Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"It's. A. Famil-y... tra-dition!"

"...when that doctor asked me
Son how did you get in this condition
I said hey sawbones I'm just carryin on
an old family tradition!!"
- Hank Williams Jr.
So this year I have been elected by the heads of state (My mom, sister and Auntie) to take up a family tradition that was lost with the passing of my Great-Aunt Jenny a few years back. A Christmas staple in our household was Auntie Jenny's Carrot Pudding with hard sauce and lemon sauce. It was de-li-cous!!!
Last year was a very emotional Christmas for us all because it was the first we spent without Poppie. We tried out best to bind tightly together, to keep the hole that his absence created from splitting our hearts apart. It was difficult. We cried... a lot but the we laughed... a lot too. I am sure this Christmas will be no different. Let me be honest... I am crying now just typing this! But that ok... because I am smiling too. So this year keeping family traditions alive is more important than ever....
Where was I?
Ah yes! The Carrot Pudding. Here is the thing. I have no clue how in the heck to make Carrot Pudding. I knew it involved some kind of boiling? Tin foil wrapping procedure? And to top it off... I am the type that gets performance anxiety...
So.... I reached into my family cook book and pulled out the recipe that I had written down long before I ever actually considered making it... and long before Auntie Jenny passed. The ingredients looks a little wacky, bread crumbs, carrots...etc... but I figured I could handle that. Auntie Jenny used currents (which I hate) so I quickly cut them from the list and thought of adding my own touch with a little orange zest... just 'cause.

And then...as I neared the end of the list.....my eyes widened in horror!!! There.... at the bottom of the page....a single solitary line......where the long list of detailed instructions should be... my heart stopped!... my breath came short! Where. Were. The. Directions?
Here is a pic of the actual recipe:

For those of you who cant read my chicken scratch... that would say "Stir together. Boil for three hours. Phone Auntie Jenny to find out how."

When I wrote that recipe out, Auntie Jenny would have been in her early 90s! I am....Brilliant!

So I figured... Hey! No worries. Mom will have the recipe! Right!?
I call Mom up on the phone. I explain the situation. She laughs. And then laughs some more (she is laughing AT ME by the way!!) "Oh Chelsi! You are funny!" She says.

"Yah, great Mom, thanks. Do you have the recipe or not?"

So I listen to her mumble while she fumbles through her cook book. I can see it in my minds eye, the same as it has been since I was a little girl.... A big red binder splattered in batter with dozens of full scrap loose papers dangling out the sides in a jumbled disarray. (I love my Mom).

And then she exclaims, 'Whoooop! Here it is! Here it is!!!"

We run through the list of ingredients. Its the same recipe. Great. "Directions?" I ask.

"Lets see what I have written here...." Mom starts reading them aloud...."It says......

tin foil

grease on

boil 3 hours
put lid on tightly..."

For those of you who missed those end quotes... you didn't miss anything!!.... THAT is all my dear mother wrote down for directions!!!

So.... as it would turn out... I really am carrying on a "family tradition"....

Now I am off to try to make this bloody carrot pudding. Merry Ho-Ho!

Mom wrote in my comments:


LOL! I laughed until I cried Chelsi.....I can't dispute anything here....every single comment you made is true, but, I will say how much trust I have in you being able to pull this off no matter what the circumstances are.

Just think about the glass being half full being that you did get all the ingredients even if the execution was missing, all the more fun. Now truly, what would life be if everything was carefully laid out for us to follow?"

My reply to that would be:

What would life be like if there were simple directions??? Oh....I dont know! Easy!!! LOL Yah, yah, yah, you are right (as always). I will do my best.

I guess the proof will be (literally) in the pudding!!!


Well, I have a large, heavy hunk of cake that vaguely resembles the carrot pudding of my memory. It is moist and smells like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.... this is good! I cant tell you if it takes like Auntie Jenny's version until Christmas day.
I have to admit though.... about half way through cooking this darn thing, I remembered that I never did like the actually cake part of carrot pudding.... I just loved the hard sauce (icing) and lemon sauce (lemony goodness) and would drown my cake with it until I could taste nothing but lemony sweetness. So... I made extra sauces!
What can I say, I've always been a saucy (sassy) wee thing! *she says in a swedish accent*


  1. HO....HO......HO

    LOL! I laughed until I cried Chelsi.....I can't dispute anything here....every single comment you made is true, but, I will say how much trust I have in you being able to pull this off no matter what the circumstances are.

