinking about.  It’s not a good flavor to end on.  You’re already going to have a bunch of horrible thoughts going through your head; you don’t need to add Orange Kool-Aid rage to that.

This year, if you are in need of a last second item to bring, say, if you absolutely hate preparing food and want to be sure you will not be asked to do so for future Christmases, then this is recipe for you.  Show up with these carrots, stain the tablecloth and everyone’s insides orange, and you can be sure you’re holiday cooking days are over.  Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

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Citrus-flavored Yogurt

I can’t decide how Kool-Aid Comes of Age was put together.  On one hand I think they started with very simple ideas for recipes, sticking to the obvious punches and drinks.  But maybe those were too obvious.  Of course a Kool-Aid cookbook is going to have drink recipes.

Maybe they just went full-on adventurous, dreaming grand dreams like brave culinary visionaries, and started with the pies and the desserts and the main courses.

Either way, at some point they realized they needed some recipes to pad out the book.  Their deadline was looming, and their editor was getting antsy, so they needed something quick and simple.

EXT. THE KOOL-AID TEST LAB KITCHEN

ALICE
Ya got anymore punch ideas?

DEB
I’m out. How about desserts? Have we
frozen the stuff every way we could think of?

ALICE
Yeah, we did…damn. What about pies?

DEB
I’m spent, Alice. I peaked with the Sweet ‘n
Sour Pork idea. What are we gonna do?

ALICE
What if we just mix it in with something?
Just by itself. Like two ingredients.

DEB
Well, it’s not the most exciting idea I’ve
heard, but I’m game.

Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs” wafts in from the open door.

ALICE
(calling down the hall)
Hey, Barb?!

BARB
Yea honey?!

ALICE
Whatcha got for lunch today?!

BARB
I gotta sandwich with some turkey I picked
up on sale at the A&P!

DEB
(looking disappointed)
Nope.

ALICE
What else?!

BARB
Some saltines! A banana!

Alice looks at Deb.

DEB
We covered bananas.

ALICE
Is that it, Barb?!

BARB
I got some plain yogurt.

Alice and Deb look at other. Deb looks around the kitchen. There is some spilled Kool-Aid powder near one of the sinks.

ALICE
What flavor is that?

DEB
Lemonade.

ALICE and DEB
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Cut to two weeks later and we have a proof copy of the book circulating around the Kool-Aid offices, and people are stopping by to congratulate Alice and Deb.  A few weeks later the book is published and every 70s housewife finds herself deciding between Whipped Lemon Butter, Double Berry Sauce, or Citrus-Flavored Yogurt for her next party.

I’m in talks to reunite Lori Petty and Geena Davis for the roles of Alice and Deb.

Citrus-flavored yogurt is one of our final recipes in the Stir-ins and Pour-ons section.  It’s not terrible but it’s not great.  The flavor progression starts out with the tangy yogurt which gives way to a little sweetness, then to a splash of lemon flavor not unlike a regular store bought flavored yogurt, then finally to wave of Kool-Aid Lemonade flavor.  The final lemonade flavor is a little weird in that it stands quite independently from the other flavors.  It is a pushy reminder that here there be Kool-Aid.  Unlike Alice and Deb the chemistry between the two main ingredients never quite comes together.  But again, it’s not terrible.

Also, I was fresh out of fruit and lamb at the time of this writing, so I only tried the yogurt by itself. Even though the idea of lamb and Kool-Aid coming together at last boggles the mind.  I may have to revisit that.

Until then, look for my crowd-funded film adaptation of the book entitled Eat, Pray, Kool-Aid, coming soon to a theater near you.