Now we’re cooking with carrots

From Ann Gulbrandsen (in Sweden) on Facebook today, a wonderful still life of earthy carrots:

Ann wrote (in Swedish; what follows is the Google Translate version in English, which is, um, flatfooted, with one paraphrase by me):

Thought to pick up the last small harvest of carrots when it will be minus degrees next week. I clearly underestimated what was [underground]. May be cooking with carrots [Sw. matlagning med morötter] a couple of weeks ahead.

My response:

I like the sound of “cooking with carrots”. Maybe we could use it as a figurative expression meaning ‘to do something exuberantly, in a big way, with great success’. As in “Wow, Ann is really cooking with carrots on that project!”

What I like about cooking with carrots is, first, is the sound relationships of cooking and carrots: two trochees — SW accent pattern — alliterating in /k/ (note the parallel alliteration in Swedish, even taking in the preposition). The phrase wants to be filled out in a brief poem and set to music.

And then, the echo of cooking with gas. From the Cambridge Dictionary on-line (reformatted a bit):

phrase be cooking with gas: informal to be making very good progress or doing something very well | I can see we’re really cooking with gas now. \ After a slow start to the season, the team has finally begun cooking with gas.

Where, you wonder, does this use of the phrase come from? From Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett on their radio show A Way With Words on 6/20/14:

In the 1930’s, the catch phrase Now you’re cooking with gas, meaning “you’re on the right track,” was heard on popular radio shows at the behest of the natural gas industry, as part of a quiet marketing push for gas-powered stoves.

One Response to “Now we’re cooking with carrots”

  1. Alon Lischinsky Says:

    Nu lagar vi mat med morötter! sounds indeed delightful!

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