    Just think about the glass being half full being that you did get all the ingredients even if the execution was missing, all the more fun. Now truely, what would life be if everything was carefully laid out for us to follow?

  2. Oh maaaaaan. Don't you just HATE that??? Well, my only suggestion to you is......start early and practice!! That way by the time you HAVE to make it, maybe you will have found the instructions.

    Your mom is so smart. Life would be no fun if everything we did was by the book ;)

  3. Maybe look up plum pudding or another steamed type pudding and follow that one?

  4. hehehehehe too funny! I absolutely love your blog! When I want some good humor or interesting reading, I'll be dropping by often.

    Oh yes I'm a total stranger. But... Merry Christams ya'll!!


  5. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with recipes like that in my cookbook! My grandmother made these indescribable potato dumpling things. I have ingredients and no idea how to put them together.

    Your pudding looks like it turned out pretty well. Take a pic with sauce.

  6. I umm...errr, well... I too copy recipes like that.
    **sheepish grin**

  7. That is too funny Chel. It looks great and I can't wait to have some. I didn't know that you hate carrots!

  8. Ezra- As I no longer have to stress about it working out or not, I can look back and see that it was fun. At the time... not so much:)

    Aunt Krissy- Great minds think a like. I did, and that helped. Thnx.

    Susan Catt- Welcome!!! And Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! Thanx.

    Leah Fry- Potato dumplings? MMMMmmm...sound gooood! I am sure you will figure them out someday:P

    Cnd- Tsk, tsk tsk! dont be doing that! lol Then we wonder why men think that we are crazy!

    Fel- No silly, I love carrots. I just never liked Carrot pudding (cake). I looooved the hard sauce though. MMmmm....

  9. That is quite the creation! It looks really yummy. I love carrot cake, so I'm sure I would like your carrot pudding cake, too!
    Christmas is always a hard time, remembering those that aren't there with you. I commend you for acknowledging those feeling with your family, and creating special traditions to remember those that have passed.
    Merry Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  10. Oooohhhh....it looks pretty tasty to me!!! I have had similar experiences with old family recipes too. I guess we forget that the person, who we rely on for top secret info, may not always be around!!

    I just read your comment about the book. I am to the point where she just dove off of the cliff, Alice is there, and Edward just called.

    I agree with you about this one not being as exciting. I am chomping on the bit to get to the next one, because Edward will be back. I kind of know what happens, because I read some of the ending...lol!!! Terrible, aren't I???

    How is the weather treating you up North?? Oh, and have a Merry Christmas, Chelsi!!!

  11. Hello, just discovered your blog...I'm originally from the Vancouver area but now live in Northern California. Just started riding 2 1/2 years ago and am madly in love with my first horse, a TB mare. I've added you to my bloglines so I can follow your adventures. Where in BC do you live?

  12. Does it taste like carrot cake? Just wondering, thinking that maybe it was like that.

    Last Christmas was the first Christmas we spent wtihout grandpa too.

    I know that feels. Each family gathering last year only magnified the fact that he was gone. But it also brought us close as a family -
    I hope thats the case with you as well.

    Merry Christmas - and thank you so much for your kind comments on my blog...

  13. Awwwww, those old recipes carry along with them so much family history and special memories. I enjoyed reading yours, and laughed, too.
    Your carrot pudding looks delish. Well done! I'm a saucy kind of gal, too. The lemon sauce sounds yummy!

    New Mexico

  14. What a funny story! I can only imagine the horror of reading to call for directions. You are too much!

  15. Pony Girl- Carrot pudding is not much like Carrot cake- which is my absolute favorite. I love to carry on family traditions (just with they were easier to do sometimes:)

    Melanie- I think every family has a lost recipe or two because we dont like to think that people will be gone.

    Donna- WELCOME!!!! I always love to hear from new people. There is a whole lot of crazy over here, so come by often!

    Stephanie- It is not like carrot cake... it is like carrot cakes blander, unexciting older brother.... if that makes any sense:) I agree that sometimes a loss like that can bind us all together all the more.

    Trailboss- LOL- Oh man! You have no idea. I know what to do better next time.