About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Jan

Jan
Jan is a serious home cook who loves to read recipes and then do her own thing. Her focus is ingredient driven comfort food, often with an Italian influence. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about food and travels (next trip to Italy: May/June of 2012) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Kim

Kim
Kim joins us after being our permanent sub on the Pomodori e Vino project. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think or The Amy Foundation.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Our Subs

About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Amy

Amy
Amy is a teacher in suburban Boston with far too many cookbooks, her Grandmother's meat grinder and canning jars, and a new Wolf stove. She appreciates cuisines from around the world, with a particular fondness for French, Moroccan, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Tweaking her cooking and eating habits resulted long-lasting weight loss and health benefits, proving that living well still tastes good. An old hobby is knitting; and a newer one is canning preserves. Read more from Amy on her blog, Destination Anywhere.

« Duck Curry with Pumpkin and Green Tomatoes | Main | Carrot Soup »

Carrot Candy

By Deborah

Last summer we visited a small village on the shore of Lake Peipsi along the border between southeastern Estonia and Russia. The town, Varnja, is home to “The Russian Old Believers”. They split from the Russian Orthodox Church in the mid-1600s and settled in this small area of Estonia. It was here that we tasted wonderful onion buns, rhubarb pastries and a candy treat made of carrots. The young lady who served it to us, said it was Russian. It was cloyingly sweet but deliciously carroty. I enjoyed it but couldn’t eat more than one piece.

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Who knew, that experience would give me my inspiration for this weeks use of carrots?

In trying to replicate the general texture and appearance of that piece of carrot candy, this is what I came up with:

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1-lb carrots peeled and finely shredded
1-lb granulated white sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Ground ginger
2 cup chopped nuts of your choice

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium-high heat, mix shredded carrots, sugar, lemon juice, and ginger. Once sugar has completely melted, turn heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring very frequently. Continue until volume has reduced by at least half.

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Remove from heat and cool only long enough to be able to roll mixture in plastic wrap without melting the wrap.

You'll be repeating the following process four times, so you need to work fast to keep the carrot mixture from cooling down too much.

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Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on a flat cold surface. Spread ¼ of the carrot mixture evenly covering an area of about 8” x 10”. Sprinkle with the surface with ¼ of your chopped nuts. Starting with an 8” edge, lift the plastic wrap and carefully make a narrow fold to begin your roll. Using the plastic wrap, continue rolling the mixture. As you roll, peel back the plastic wrap so that it doesn’t get caught in the roll.

When the log is completed, moisten your fingers and press down the final edge to blend it into the roll. The wrap the completed log in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator to chill.

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When you are ready to serve, remove a log from the fridge and slice in ¼” pieces. For smooth slicing, try using a sharp narrow boning knife. Heat the knife under hot running water, or pass it over a flame on your range.

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I’m going to have to rate this as a GOOD. I don’t like the excessive sugar any more than I did when I tasted the originals in Varnja. But I love the strong carrot taste. If I were to make any changes at all, it would be to use fresh grated ginger and increase the amount by at least double, if not triple. Its flavor was totally overpowered by the carrot.

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Comments (5)

Mindy Smith:

You are one of the most creative people I know!! WOW! I would love to try one of these tasty treats.

Brava!!!

Deborah responds: Hmm, wonder how they would survive the mail.

Such an interesting idea Deborah. I love that you are experimenting with such unusual ideas.

teaberry:

Very creative indeed! It's fun to see what you come up with, Deborah!

Carrot candy...who knew? It looks interesting and tasty...I can see where one would be happy with just a little bit if it is so sweet, but what's wrong with that, sometimes just a wee bit is a whole lot of fun. It looks so pretty.

Here's my carrot post for this week. Herbed Carrot Cloverleaf Yeast Rolls and they were delicious! http://grandmaskitchentable.typepad.com/grandmas_kitchen_table/2011/11/flavors-carrots-herbed-carrot-cloverleaf-yeast-rolls.html

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 30, 2011 2:03 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Duck Curry with Pumpkin and Green Tomatoes.

The next post in this blog is Carrot Soup.

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