There was an unexpected fog that had settled over the foothills overnight, and I noticed it as I slung a vest over my shoulders and crept out of the house, pulling the door behind me. I was heading to the store – in my pajamas – because I’d forgotten to pick up dill; I was making a little breakfast spread for two. It was unseasonably cold out. Cold enough that as I stepped over the threshold I seriously considered ripping off the vest, running back up the steps and leaping into bed again. But I really wanted that dill.
There is nothing more annoying than making a trip to the store for only one thing, especially in your pajamas, and especially when it’s not because you *want* vanilla ice cream late at night, or because you *want* to make macaroni and cheese in the darkest hours. I really couldn’t imagine breakfast without dill, and I felt pretty imprudent of me.
I try really hard to focus on what we have; the things we buy, keep, create or bring into our lives. To make due with all that goodness and use it in creative + unexpected as a means of making life more simple, but also to reduce my personal brain damage. To spend more time just being, instead of constantly doing. So, I kicked myself that morning – in my pajamas, in the fog, with dill in hand – was I missing out on a larger something because of my own OCD fixation on the dill? Shit!
I *needed* that silly little box of dill because I was making an early breakfast spread for Derek; it was a small moment in a busy weekend, and one that was meant to help us celebrate him and to give us a bit of time before I headed to California for what seems like a long time. Lox + bagels his known favorite, with all the fixings; bagels, cream cheese, big juicy capers, red onions, cucumbers…and of course, dill. In our house, when I treat him and lay out a whole tray of goodies for a special breakfast (or just a time when it fits,) I also slice radishes, cucumbers, avocado…and this time I had made this Roasted Carrot Butter to spread on the bagels for a change. It was going to be such a good breakfast!
Derek woke up, we walked Gunner in the fog, we got back home and had our bagel feast and completely enjoyed the dill. We were both thankful for my opulent behavior earlier in the morning, I know. The spread on the bagel, with the dill, is pretty much everything. It might be that my resourcefulness with the carrot spread counteracted my wasteful dill grocery run, but it doesn’t matter I guess. Maybe it’s just the mindfulness in it all that matters.
Everything I needed to make it (macadamia nuts, maple syrup, a little olive oil, and the carrots of course,) I had on hand. All I really needed to find was a slice of time. This completely new expression of roasted carrots was so sweet/dynamic/unexpected, it’s going to enjoy a little space on our lox + bagel spread on many special mornings to come.
So, to make your own: If you don’t have macadamia nuts, cashews would also be spectacular. I suggest roasting the carrots the night before, maybe while the oven is on for dinner already? Let the roasted carrots chill overnight and in the morning you’ll be ready to blend. Unlike making a batch of almond butter (where you’ll need to let the nuts whir in the processor for a half hour,) this carrot butter is almost best when you just whir it until the nuts are mostly broken down, then add the carrots and other ingredients which will help you blend it to a nice smooth, ever-so-slightly chunky texture.
I hope this finds you all feeling mindful, out there, lives filled with goodness. We all have our little moments in life where we aren’t efficient, maybe a little selfish, and perhaps a little wasteful – of things, emotions, thoughts. I’m telling myself that it’s ok. Maybe even necessary, and so long as we continue to work towards the balance, it’s all going to be butter. (Or, carrot butter. You get my point.) xo – L
- 5-6 large carrots, roasted w/stems cut off and chopped
- 3/4 cup macadamia nuts or raw cashews
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- fine grain sea salt to taste (I used roughly 1/2 tsp)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment and toss the carrots in olive oil. Place on the parchment sheet and bake until soft w/some charred spots. Let cool. (You can do this one night ahead of making the butter itself.)
- Meanwhile, puree macademia nuts and oil in a food processor until a butter is formed - a nice smooth mixture with no large chunks but maybe a few little ones. (If you're using a Vita-Mix, you can skip this step and puree all the ingredients together once the carrots are done.)
- Once the carrots are cooled, toss them in the food processor with the macadamia nut butter. Add maple syrup and vanilla and puree until a smooth, whipped texture is achieved, stopping to scrape down the sides with a knife as necessary. Salt to taste.
- Allow to cool before serving. I eat it on toast, w/lox and bagel sandwiches, stirred into oatmeal....everywhere.