The impulse to share can start at a young age. I’ll never forget the one day my daughter came to my rescue when I realized, and then mentioned, I had no vegetables to serve with dinner. My eyes grew really big when I saw my then-4-year-old come inside the house holding a bunch of carrots she had just pulled from the garden.
But what really struck me was the fact that they were her carrots that she planted and cared for over the previous few months. It was a project she and her dad had started together in the spring. I watched her put a lot of love and hard work into growing them, and she wanted to share them with her family.
What I decided to do with those carrots was quick and easy. It’s a simple recipe my uncle shared with me several years ago. This delicious side dish has been enjoyed at many Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings with my extended family, so I wanted to share it with both my husband’s family and mine.
Although the recipe turned out well, it wouldn’t have mattered how they tasted. In my daughter’s opinion, those were the BEST carrots she had ever eaten. Because she grew them, and she shared them, they were going to be excellent in her mind (and, frankly, in my mind, too). Maybe that is one way in which generosity and sharing give back. When we know our contribution is being received and used, it gives us a sense of pride and satisfaction that is unique and rewarding.
Like a fistful of carrots from a garden, even the simplest gifts seem to taste, look or feel better when they are shared. I hope my daughter will continue to share what is valuable to her – she certainly seemed to experience the joy that comes from sharing.
Carrots with dill
• 2 pounds carrots, julienned (or baby carrots quartered lengthwise)
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill (or dried dill weed)
• Salt and pepper to taste
In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter. Add carrots and stir until they are well-coated. Add dill, salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat. Cook for about 15-20 minutes (stirring occasionally) until they are tender.
Michelle DiFranco is a designer and the busy mom of three children.