Carrots are my least favorite vegetable. I mean, I can eat them, but I never look forward to it. They were his favorite.

Me, I like tomatoes, and close to that, potatoes. For that matter, they are almost tied. If someone — if God told me that for the rest of my life I could only have only one or the other, I’d have a hell of a time choosing.

I think a person’s favorite vegetable tells a lot about them. Maybe people grow like their favorite. Carrots are loners, as I see them. What do they do for anybody but themselves. We mostly eat them raw for God’s sake! Sure, they go with some herbs and dressing in that ribbon salad that people eat every blue moon. And, you can steam them and put lots of butter over them, and they do go with peas. I always thought of carrots and peas as mundane – starter veggies, for kids.

Now tomatoes — come on — tomato soup with that grilled cheese sandwich, other go-along soups like pasta e fagioli and New England clam chowder. And then there’s marinera, pizza, what’s a salad without tomatoes, half the sauces in the world, stew, to say nothing of salsa, cocktail sauce and ketchup. We’d be in a deprived culinary world without tomatoes. And how about warm off the vine with salt?

Carrots are a nice color, though — and tall and thin and proud and straight. They need a lot of deep space while they grow in the dark. The greens above the ground don’t even hint at what’s underneath. It has no roots. It is its own root. They need their own space in a way that most other vegetables don’t. Tomatoes branch out. They fall all over themselves trying to endure. They bend down to the earth, root, and try to grow up again.

Even potatoes, while they grow underground like carrots, branch out. They make their own little clusters with different numbers of offspring, depending on the setting. No boring sameness here. They’re flexible and unpredictable. But carrots, if they hit an obstacle they don’t respond very well.  They’re too sensitive. It baffles them. They just try to dig deeper and deeper in the same direction and become mishappen. And they are so thin-skinned — almost skinless, really — and an outer layer the same color as the inside.  Body and being the same color, a certain singleness of existence.  I guess tomatoes are the same in that respect — but — they have seeds inside.

Being a root, a carrot carries its everything wherever it goes. That was him, alright, attached to nothing else on earth.