A Recipe for Peace and Carrots

On Monday we had our choir party, which was an incredible amount of fun. (Who knew?) I was in charge of bringing a veggie tray for 40 children and their parents. I brought enough tomatoes, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and mushrooms to feed the entire choir, even though I knew that was aggressive. Like my mother before me, I’m compelled by Italian forces to provide enough food for everyone to have seconds. I bought six pounds of carrots alone, all the while knowing no child has ever crumpled to the ground wailing thanks to a limp crudits platter.

The next day, the boys ate sliced veggies for snack and with their lunch. Then, when the Mister came home from work as I was walking out to run errands for Mikey’s birthday party on Saturday, I asked him to give them more of the same with some Mac & Cheese from the cupboard for dinner.

“Mikey will eat the tomatoes and the cucumbers. Nicholas will eat the carrots and the celery. Neither one of them will touch the mushrooms.”

I left before I remembered to tell him about the vat of Ranch dressing in the refrigerator, also from the choir party.

I came home a couple of hours later and made myself a dinner with mushrooms that I ate standing in the kitchen. As I cleaned up, I noticed a paper plate in the trash with perfectly diced raw carrots and celery. Cute, though I’ll bet the effort was lost on Nicholas. He’s used to eating them thickly sliced at best. If I’m not in a rush, I’ll slap the carrots and celery against my thigh to knock the dirt off before I toss them to him like a stabled horse.

But we’ll keep that between us.

The proper technique for washing fruits and vegetables is one determined by mothers or primary caretakers, and any deviation from the technique falls under Do As I Say, Not As I Do (DAIS|NAID). The concept of DAIS|NAID is simple. We, the ones around our children most, set the precedent. If we use fruit and vegetable spray on the produce, so shall everyone else. If we fail to use fruit and vegetable spray to wash the produce despite stating the rule as otherwise, rest assured our reason for doing so is beyond reproach. Also, it’s a reason “everyone else” is unlikely to experience so, therefore, they shall use the fruit and vegetable spray.

I reminded everyone of DAIS|NAIS after finding mud all over our freshly washed slipcovers on Sunday. My ruling was swift and exacting.

“The rule! Why am I the only one who remembers the rule?! The dogs go outside when we leave the house!”

The Mister made a tactical error by pointing out the obvious. “Wait a minute. Since when is this a rule? Just the other day I came home and you were gone with the boys. The dogs were inside.”

It’s like he’s the new guy or something.

We did a quick review of the DAIS|NAID and were back to rights in no time.

What does this have to do with carrots roasted in an oven and tossed with dill? Absolutely nothing. I realized as I wrote this post that this is the one week I didn’t take dozens of pictures of carrots. I make it a point to take pictures of carrots, usually on Wednesdays, because I never know when I’m going to feel the call to write about trumpet-shaped root vegetables. This picture is an outtake for a recipe post from last year, when I was clearly more prepared.

I re-posted the recipe for your convenience, and for mine. I still have 3 pounds of carrots in the refrigerator.

Sweet Roasted Carrots with Dill

adapted from Barefoot Contessa

2 pounds carrots, washed and sliced uniformly in halves and quarters
2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1-2 teaspoons good quality salt (I use Real Salt)
1-2 tablespoons of fresh or freeze-dried dill (dried works well, too, but you may need less)

Preheat oven to 400

Slice carrots so that they are all the same size, either in halves or quarters. They should be the size of thick cut steak fries. Keep them longtheyll shrink as you cook them. Place them in a shallow roasting pan or sheet pan and toss to coat with coconut oil and salt. The carrots should sit in 1 layer.

Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until carrots are golden brown and tender. They will not get crispy.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with dill. Toss to coat. Serve.




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  1. Oh I love your roast carrot recipe. Thank you for the reminder. I thrashed this last year and I think it’s now time for them to make a comeback!

  2. Seeing as how we got overzealous with the carrot-buying this past weekend at the market, I’ll have to try this recipe asap.

  3. Your prose NEVER disappoints:

    “Ill slap the carrots and celery against my thigh to knock the dirt off before I toss them to him like a stabled horse.”


  4. Love roasted carrots and have a bumper crop of dill to use all summer long.

    What’s the deal with coconut oil? I have never bought it. Better than olive oil? In the regular grocery store, or more special than that?

    Thanks–great post.

    • You can easily use olive oil. I like coconut oil because it has a sweet taste to it, especially when roasted with the carrots. Olive oil tastes just as good, but makes it more savory. It’s at any health food store and Trader Joe’s.

  5. Where can I find the coconut oil? I looked all over last time you posted this (meaning tried 2 stores) but couldn’t find it.

  6. Love everything about this post! The carrots look and sound delicious. DAIS/NAID – PERFECTION! My family will love this (and then they will laugh about it too much while glancing at each other sideways so I will have to tell them to stop laughing about me and it wasn’t THAT funny!). The seconds? Yes yes yes – and not only that, I want enough so if everyone wants carrots they all get carrots, so it’s not vegetables for 40 it’s carrots for 40, and tomoatoes for 40, and so on. It’s a Jewish thing for me. 🙂 I once went to a wedding of a Jewish groom and Italian bride – more food than even I could have come up with. Heaven!

    • Yup! Jewish mothers and Italian mothers are who keep the world fed and safe…and feeling guilty about not calling enough. 😉

  7. I’m much happier having laughed at this winding-off-track entry than having read a well thought out and prepared carrot entry.
    Also, I call this “chasing bunnies” and alot of my best friends converse in this manner, which I follow quite easily 🙂

    • Hah! I like chasing bunnies. My mom has a saying for that in Spanish. It’s called going through the branches. Instead of talking about the root of the matter, you’re up in the trees, hopping from branch to branch.

  8. The best is when I say whatever rule it is I want to enforce with a tone of total indignation, and then others point out that it was actually me who violated the rule. Yeah, don’t love that so much! But this carrot recipe looks great–thanks for sharing, since I wasn’t reading when you posted it the first time.

  9. Ha! Wednesdays are all about carrots. My garden is totally dill infested, so you couldn’t have re-posted the recipe at a better time.

  10. “No child has ever crumpled to the ground wailing thanks to a limp crudits platter”= awesome. (the recipe looks quite awesome, too)

    For the record, I’m a firm believer in DAIS|NAID, as well.

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