Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Carrots and Parental Love (Recipe)


I was fortunate enough to attend an international school where I learned English at a young age. Among the many benefits of mingling with other children from different countries and background, was the aroma in the lunch room.

As if it were her preferred way of traveling the world, my mother made a point to ask me what other kids were bringing for lunch. “Today, an Indian kid brought banana chips, but they were really thin, fried and dusted with curry powder,” I would dutifully report. Sometimes she would pack me an extra おにぎりonigiri or rice ball, so that I can exchange it with something else another willing food enthusiast. “The dumpling from a Taiwanese girl was so different from gyoza!” and my mother would try to guess what made it so different.

One day, she asked me what the Danish girls brought. I shrugged and said, “I’m not sure. They seem to run off in a hurry to play. But I see them with some bread and carrots.” She couldn’t comprehend what I meant by carrots: “Is it a carrot tart? Glazed?” They weren’t. They were raw. They were cut up into sticks*. They came in a plastic bag. The girls made crunchy sounds biting into them on their way to go skip rope. Astonished, my mother exclaimed, “Don’t Danish parents love their children!?”

To this day, I can’t bring myself to just serve raw sticks of carrots. Here’s one of my alternatives:

Spiced-but-not-spicy Marinated Carrots

  1. Wash, peel and cut into sticks 1 kg of carrots (or approx. 2 lbs). Place the sticks into a pot and fill it up with water just so the carrots are covered. Add some salt (1.5 to 2 tsp), and let the water come to a boil. Then turn off the heat and cover.
  2. While you are waiting the carrots to cook, combine 1/2 cup of orange juice, 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tsp  ground cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder (if you want more of a kick, you can use more, or also add cayenne pepper), 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper in a container just large enough to be able to fit all the carrots (or a zip top plastic bag). Mix. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Check if the carrots are soft enough (I don’t like to prepare an ice bath to shock the carrots, so I just drain the carrots a little earlier and let it cool naturally). When it is soft enough place the carrots in the container with the marinade. Place the container in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, but 4 hours will do.
  4. Right before serving, toss some chopped parsley or cilantro as garnish.

*Having lived in Denmark over a year, I now realize the role of carrots in Danish cuisine. At least those kids’ carrots were in sticks. I’ve seen huge bowls of peeled but whole carrots submerged in water next to the fruit basket in cafeterias.


2 comments on “On Carrots and Parental Love (Recipe)

  1. this abundant life
    April 16, 2015

    What a great experience. We try to travel to give our kids an international perspective, but it is really a challenge in the American suburb where most kids are very similar. Lucky you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bifyu
    April 16, 2015

    lol! nic never misses an opportunity to remind me that she dislikes cooked carrots whenever she encounters them.

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on April 16, 2015 by in Culture, Denmark, Recipes and tagged , , , .
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