Sunshine Carrots (Tennessee, 1978, adapted)

Sunshine Carrots is a simple carrot side dish with a semi-sweet orange and ginger glaze.  The recipe comes to me by way of the good members of Thorn Grove Baptist Church, and their 1978 cookbook.  The woman who submitted the recipe was a widow in her early fifties.  She was a florist by trade, active in the choir and a teacher at summer Bible schools.

I was originally drawn to this recipe by the cheery name – who doesn’t love sunshine? – but it also serves a practical purpose for our family.  There is a minority caucus in our house against cooked carrots; this is a compromise to make them palatable and ensure that everyone gets their vitamin A.  I get it.  I wasn’t a fan of cooked carrots until much later in life, and even as an adult I can’t abide them on their own, or even drenched in butter.  Sunshine Carrots hides the funkiness of the cooked carrots with a sweet ginger orange glaze.

Preparation is straightforward.   Carrots are peeled, sliced, then steamed.  When the carrots are cooked they are tossed in a simple glaze made from sugar, ginger, and frozen orange juice concentrate.  The original recipe calls for a couple of tablespoons of butter, too, but it’s not at all necessary.  Calorie-for-calorie the sugar and OJ do a lot more to help the flavor.

Sunshine Carrots was a minor success with my family.  The child most opposed to cooked carrots wasn’t around for dinner, but everyone else liked it just fine.  I served it with a simple roasted pork loin with a vaguely Asian soy-and-citrus sauce and a side of long grain rice.  Alternatively, you might consider using Sunshine Carrots as the starch and serving a bitter green vegetable instead.  Enjoy!

Sunshine Carrots (Tennessee, 1978, adapted)

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • For: 6 servings
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  1. Slice carrots into one inch chunks. Add to a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until carrots are tender. Drain the water.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and ginger. Add orange juice concentrate and water and bring pan to medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture bubbles, then allow to boil for about a minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter, if desired.
  3. Add drained carrots to the saucepan and toss to coat. If desired, top with chives or finely chopped fresh parsley.

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