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The Carrot at Christmas Time

The carrot has long been associated with the Christmas festivities.

Some Christmas recipes to try:  Carrot Cake - Carrot Pudding - Carrot Log Roll - WW2 Xmas Pudding

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.

Make a felted snowman here.


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 tree ornament 5

Christmas tree ornament 3

Christmas tree ornament 2


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 evil spirits.

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.

Read all about the Christmas traditions in Finland,
Click here. 
Also Christmas traditions in France and Canada,
Click here..

... and finally the definitive site on how Christmas is celebrated around the world.
Click here.

(Right) John's Carrotmas Tree!

Read the "Reveal" article here

 

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.

 


Christmas Carrot Cake

Ingredients
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.

Method
Grease and line a deep 8 inch cake tin. Mix the cream, butter and sugar together, beat in the egg yolks, stir in orange rind and 3 tsp of lemon juice. Sift in the flour and baking powder, then stir in the almonds and 100 gram of walnuts. Whist the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the cake mix with the carrots. Pour into the tin and hollow the centre slightly.
Bake at 180c (350f) - Gas Number 4 for 90 minutes. Cover top with foil after one hour if it starts to brown. Leave to cool for 20 minutes, then turn onto wire cake rack
To make topping, beat cheese, honey and lemon juice, then spread over cake, decorate with the remaining walnut pieces.
Voila !!!! The perfect Christmas Carrot Cake.


Christmas Carrot Pudding

Ingredients

1 cup grated raw carrot; 1 cup grated raw potato;1 cup flour; 1 cup sugar; 3/4 cup raisins;1/2 cup currants;1/2 cup mixed fruit; 1/2 cup butter; 1/2 tsp. each cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon; 1 tsp. baking soda.
Method
Grate vegetables and set aside. Cream butter, add sugar, and blend well. Add carrot and half the potato and mix well. Sprinkle the fruit with flour and add to first mixture. Add remaining flour and spices mixed together. Dissolve the soda in remaining potato and add it last. Put it in a buttered bowl and cover with foil. Steam for three hours.

The Banana Christmas Tree at the Banana Museum (right)

Banana Christmas Tree

 

CARROT ROLL

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.

Method:

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.


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.
Carrot Pudding

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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