The House of Orange

Husband informed me this week that the reason carrots are orange is a result of selective plant breeding in the 17th century as a tribute by Dutch gardeners to William of Orange.  Prior to this they were purple, white, and yellow.  This was a real surprise to me, as I assumed such activity  was a phenomenon of the 20th century.  What a wonderful thing to know!

What new things have you learned lately?  What would you change the color of, if you could? Got any good carrot recipes? 

57 thoughts on “The House of Orange”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    My carrots are slow this year, plus the germination rates were lower than usual. I have pulled several and they are still small. Usually I get enough that they last from August through November. I love roasted carrots. I cut them into 1 inch pieces, coat with olive oil and sea salt, then roast in the oven or on the grill for about 30 min.

    While scanning family documents into a digital library, I learned so much about these people. The richest source of information was a number of books put out between 1890 and 1910 usually called “Biographical Record” of the various counties in Iowa. I also found some of these in Ohio. The nuggets of information are vast. But I learned that over the generations of families who immigrated west, the families continued to immigrate and travel together. It appears these were not independent family decisions, but really more “tribal” decisions. It was evident from the German branches of Rausers and Hesses. Two Great-great Grandfathers both grew up in Nagold, Germany and were sent to Carroll Co. Illinois by their fathers to relatives and friends who previously migrated to that area. These two boys grew up, then arranged the marriage of their two oldest children. I found a photo of them sitting next to one another as elderly men at the Hesses 50th wedding anniversary.

    I am seeing the light at the end of the scanning tunnel now, scanning the last branch now.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree that the county histories are useful. Since they rely on what the people profiled in the biographical section reported, they are not always truthful, however. In the Steele County, Minnesota history, I have Norwegian relatives who reported that they immigrated in 1872 and married there. This despite the fact that their oldest son was born in 1870 in Chicago.

      I’ve also seen the phenomenon of entire towns in Europe relocating together in the US. My Swiss relatives came from the village of Iseltwald in Bern Canton and settled in the area around Maiden Rock and Plum City Wisconsin, an area where many Swiss settled. A lot of the younger generation, when they married, married into other families that also came from Iseltwald. Likewise, my Bohemian Czech relatives who came from the village of Lisov and settled in Clayton County, Iowa also married the children of other families from Lisov.

      It’s good to keep this in mind when people complain about immigrants’ unwillingness to blend in.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. my daughter married the kosovo guy and his customs are albanian. it’s cool how she sucks up the culture.
          when he first moved here he was kind of lost. i encouraged him to go on meetup to find other baltic folks.turns out he doesn’t like baltic folks. serbs are the devils who raped and pillaged his country 20 years ago and not a welcome coffee partner
          the albanians are the guys…. they do a very good wild and crazy guy imitation
          enver is a red headed guy from kosovo
          very unusual
          his kid is priceless

          carrot top i suppose

          Liked by 3 people

      1. Luverne was said to be settled by Norwegian immigrants from the same village. My Ostfriesland relatives immigrated in 1849 to northern Illinois where others from their village had settled. After a few years, many of them left for Iowa. My grandfather, 6 of his siblings, and his mother all immigrated from northern Germany to Fulda, MN, 8n 1910, and were met at the train station by my great grandmother’s brothers.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Imagine you are a young person migrating from Germany or Norway. You might have some English, or maybe not. Settling into a region where several of your countrymen already live would be extremely comforting, as they would be a natural support system and source of recreation.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I would change Trump’s orange face to green. I’m tired of his visage.
    My new thing is a new different adhesive to use on Forbo tile. The old glue system was very unforgiving. Getting the tile laid into the glue at the perfect time was exceedingly challenging. And failure was always the installer’s fault. Now we get more working time but it takes hours for the glue to dry.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I had read that somewhere, too, Renee – it’s hard to imagine carrots without orange.

    Green beans and zucchini – oh wait, that’s already available. I love it when we think to plant the purple beans that are so much easier to find!
    And the bright yellow zucchini… (as opposed to crookneck yellow) – hard to miss and they don’t grow to baseball bat size.

    Later I’ll tell you about some carrot soup.

    Liked by 6 people

        1. But it’s not:
          H. Wachenroder crystallized beta carotene from carrot roots in 1831, and came up with the name “carotene”


  4. I typically get all the pychology continuing education hours I need by attending workshops in my capacity as a member of the psychology licensing board. All the CEU’s at those workshops are in jurisprudence, which gets pretty boring after awhile.. I need 40 hours of continuing education every two years. I still need 10 hours by October 30th. I will do some at-home/online study for the remaining hours. There apparently is an updated system for Rorschach interpretation that I want to learn about, so I may do a course in that. The possibilities for continuing education on-line are endless.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. They are indeed endless. I did all of mine in that manner this period—my license is due this month. Weirdly, I got a certificate in tele-behavioral health in January, just in time for COVID.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Raw carrots are best. Fresh from the garden. Ours too, lots of top, nothing underneath yet.
    Lately, I’ve learned construction stuff from the projects I’ve had over the summer. And that carrots used to be other colors. Huh!

    I start back at the college on Wednesday. Some projects from spring I never finished so I’ll learn some stuff there…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Interestingly, the nutrients in carrots, especially the beta-carotene, is more bioavailable to our bodies after they have been cooked. They are plenty good raw, but even more nutritious after cooking. You’ll notice that Steve’s recipe for Marrakesh Carrots gives the instruction to cook the carrots whole and slice them afterwards, that’s so that less of the nutrients leach into the water (which is thrown away). I’d add to Steve’s instructions, use just enough water to cover the carrots, and, in my opinion, 10-15 minutes is way too long to boil them, especially if you have small, fresh home grown ones.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. This recipe is insanely good. And not difficult.

