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The Carrot at Christmas Time
|The carrot has long been associated with
the Christmas festivities.
Make a Christmas Card! - using items available from any craft store:
Buy a stack of blank cards, blue card stock paper, white, black and orange paint and a roll of double-sided tape. Paint three sizes of furniture pads with white paint and press them onto cut-out pieces of card stock to create snowman bodies. Cut out hat and carrot shapes from cardboard and paint them black and orange, respectively. Tape the hat and carrot to the piece of card stock and glue the whole thing to the front of a blank card. Use a black felt tip marker to draw eyes, arms and buttons on each snowman. Include a computer printout of a holiday update inside the card and write a short greeting such as "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Holidays!" on the inside of the card.
In Eastern Europe and in the US, people hang glass carrot baubles on their trees. Carrots have long held a special place in German legend. The glass carrot ornament is truly a decoration that can bring a tear to an old woman's eye. Long ago the glass carrot was very popular in Germany as a traditional gift for brides bringing them good luck in the kitchen! After being lost for many years, the antique mould has resurfaced and German artisans are again creating this treasure for a bride's first Christmas tree.
December 6th marks the beginning of the holiday season in many families of Dutch, German and Eastern European heritage.
Tulleys Farm in West Sussex (UK) has a nativity scene made vegetables with baby Jesus made from a carrot! Click here for details.
Dutch children eagerly anticipate the arrival of St Nicholas by stuffing their shoes with hay and carrots for Sinterklaas' horse. By morning, if the children have been good, the snacks have been replaced with gifts.
Here is a sample of the fine glass wares:
Christmas Nativity Set - and yes! Baby Jesus is a carrot.
Bugs also gets in on the act!
|In the 1820's German glassmakers developed
a process to make brightly coloured, hollow glass spheres which they called
"kugels".....they were hung from ceilings and windows as protection against
On Christmas Eve English children leave out mince pies, brandy or some similar warming beverage for Father Christmas, and a carrot for the reindeer.
In Holland, children fill their shoes with hay and a carrot for the Saint's white horse. In the night, Sintirklaas slides down the chimney, gathers the hay for the horse and puts a little present in each child s shoe.
In Italy, youngsters set out their shoes for La Befana, the good witch.
... and finally the definitive site
on how Christmas is celebrated around the world.
(Right) John's Carrotmas Tree!
|What is Boxing day? - In most English speaking countries (except the US!), the day following Christmas day is called Boxing Day. This phrase comes from the custom which started in the Middle Ages around 800 years ago. Churches would open their "alms boxe" (boxes in which people placed gifts of money) and distribute the contents to poor people in the neighbourhood on the day after Christmas. The tradition continues today - small gifts are often given to delivery workers such as postal staff and children who deliver newspapers.|
350 gram young carrots, peeled and grated; The fine grated rind of half an orange; 225 gram butter; 225 gram soft brown sugar; 20ml lemon juice; 175 gram self raising flour; 5ml baking powder; 50 gram ground almonds; 125 gram chopped walnuts; 325 gram cream cheese; 10ml clear honey; 4 eggs - separated.
Christmas Carrot Pudding
British Carrot Growers recipe here.
Cake: 3 eggs+1 yolk 2/3 cup sugar 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup cake flour 2 tbsp cornstarch 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 cup carrot, grated 1/4 cup canola oil
Filling and frosting: 1 cup cream-cheese, at room temperature 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature 100 g white chocolate, melted 1 tsp vanilla 3/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped.
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line 10"x 15" jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
2. Beat eggs, yolk and sugar over boiling water in double boiler on medium speed for 10 min until it's thick and pale. Add vanilla.
3. Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt over egg mixture and fold it in gently.
4. Fold in carrot and oil.
5. Turn batter into prepared pan, spread evenly. Bake for 15-20 min until springs back when touched.
6. Let stand on a cooling rack for a couple minutes and roll it up tightly.
7. Meanwhile beat cream cheese with butter until smooth, add white chocolate and vanilla.
8. Unroll the cake and spread 1/2 of filling over cake evenly. Sprinkle with 1/3 of nuts and roll up again.
9. Spread remaining filling over the top and sprinkle with nuts.
10.Chill until ready to serve.
Marmalade roasted carrots and parsnips 20 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook
Sweet and sticky, and the perfect side for your Christmas turkey dinner. Can be cooked and frozen for up to a month, helping you get ahead on the day.
