Dawn T - I love carrot salad and feel the same way about those rock-hard raisins. I posted a recipe below for a carrot salad that's really good, the secret is - the raisins are plumped up, and it uses fresh pineapple(most grocery stores in our area carry chunks of fresh pineapple and I get the smallest container I can find, though the chunks are large and need to be cut again.) I tweaked this from the Barefoot Contessa whose original recipe calls for 1/3 c. pineapple and raisins, which to me is not nearly enough.
1 lb. bag of carrots, peeled
1/2-1 cup raisins
2 TBS. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup mayonaise + 2-3 TBS.
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
3 TBS. sugar
1/2-1 cup fresh pineapple
Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 5 minutes, drain well, and set aside.
Fit a food processor with the grating attachment. Cut the carrots in half, and place in the feed tub on their sides. Process in batches, place grated carrots in a medium bowl, toss with lemon juice.
Whisk together the sour cream, mayo, sugar and salt, Pour the dressing over the carrots and add the pineapple and raisins. The salad may seem a little dry at this point, so add extra mayo, 1 TBS. at a time until it's the consistency you want. This salad is best when served cold, so make ahead and refrigerate before serving.