Meredith Carroll has produced many things in her life, although there’s not a lot that she’s prouder of than the radish she grew in the summer of 2014. (Oh, yeah — she’s also proud of kids.) 

The radish would prove to be the first and last thing she grew and ate; she also grew some strawberries, but the ground squirrels got to them first. A writer and award-winning newspaper columnist, Meredith grew up envious that other kids got to have Ring Dings for their morning school snacks, while she always had apples (that she may or may not have thrown away). 

Despite her mom being an avid and gourmet cook, Meredith impressively managed to make it to her 20s without knowing her way around a kitchen. This includes when she moved to Manhattan after college and didn’t realize she needed to take the cover off the electric stove in her kitchenette when trying to boil water. Fortunately New York has one or two restaurants that deliver. 

When she moved to Aspen in 2003 and realized there were not quite as many places that offer convenient and affordable takeout, she was faced with either starvation or storing her clothes somewhere other than the oven. So she started cooking. The advent of the internet certainly helped matters — with recipes more widely available and eminently more convenient and less cumbersome than cook books. Aspen’s Saturday market upped the ante, too, with Meredith discovering the joy of fresh, local produce. After she got married, she actually started enjoying cooking. That is, until she had kids. 

These days, Meredith prepares a minimum of three different meals each night: One she’s usually proud of that she and her husband eat, and why are you asking about the other two? Who wants to know? What’s it to you? Also, is mac and cheese for 17 nights in a row really going to hurt anyone? Asking for a friend. 

Her garden has grown exponentially in the five years since she started it; this year, she may have figured out a way to keep the critters out of a small patch of it where she’s attempting to coax some cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and radishes out of the ground. Stay tuned. 

Meredith looks forward to the Aspen Locavore challenge — although she’ll be doing it just three days a week. Because small children aren’t conducive to doing anything their mother wants them to do for 40 seconds, never mind 40 days.