Ingredients: 500g (1lb) carrots, cut lengthways;500g (1lb) parsnips, cut lengthways; 2 tbsp olive oil;6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked;2 tbsp fine cut marmalade;2 tbsp clear honey
Method: Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Put the veg in a roasting tin. Drizzle with the oil and scatter over most of the thyme; season. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until softened.
Toss the veg in the marmalade, honey and remaining thyme until coated. Roast for a further 10-15 minutes or until golden.
Orange and Thyme glazed carrots (serves 4, 5 minutes prep time)
A great sticky and fragrant trimming for Christmas dinner.
400g of baby or small pieces of carrots.
2 tsp of cumin seeds
2 tblsp of thin marmalade
1 tsp soya sauce
3 or 4 stalks of thyme, leaves picked off
Salt and pepper.
Method: Boil or steam the carrots until tender.Heat a frying pan and dry fry the cumin seeds for a moment or two until they become fragrant. Stir in the thin cut orange marmalade, soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of water until the marmalade has melted into a glaze. Drain the carrots and toss them in the glaze until they look glossy. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves and season. Continue to toss until everything is well coated, then pour into a serving dish.
Carrots glazed in butter and parsley (serves 6; prep time 15 mins)
1kg (2 1/3lb) carrots 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 50g (2oz) butter 1tbsp caster sugar Small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1. Peel the carrots and cut off the ends and slice into batons. Put carrots into a large pan of salted water over medium heat. Bring to a boil and bubble for further 5 minutes. Drain.
2. Using the same pan, melt the butter over a low heat and fry the garlic for 2 min stirring occasionally, add the sugar and parsley, and continue stirring for a further 2 min. Add the carrots back into the pan and heat through, season to taste. Keep warm until needed.
Carrots and Tarragon (serves 6; prep time 15 minutes, depends on boil time)
600g carrots; a knob of butter;1 clove garlic, finely chopped;1 tsp caster sugar
3 sprigs tarragon, leaves picked and chopped
Peel and chop the carrots, into either batons or pennies. Boil in salted water until just tender. Drain well. Melt the butter in the pan until bubbling, on a lowish heat.
Stir in the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Pop the carrots back into the pan with the tarragon. Cook gently until the water from the carrots evaporates and they have a lovely, buttery shine. Season with a little salt and give the pan a good shake so that everything is coated with the garlicky butter.
Honeyed baby carrots (serves 4; cook time 35 minutes)
This easy honey glaze gives roast baby carrots and beetroot a delicious caramelised flavour.
Ingredients: 2 tbs balsamic vinegar;1 tbs olive oil; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 3-4 sprigs thyme 1 tsp salt 1 tbs honey 1 bunch baby carrots 1 bunch baby beetroot 1 tbs parsley, chopped.
1. Preheat oven to 220°C. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except vegetables and parsley and mix well.
2. Trim tops from vegetables, leaving a little of the green stalk attached and wash well to remove dirt.
3. Toss carrots and beetroot separately with dressing and place beetroots only in a large ovenproof dish. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from oven, add carrots and toss well. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir through parsley to serve.
Spice Roasted Carrots (serves 8; total time 1 hour,15 mins)
Ingredients: 8 large (3 pounds) carrots, peeled; 3 tblsp olive oil; 2 tblsp packed fresh oregano leaves, chopped; 1 tsp smoked paprika; 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg; 2 tblsp butter, melted; 1 tblsp red wine vinegar; 1/3 cup roasted salted pistachios, shelled and finely chopped.
Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 2.In roasting pan, toss carrots with oil, oregano, paprika, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast 1 hour or until tender but not falling apart. Transfer to serving platter. Drizzle with butter and vinegar and garnish with pistachios.
War Time Carrot Xmas pudding (for 2 persons)
You will need - 1lb scraped carrots, 2 oz margarine, Breadcrumbs as required, 1 beaten egg, 1 tablespoon minced onion, salt and pepper.
Method - Rinse the carrots, then place them in a saucepan of boiling salted water to cover. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook slowly till soft. Rub through a sieve. Measure and place puree in a basin. Add half as much breadcrumbs as carrot puree, then add onion and the margarine, melted till creamy. Season to taste, then add enough beaten egg to bind the mixture. Place in a greased pudding basin.
Cover with greased paper. Steam for 45 minutes. Turn out onto a hot dish. Serve with cheese or caper sauce or left over gravy. Read more about carrots in war time here.
How to Eat Like a King for Christmas in 1660. Here
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