My dad was a health food nut. Long before there was anything like a health food craze, Dad blazed his own trail.
Carrot juice was Dad’s answer to good health. He lugged 25 pound bags of carrots home from the market and we drank carrot juice for breakfast. He created a special concoction from carrots, celery, flax meal, pumpkin seed meal, and lecithin. I actually liked the carrot juice. My brother tolerated it. My sister poured it out of her bedroom window into the flower bed.
I have a vegetable juicer and made carrot juice on and off for years. When I became aware of the whole food movement, I gave up the juicer because I was throwing out “tons” of pulp and fiber from the vegetables I juiced. I now have a VitaMix. I make vegetable smoothies and drink juice, pulp and all.
My mother made carrot and raisin salad that I adored as a child. Though I still love it, I haven’t eaten or made it in years because I no longer eat mayonnaise and haven’t found a substitute. There probably is a substitute; but, I am a purist. If I can’t have the real thing, I’d rather not have it at all.
An avid Julia Child fan, I watched every episode of The French Chef and most of Julia’s later programs. I have copies of many of her cookbooks. Adding a touch of Julia to anything I cooked is a challenge and a delight. I like to steam baby carrots. Julia tosses steamed baby carrots in butter and splashes them with brandy. “Dad!” said my young daughter. “Did you put booze on the carrots?”
I am a health nut on my own. I come by that distinction honestly. I choose to eat a plant-based diet that works well for me and that I enjoy. At a recent Thanksgiving dinner, a family member remarked, “When all of us are gone because we ate this unhealthy Thanksgiving food, your Thanksgivings are going to be pretty lonely, Dennis.”