artsy fartsy,  Bug,  party party,  Tis the Season

Carrot Tops

ready to deliver

It started because I signed up to bring “veggies” to Bug’s preschool Easter Party. There’s always a list on her classroom door asking parents to participate with these parties and the cookies section is always taken by some other early-bird eager-beaver parent. Who is that parent anyway? I thought it would be super fun to make homemade sugar cookies and decorate them with hot pink icing but noooo, I’m stuck with veggies.

That’s okay. I’m creative. I can come up with something fun with vegetables other than the pre-cut plastic tray you buy at the grocery store.

For Valentine’s Day, Bug and I arranged carrots and celery and tiny grape tomatoes in the shape of a heart. I think it went over well. I never really get much of a response from the teachers at her school when I drop things off. I think they’ve all been-there-done-that a thousand years ago and my earnestness wearies them. But the vegetables were mostly eaten when I went to go pick up the plate.

So off I went to Walmart, my latest least favorite grocery store, to pick up some vegetables. I thought I could find something fun and creative, like say maybe I could carve an easter basket out of a jícama or something.

Who am I kidding!!!! Walmart doesn’t even know what a jícama is! They might grow them out here in the sticks but they do not sell them. Why? Because nobody is fool enough to buy weird funky food that doesn’t come in a box with cheese all over it and microwave directions. Okay. Sorry. I’m just a little bit bitter. They probably do sell them, they were just out of them like they were out of everything else. Can you tell I hate Walmart with a passion now that I live out here in the sticks? They are the evil empire who has put all the mom-and-pop stores out of business and if they didn’t carry cute white Jackie-O sunglasses for $10 I don’t know why I would ever shop there.

Oh, right because they carry Tassimo T-discs for eight dollars when everybody else sells them for ten. Ugh.

Anyway, I was thoroughly disgusted with Walmart’s produce selection. They didn’t have any jícama, their asparagus were dried out and moldy on the ends and their avocados looked like they were two weeks old. I walked around the two aisles that made up the produce section four times and I couldn’t find anything to be creative with for Bug’s Easter Party. Everything was old and awful and sometimes even rotten. I was just about to give up and go to another store when I got a brilliant idea.

Why not just take carrots and only carrots? Kids love long whole carrots when all they ever get are the small “baby carrots” that are actually regular carrots whittled down and marinated in chlorine. I know I do. There’s nothing more fun that munching on a great big carrot. They just taste more like garden to me.

Bug especially loves them but when I showed her the two big bags I picked up at Walmart she was sorely disappointed. “They don’t have their tops, Mom!” Of course. I should have known. Carrots need their tops. We’ve been spoiled by farmer’s markets.

So I devised a plan. Bwa ha ha ha! I’ll make carrot tops. They’ll be just like cupcake toppers except without the cake and frosting!

late night madness

I cut out a bunch of paper leaves (doubled), stuck a toothpick in between the two pieces and then stuck them together with a quick swipe of a glue stick. It was a brilliant idea! Never mind that I didn’t get the after-dinner dishes done and Bug went to bed an hour an a half late, she’s going to have the BEST Easter Party veggie contribution ever.

late night mad carrot topping ready for school tomorrow

Some wine may have been imbibed during my mad, late-night, carrot-topping.

Carrot Delivery Girl Eh, what's up Doc?

But it was worth it. Bug loved the carrots. She ate two whole carrots before bed and then refused a poptart this morning in favor of another carrot. I was feeling bad about sending her off to school with such a limited breakfast but then I thought about all the cupcakes and cookies she’d be eating at the Easter Party and decided that maybe a carrot was a good start to the day. She couldn’t wait to deliver her carrots to all her friends.

Our car ride conversation this morning:

“Mom, I wish our house was made out of carrots.”


“Because then we’d have a carrot phone. People could call us on it and then we’d deliver carrots to them in our carrot car.”

I think my job is done here. I just hope the other kids are as excited about the carrots as Bug is. Her teachers didn’t seem to be when I dropped them off this morning but then again, they’ve probably seen this before a thousand times.


  • K

    You never cease to amaze me with your creativity! LOVE this idea and it’s so simple too. I hope the kids enjoyed them as much as Bug did.

  • Madge

    I feel sad for the Walmart produce now, haha. Even though the teachers may be ho-hum, I’m sure the kids haven’t seen that before and they’ll love it.

  • Abs

    Former Kindergarten teacher delurking to say I never had any parents come up with anything so fun and clever. The teachers may not have time to thank you, but I guarantee they are impressed. Your creativity is inspiring!

  • MargieK

    I’m sorry Bug’s teachers don’t seem very enthusiastic about your idea… I think it’s great. Perhaps they’re so used to your creativity, they don’t know what to say. More likely they’re overworked (and underpaid). Daycare (and teaching for that matter) seems to be a thankless job. :( Yet so important!

    And what could be more appropriate for an Easter party than bunnies’ proverbial favorite food!

    Here’s hoping the kids don’t poke each other with the wooden sticks!

  • SAJ

    Yeah. When I picked them up (half left over) the teacher said thank you and that they were cute. But then Bug told me later that the teacher had to remove the toothpicks for fear of choking and stabbing. So I didn’t think of that. It was still fun but maybe not as brilliant as I thought at first.

  • feefifoto

    I’m disgusted with Wal-Mart too. i asked if they had anything for Passover and they asked if I was looking for decorations. I feel so welcome there!

    The carrots are certainly cute and probably attracted the interest of more kids than you might think. We offer carrots as one of the snacks at our school’s field day and they are surprisingly popular.

