Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


(stock photo)

My childhood family didn’t have many traditions but carrot pudding at Thanksgiving was one that I remember and cherish. This is an old pioneer recipe handed down in my family. Its invention could be centuries old. It incorporated all on-hand staples—carrots, potatoes or apples, dry bread crumbs and spices. I know lots of families have their version but the thing that distinguishes our pudding from others is the sauce—the very unusual Vinegar Dip as my family called it.

Carrot pudding is steamed on top of the stove. This method made a moist baked product without an oven. I am sure that was part of its original desirability because those old timers didn’t always have ovens. I have a recipe for the pudding that came from my great-great grandmother Hamblin. I have changed it a bit by using butter and oil instead of shortening. My mother and grandmother always used shortening because it was less expensive. (Butter probably was in the original) I use apples instead of potatoes but the potatoes work fine. I know in days past apples were not always available so a creative woman threw in some grated potatoes, which they had in the root cellar, and it worked famously.

Now the sauce is the special part. Most carrot puddings have lemon sauce or hard sauce but our sauce is made with vinegar. I am sure a resourceful woman who couldn’t get lemons or vanilla created this. She decided to add some vinegar for a little zing—Wow! Did it ever. I have vivid memories of the family women congregating around the kitchen stove trying to get the vinegar dip to taste right. No one ever worked up a recipe. They would just get a pot and start putting the ingredients in and then stand around with a spoon sipping and trying to decide what it needed to taste "right".

When I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family carrot pudding was a must but I wanted a recipe for the vinegar dip. (Even if I was the only one to eat it – this is not fruitcake but it’s hard to compete with chocolate pie now days). So over the years I have worked on the ingredients. If the truth be known, I tweak it a bit every year trying to get it to taste just "right"—but it’s close to perfect—very close.

This is a double recipe and will fill a large bundt pan. (I figure while I’m at it, make lots.) The recipe can be halved and steamed in a smaller mold or tube pan. My family often steamed it in a coffee can. I have a steam canner, which works great for steaming the pudding, but one can be jimmied. You need to have a large pan, which will hold your mold. You want your mold raised up so the water can steam under it. If you don’t have a small rack use a few canning jar lids lying in the bottom of the pan. Put in 2-3 inches of water. Cover the pudding tightly with foil. I like the bundt or tube pan because the steam can come up through the middle and bake it evenly. The pan needs a tight fitting lid. Bring the water to boil and let simmer on low as the pudding bakes for 2 to 2 ½ hours depending on the size of the pudding. It can be made one day and steamed the next if you desire. Or steam ahead and reheat the individual pieces in the microwave a bit before serving.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups ground or grated carrots
2 cups grated apples or potatoes
3 cups dry bread crumbs (I like to make my own bread crumbs made in a food processor because the commercial ones are too fine. If you use the store bought only use 2 1/2 cups)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. Soda
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
1 ½ tsp. Nutmeg
½ tsp. Cloves
½ tsp. Allspice
(Butter, margarine or shortening can be used in place of the butter and oil)
Cream the butter, sugar and eggs. Add all the remaining ingredients. Grease or Pam your mold well. 1 cup of chopped nuts and raisins can be added to your batter if desired. I sometime do half-and-half. (And then I eat both halves)

 2 cups of water
 ½ cup cider vinegar
1 cup + 2 T. sugar
3T Cornstarch
1 tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Salt
2 T. butter
Bring all ingredients to a boil and you are ready.
The pudding keeps well wrapped in the refrigerator for weeks (it makes a very healthy lunch for a couple of weeks – all those carrots must be healthy don’t you think?) Just warm in the microwave a bit before eating along with the sauce that keeps nicely also.

I’m afraid I haven’t given this recipe enough credit for being wonderful. I have served this at dinner parties and had people beg me for the recipe. And my mouth is watering as I write this.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Charmaine, thanks for the recipes! My mom made carrot pudding (in a can, loosely covered with tin foil) with carrots and potatoes. She served it with a lemon sauce, but has been known to fool us with vinegar (such as in a vinegar "Lemon" Meringue pie!). I can't wait to try your recipe for both. I wonder how it compares to our family recipe? I will try it with apples. I bought a pudding mold years ago to fancy up our carrot pudding ;-D