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Christmas is about many things not least of all, the food!  Christmas dinner in New Zealand is very different from a Canadian one.  For one thing, barbeques feature in the celebrations, which makes sense since, after all,  it is summer.  But I have to say, I miss the traditional Christmas dinners my mother used to prepare.  She was a wonderful cook and I’ll never forget some of her signature dishes – light Christmas cake, carrot pudding and butterscotch sauce, kiflins, shortbread, gingerbread men, mincemeat tarts and truffles. And, in case you are wondering –  we didn’t just eat dessert!  Our main course usually consisted of turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, squash, peas, carrots and coleslaw with apple.  There was never anything store-bought.  Mom made everything, including the cranberry sauce.  Some years she even made the Christmas tree decorations – popcorn balls and popcorn garlands.

I have successfully recreated Mom’s Christmas cake and truffles.  But, my shortbread are always too hard as are the kiflins (delicate pecan cookies) and my gingerbread dough usually crumbles at the slightest touch. This year I’m trying carrot pudding for the first time.  I know it doesn’t sound very good, but it is delicious with lemon or butterscotch sauce.  Here’s the recipe:

Carrot Pudding

  • ½ c sifted flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 t soda
  • ¾ c salt
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t cloves
  • ½ c shortening (melted)
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • ¼ c candied orange peel
  • ¾ c flaked coconut
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 c raw carrots
  • 1 c grated raw potato
  • 1 c diced apple
  • ½ c raisins
  • ½ c whole candied cherries
  • ¼-1/2 c blanched whole almonds
  • ¼ c currants

Sift flour, salt, soda, baking powder and spices into a large bowl.  Blend well.  Mix with remaining ingredients.  Butter pudding molds or empty cans and fill 3/4 full.  Butter baking paper and place buttered side up on a piece of foil.  Pleat in the middle and use to cover the pudding basins/cans. Tie securely with string. Place molds/cans in a dutch oven or steamer and fill with water to half way up the pudding molds/cans. Cover and steam for 2 hours. Allow to cool.

Brown sugar sauce

  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 t vanilla

Melt butter, add flour, stir until smooth, add sugar and keep stirring.  Cook until it gets darker brown (burns easily).  Add water slowly, cook until thick then add vanilla, remove from heat. Can be re-heated.


Until next time,

Your Boomer Life Partners