    Of course, it might just be that the parent-helpers are eating them, but at least someone’s getting a healthy snack.

  • Lisa

    what a great idea! it makes me want to start eating carrots now.

    doesn’t that just drive you crazy when the teachers don’t get as excited as you think they should when you clearly go ABOVE AND BEYOND. of course, I have never been a teacher, so who am I to judge.

  • Katrina

    Very cute!! And I had NO IDEA about the baby carrots being soaked in chlorine! That is super scary- as we eat them here all the time!! Yikes!!

    And I am right there with you- i hate Wal-Mart too!! I try never to shop there!

    Your carrots were super cute!! I can’t believe that the teachers aren’t excited about it!!

  • MintTea

    I think it is sad (and sort of hilarious) that the carrot tops were removed for fear of choking and stabbing. Somehow I doubt this would have happened 30 years ago (the removal I mean… maybe kids have been choked and/or stabbed by toothpicks in the past?) That just struck me as one more thing that we now forbid children (ie. fun) I thought it was a great idea, and the kind of thing Bug will remember as a beloved “my mom used to…” story.

  • Jaynette

    Is Walmart the only grocery store there? How depressing. Luckily our local store doesn’t have a full grocery department. The store is pretty close, but we rarely go there.
    Our schools would not have allowed homemade food. The teachers could partake of homemade goods, but not the kids. The last couple of years of grade school they staff went on a healthy kick. Pretzels were about the only thing we could take.

  • SAJ

    Yeah, it is sad. But thankfully I can bring homemade things to Bug’s (private) preschool! Public schools around here forbid it and you have to bring pre-packaged cupcakes etc from the grocery store. So in defense of Bug’s school and just in case any of her teachers are reading (which they totally could since I gave her teacher the bunny puppet pdf and a package of alphabet cards with my url on it) I will say that I actually really like her school and her teachers. I’m actually quite fond of them even when they seem very tired and overworked. They love Bug and that’s all that matters.

  • SAJ

    No, Walmart isn’t the only grocery store. But they do happen to carry Tassimo T-discs and the other grocery stores don’t. So I only go there once a month or less if I can help it.

  • bethany

    walmart sucks, but your carrots rocked! no they don’t see that all the time, there’s only one SAJ :). we eat the big ones most of the time too, and they last forever in the bottom of the veggie drawer if they get forgotten, while the baby ones go all slimy, ugh!

  • Danna

    I love that idea. Simple and cute. We are having a birthday party for my boy on Sat and I think I’ll try that idea for our cookout. Thanks!

    On the subject of Walmart; We have two very large and very well kept Walmarts here. I do most of my shopping there only because they are the cheapest and we are a one income household. I think each store is different in their quality for sure. I wish I could shop at the Whole Foods or even the local store, but I just can’t feed a family of four on that budget. :(

  • amy

    WOW. Can honestly say the teachers of my kids’ school would have been royally impressed!

    Your daughters teacher needs to learn about positive reinforcement and all that… Well done Mom and Bug!

  • gingermog

    Wonderful carrot tops.

    Its madly hot here ad has been for several days everyone is breaking out the sundresses and flip flops. Thought of you just now as I made a run t our local Starbucks to buy some iced coffees. My first iced Starbucks since meeting you last year .

    Wonderful day.

  • bethany actually

    Having read the link to the Snopes article, I’d like to point out that the carrots that are treated with chlorinated water are rinsed off afterwards, so that the parts per million of chlorine left on them is comparable to the amount of chlorine found in tap water. That’s still kinda gross, but presumably no worse than drinking water straight from the faucet. :-)

    (Though I agree with you completely, whole carrots are much tastier than baby carrots! I just keep buying the baby carrots because I’m lazy.)

  • Leta

    I love this! What a cute idea, Brenda! And Bug’s teachers need to be nicer or at least fake some enthusiasm for a parent who obviously cares as much as you do.

  • Natalie

    Let us know how this one went over, if the kids eat them…I think sometimes little kids let adults ‘taste’ stop them from trying something new…my girl will try anything when she is with me and my husband but when grandma is watching her she suddenly morphs into the worlds pickiest eater because my mom believes kids can only like mac and cheese and sugar

  • TJ

    Also de-lurking to say that as a person who works in an elementary school, the teachers are probably just anticipating a day where the kids are bouncing off the walls, ape-&^*# crazy from all the sugar. It is not that we don’t like the kids to have fun, but those days are a lot of work. Trying to teach and contain little bodies that have been filled with sugar makes for a long day. Just know that teachers love that you take the time to be involved in your child’s education, we truly cannot do our jobs without you. If they don’t thank you, they should. Maybe they’re just intimidated by your artistic prowess! You’re amazing.

  • Andrea

    Come off it. That’s ridiculous. Aaaaarggggh. What world do we live…fear of pre-school toothpick stabbing. I don’t have kids yet, but if i encounter such rubbish in schools when I do…I’m packing the whole family off to india, or some third world country where bullshit insurance/fear based regulation doesn’t ruin our lives.

    Your carrots are great!!! Particularly given you have been deprived of live carrot tops…I think you did wonderfully.

  • Jess

    Come be a mom at my daughter’s school! She’d love your carrots!! Oh, wait. We have one of those store bought only daycares. Dang.

  • Lisame

    Brand new reader here. Odd since I’ve been reading Suburbanbliss forEVA. Loving your self for obvious reasons.

    Aren’t you in Texas? Walmart is evil and should be destroyed. Find thyself a Fiesta! Best produce (and fish) in Texas! BEST!