by Ruth Krauss
illustrated by Crockett Johnson
Although The Carrot Seed was originally published in 1945, the allure of playing in the dirt is still the same for kids today as it was then. The fascination of growing things, of exploring leaves and sticks, discovering what's under a rock, and the timeless attraction to mud sparks the imagination in a way not possible in indoor play.
I have such vivid memories of outdoor imaginative play, whether it was creating fairy salads from a variety of weeds or a muddy witch's brew in a large flower pot, or like the hero of The Carrot Seed, waiting and watching for the first green sprout of a seed. What are your outdoor memories?
In This Issue
Underground Carrots Prints
This fun art activity is part stamping and part science exploration that helps young readers understand what's going on underground while they watch the green stems above ground.
Underground Carrot Prints
- 1 large carrot, cut in half lengthwise
- Large sheet of paper
- Orange and green paint
- Crayons or markers
- Using a large paintbrush, paint the flat side of one half of the carrot with orange paint.
- Place flat side of carrot on paper to make a carrot stamp. Repeat to make a row of carrots.
- Using finger, paint green tops on each carrot. Let paint dry.
- With a brown crayon or marker, draw a line to show what grows above the ground and what grows below the ground. Add any other creative details like clouds, a sun, or birds.
Here's a glimpse of carrots growing in my garden last year, and when they were just picked, ready to be rinsed:
Adapted from Ziggity Zoom's carrot croquettes recipe. Makes 4.
- 11 ounces carrots, coarsely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups chopped)
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, plus more for coating croquettes
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- parsley or lettuce, for carrots tops
- Steam or boil carrots until tender; drain.
- Roughly mash carrots. They do not have to be silky smooth, just mashed enough so that no large chunks remain. A fun was to do this (especially for kids) is to place about 1/2 cup cooked carrots at a time on a cutting board and press with the back of a fork.
- Place mashed carrots in a medium mixing bowl. Add egg white, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, salt, cinnamon, cumin, and garlic powder and stir until well combined.
- Place additional breadcrumbs on a plate. Form carrot mixture into 4 carrot-shaped croquettes. Roll in breadcrumbs.
- Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place croquettes in skillet and cook about 6 minutes, rotating a quarter turn every 90 seconds or until lightly golden brown.
- Place some parsley or a piece of lettuce in the top of each croquette and serve!