    Marrakesh Carrots
    1 lb carrots, peeled and trimmed
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 tsp sweet paprika
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

    Place carrots in pot of cold water over medium heat and bring to boil. Cook 10 to 15 minutes (soft but not mushy); rinse with cold water and drain.

    Meanwhile, place lemon juice in medium bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Whisk in paprika, cumin, salt and cinnamon.

    Cut carrots into bite-sized dice. Add to the vinaigrette and toss. Stir in parsley, add salt and spices and serve.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. There probably already are orange potatoes, just like there are blue ones and pink ones but the varieties produced in the US for market are a tiny fraction of all the varieties cultivated in South America.


      1. Never one to let a good question go uninvestigated, here is the best answer I found:

        The cobalt pigment is one of the very few that can withstand the highest firing temperatures that are required, in particular for porcelain, which partly accounts for its long-lasting popularity. Historically, many other colours required overglaze decoration and then a second firing at a lower temperature to fix that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Here’s another explanation: “New England settlers didn’t have enough money to paint their farms. So they needed a cheap way to protect the barns’ wood. They mixed skimmed milk, lime, and red iron oxide to make
          a red, plastic-like coating. The coating protected the wood and kept barns warmer in the winter. Soon, manufacturers began preparing paint with chemical pigments. Red became the most famous among farmers because it was the cheapest. The tradition continues today.” Quote from Business Insider, Feb 24, 2017.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. The wagon box I have in the living has milk paint on it—it come from Medford, NJ which has Conestoga Ln, Ct and Rd nearby.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. With regard to barns, it has always been my understanding that barns were first painted red because iron oxide was the cheapest available pigment.

          As far as red being the color that stands up best in harsh sunlight, I don’t know about iron oxide red specifically but in general red pigments are considered fugitive- they are the ones that fade most quickly.

          Liked by 2 people

        4. Our barns have always been white. I asked Dad about that once and he said he liked white better than red. I bet way back when, that was a status thing; “I have enough money I can afford white paint”.
          Actually, the back of the old grainary used to be red; no one could see it, it wasn’t level so hard to put ladders up to paint, so I never saw that end get painted, but there was some red paint there. But even old photos from the ’30’s show the rest of the barn was white.

          Dad built a pole barn and machine shed and wouldn’t splurge for white steel; they’re just plain galvanized silver. I splurged for white steel when having a new roof put on the dairy barn. And nowadays, when I buy pole barn steel, white is just standard; galvanized has to be a special order.
          What has changed is the ridges on the steel. They’re 38″ wide, but the next sheet overlaps 2″ so it covers 36″. That hasn’t changed, but the pattern of the ridges has. So the stuff from 1980 has a ridge every 12″, new stuff has a ridge every 9.5″.
          When I added the overhang this summer, I started the first sheet with the ridge lined up and after that it was just a free-for-all. I wasn’t too worried about it or how it looked. It diverts the rain though and that was the point.

          Liked by 2 people

  7. I love the multicolored carrots. I think of them is vintage carrots. Maybe I’ll have to go to the farmers market tomorrow and find some. I love to make carrot cashew soup.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Creamy Carrot & Coconut Milk Soup

    3 T. olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 T. minced ginger

    1 ½ C. chicken or vegetable broth
    7 – 8 carrots, scrubbed and sliced

    ½ tsp. red curry paste
    ¼ C. sweet chili sauce
    ¼ C. soy sauce
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 C. coconut milk (or the whole can)
    ¼ C. chopped cilantro
    Squeeze of fresh lime juice

    In a heavy soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Add the broth and carrots and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and then puree the mixture in batches in a blender or food processor. (You may also use an immersion blender directly in the pot.)

    Return the pureed carrot mixture to the pot. Add the curry paste, chili sauce, soy sauce, and black pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice. Adjust the seasoning with more curry paste and/or soy sauce.

    Serve drizzled with a bit of coconut milk and lime wedges on the side.

    Recipe by PCC Chef Lynne Vea, found in Edible Seattle, Jan/Feb 2009

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That sounds really good. Carrots and ginger are a match made in heaven. I’ll have to try to make this.

      Tonight we’re having grilled chicken kebabs (chicken marinated in a yogurt, lemon, and chili oil for a couple of hours) with zucchini, red onion, green pepper and yellow cherry tomatoes, with a fattouch salad on the side. I love summer food.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I make a coconut milk soup, too. It has coconut milk, chicken, chicken broth, evaporated milk, a little lemon juice, water chestnuts, garlic and cumin. Then you have to add something to give it color so it’s not all white and beige tones. Carrots, green beans, asparagus, and red peppers all work.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. An Adventist group has a vegetable stand that Husband likes to visit. He got an orange head of cauliflower and other veggies that we don’t grow, and tomorrow we are making Eingelegtes Gemuse, or raw pickled veggies that you keep in the fridge. They are flavored with garlic, coriander, dill seeds, mustard seeds. Bay leaves, turmeric, and red pepper flakes . He is thinking of making Pokelwurst, or pickled sausages, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I did learn yesterday, that 80 percent of water beetles survive being eaten by frogs by simply swimming through the digestive tract of the amphibian.
    Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

    Liked by 6 people

        1. Added to that I learned as an amphibian census taker for Minnesota DNR and Hamlin University.


        2. Wes, do you know Cathryn Malady? She’s a biology instructor at Hamline and has been for many years. Heavily involved with all kinds of things. She lives three houses away and is a good friend of mine.


        3. Wes, my second cousin Tom was an amphibian census taker for the DNR. Perhaps you know him. He lives in Madielia and is a luthier and raises snakes

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.