As we get older, the people at our holiday table change. Sadly, the ones we love pass on and can no longer sit amongst us, but if we are lucky, they have left behind a special, signature dish. A recipe so significant, that when made, each bite transports you to another time, surrounds you with memories and envelopes you in comfort.
For me, one of those unique recipes isย represented in this Carrot Waldorf Salad.. It’s nothing fancy. It’s nothing complicated. It’s simple:




  • 1 lb bag carrots
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans pieces (I prefer pecans, Ma likes walnuts)
  • 1 large jar cherries (no stems)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise


  • Clean, trim tops and shred carrots. It’s important to do this and not purchase pre-shredded carrots as the juice is an essential part of the recipe. I use my food processor, gets it done in no time.
  • Core and cut apples into small, bite size pieces.
  • Combine shredded carrots, apples, raisins, craisins, nuts, cherries (with juice) and mayonnaise to bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Store in refrigerator for up to a week. Tastes great when made the day before and has a chance to marinate.

May not even sound that good…but oooooh, believe me, it is! My Mom’s Dad made it every year. (It was his mother’s recipe and I’d imagine hers before that) It was his little contribution to the feast that my Dad and Mom put together every Thanksgiving year. He would carry it in the house with this proud grin on his face and watch everyone as they ate it.

Mom took over the reigns and started making it after he passed away, and I’ve been making it the past few years. Since taking over, I added the craisins and changed the walnuts to pecans.ย ย The recipe is flexible like that. It has also become a staple at Ma’s friend’s house where we celebrate all of the holidays. Her friend Phyllis loves cherries, so I also add an extra jar just for her!

Each time I make this recipe, it’s a pleasure paying homage to a man who gave me unconditional love. A man who was always there for me at the drop of a dime. A man who I miss dearly. My Gramps, my Boompa.

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