Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Denise's Carrot Salad

Me and My Big Sis

My dear, sweet older sister who I have always adored and admired. Ne'er a word of anger or frustration hath passed between us. Ours is a sistership built on constant admiration and respect.

Yeah, right!

Let's see. There's the time when I was six when she told me Coke would be good for my hair so I stood in the tub while she poured a whole bottle right over top of me. Then there was my shining moment when I left an egg on her bed with a note directing her to just 'suck it', a la the Happy Days' mantra 'Go suck an egg.' There was all the money I made staring her down as she chatted on the phone with her girlfriends until she would finally pay me to go away. Oh, and who can forget the time she hid around the hall corner waiting to scare me, only to pee her pants when I circled back around the kitchen to scare her. 

Ah, memories.

Of course, we were also a fearsome duo when we joined forces. I remember Mom sending us to our room when we got in trouble. Denise would watch the clock while coaching me on making the most angelic, sympathetic face possible. I'd toddle out with a full pout asking Mom if we could 'pwease' come out now. Worked every time. She also was my fiercest defender. When I was about six, she had an argument with a girl in our neighborhood. That charming young lady decided to take a run at me with her bike. Without consulting anyone, my big sis marched over to the girl's house and got right in her father's face, the face of a very large former marine, and informed him in no uncertain terms that no one messes with her baby sister. That gentleman called our mom to apologize and to let her know how impressed he was. I think Mom went into shock.

We've weathered many a storm together. She had enough faith in my vision to publish a family magazine with me. She had enough love for me to make me her eldest's godmother, an honor a reciprocated years later. She has enough patience to let my failings (lack of thank you notes, few phone calls, missed birthdays) roll right off her back. The most endearing tribulation was sitting together, holding each other's hand as we watched Mom leave us. It's something I can endure reflecting on only because we were together, holding each other up.

Gegon's handwritten recipe
After all that history of affection, adolescent animosity and obvious mutual respect, it shouldn't have taken nearly forty years for her to get me to try her favorite salad on the planet: carrot salad. As a kid, it was her favorite fast food treat. I think she preferred Chik-fil-A's carrot salad to ice cream even. I thought she was off her rocker. It's orange. It's got squishy raisins in it. I mean, come on, carrots? Please. But, this spring, when I came home to be there when my goddaughter underwent gall bladder surgery, we took a quick break from the hospital to grab a quick lunch. There I was, nearly forty years old and exhausted from a long evening. My defenses were down. She was exasperated when I admitted I still hadn't tried that carrot salad. She ordered it and I loved it. As an added bonus, she didn't pour it over my head.

Denise's Carrot Salad

  • 1 package grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup salad dressing (use veganaise for dairy free)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (or equivalent sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix well.

Love you, Sis. Happy Mother's Day!

*I've shared this over at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday for May 8, 2012. Hopefully, no one is too freaked out by my use of awkward family photo for a recipe linky photo. :-)

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