A Carrot Salad for a Veteran

In about 10 days, between 50 and 100 World War II veterans from the area will embark on a trip to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorial to their wartime service and sacrifice.

I’m sure if my dad, Ervin "Hap" Tiedeman, were alive, he would have been excited to go on this trip. Probably just as excited as my uncle, Curt Hendrickson.

Uncle Curt, who turns 90 this month, is among five veterans from Crookston who wil be on the April 18-19 trip. The group includes a retired teacher, a retired Minnesota state trooper and my childhood barber, Phil Olson.

We chatted with Uncle Curt the other day about the Honor Flight, and he showed us the itinerary for the trip. What caught my eye was that the veterans will be having "rations" on their chartered flight from Grand Forks to Washington.

I joked with Uncle Curt about that, and my Aunt Harriet said he wouldn’t touch Spam for years after he got out of the service, although he said he now likes it fried.

During World War II, fresh meat was difficult to get to the soldiers on the front, so GIs started eating Spam for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some referred to Spam as "ham that didn’t pass its physical" and "meatloaf without basic training." I bet they had other names, too. But they aren’t printable.

Continuing to talk about food, Aunt Harriet said she was going to make a carrot salad for my uncle before he goes on the trip. It’s one of his favorites. She’s shared the recipe with me, and I can see why Uncle Curt occasionally will have a midnight snack of the carrots when he gets up from bed. They’re really yummy.
Give the salad a try. I’m sure you’ll like it, too.
Carrot Salad
2 pounds of sliced carrots, cooked but still firm
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small green pepper, sliced (optional) 
1 can tomato soup
½ cup salad oil 
1 cup sugar
¾ cup vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Slice carrots and cook them for about 5 minutes. They should be firm, not mushy. Place them in container large enough to hold them and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until mixed thoroughly. Refrigerate. Use as a side dish or even as a snack.