a worthy carrot

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on May 8, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)

I just got back from seeing my dad. What a remarkable man at 90-years young.  Always on-the-go, he keeps me hopping. Each trip we tackle plenty of tasks, share many stories, lots of laughs, and of course memorable meals.

One of things I always add to his to-do list is a trip to Merrick’s Seafood in Cape Coral for stone crabs. Cleverly I coincide my visits with the start and close of their season. There is nothing better than sitting down to a pound of straight-off-the-boat, freshly cracked claws. Stone crabs were one of my mom’s iconic feasts. We used to call it the dinner of a thousand plates. Now that it’s just dad, we’ve streamlined it a bit, with a heavy emphasis on those delectable crustaceans.

Cleaning out and organizing my father’s refrigerator and pantry is always one of my top chores. Splitting his time between the north and south, some downright frightening things can lurk in his cupboards and refrigerator shelves over the off-season. This year I decided to take this job up a notch and create a photo inventory of all his favorite staples. That way when the perishables take their much needed seasonal leave they can be readily replaced upon his arrival. No more teary conversations over condiments! 

Dad agreed that I had certainly earned my supper with this one. 

Stone crabs don’t need much adornment. A dollop of my mom’s curry sauce, her marinated carrots, and a side of slaw is all that’s required. 

The recipe for her cold carrot dish is a flash from the past, and while you might shake your head at the ingredients, just wait until you try it. I bet you too will celebrate it.

It’s key to purchase the “right” canned carrots. They must be Reese-Cut & Whole Extra Tiny Carrots or Le Sueur-Tender Baby Whole Carrots. Don’t pick up just any mushy bland can, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

The base of the sauce is Campbell’s condensed tomato soup. I told you you’d shake your head.

Whisk together one half can of Campbell’s tomato soup, one half cup sugar, one quarter cup vegetable oil, one quarter cup white vinegar, one half teaspoon salt, and one quarter teaspoon ground black pepper in a small saucepan. 

Bring to a boil.

Dice three quarters of a green bell pepper and chop one half of a medium onion.

Drain two 15-ounce cans of carrots.

Gently toss with the diced bell pepper and the chopped onion in a medium glass bowl.

Pour the hot marinade over the carrot mixture and gently stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to several days. Stir daily. 

My mom always served her carrots in small decorative dishes.

When I make these, or any of her favorite recipes, it’s as if she’s in the kitchen right beside me.

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