Katie’s Carrot Salad

“In Adam’s Fall,
we sinned all.”

This is how children were introduced to the alphabet in The New England Primer, the first and most famous textbook published in the American colonies. The rhyming verses and woodcut images taught children their letters and gave them a moral lesson.

The Primer included The Shorter Catechism, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles Creed as well as hymns and verses used to teach children to read and learn how to become good Christian adults. Though I didn’t know that it was one of the verses from The New England Primer, I can still recite this famous prayer that we recited long ago in Sunday School and before we went to bed.

“Now I lay me down to take my sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep, 
If I should die before I wake, 
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

But despite the guidance of our parents and teachers, we all slip sometimes and even a pastor can mislead a member of his congregation. Thus it was that Jerri came came home from a church potluck praising Pastor Jim’s carrot salad. She made it several times over the next eight or ten years until she was distracted by some other recipes.

A few weeks ago, she asked me if I had put a carrot salad on Courage in the Kitchen. Since I had not, she suggested that I do Jim’s Carrot Salad. When I asked for the recipe, she confessed that she was no longer certain about all the ingredients. An email to Jim and his wife produced the recipe and the truth.

It is Katie’s, not Jim’s salad. I’m sure Jim did not intentionally lead Jerri to believe that it was his salad, but it is very tempting to claim ownership of a recipe that good cooks are swooning over. We must always remember that even pastors are human.

Here is Katie’s introduction to the salad:

“The recipe is really my mother’s but she taught me to throw in what tastes good to me. Her version didn’t include coconut but Jim loves coconut….My carrot salad is sort of a throw anything you want in.  I put in grated carrots, coconut, raisins, apple, and mayo thinned slightly with pineapple juice. It’s mostly carrots, but I do like to put a little chopped raw apple in also.  Sunflower seeds may be Jerri’s version and that sounds good, too.  I do like salads and usually guess at what I would like to eat most in the salad.”

Here is some guidance to help you create a delicious carrot salad. I call it Katie’s, but she credits her mother with teaching her to make it, Jim inspired her to add the coconut and Jerri apparently contributed the sunflower seeds. This is a very forgiving recipe (pun intended) that you can customize to fit your tastes.


3 cups grated carrots
1/4 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup grated or flaked coconut
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 – 3 T pineapple juice


Wash and scrape or peel four or five large carrots. Grate them into a large mixing bowl. You want about three cups of grated carrots. Add a quarter cup of crisp apple chopped into a quarter-inch dice along with the coconut, raisins and sunflower seeds. Mix everything together.

Blend two or three tablespoons of pineapple juice with a quarter cup of mayonnaise or salad dressing and stir the dressing into the other ingredients. If the salad is too dry, add more mayonnaise and pineapple juice. If it tastes bland, try adding a teaspoon of lemon juice. If it is not sweet enough, use a little more pineapple juice or add a tiny bit of sugar or honey.

NOTES: Obviously, you should feel free to omit or add an ingredient or to increase the amount of one you like. My advice always is to be cautious when changing a recipe. You may really like sunflower seeds, for instance, but a cupful might have an effect you didn’t intend.

One thought on “Katie’s Carrot Salad”

  1. Very similar to what we ate as a change from lots of cabbage salads when I was growing up. We used carrots, raisens and mixed some crushed pineapple with Miracle Whip for the dressing. We loved it and I still make it now and then.


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