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I have a thing for carrots. I can’t really explain it. Maybe it’s their shelf life-when kept in a cool, dark place they’ll last a very long time, through the winter even. Maybe it’s their color-bright orange, a rarity in nature. Maybe it’s their versatility-delicious when eaten raw with dip, sliced on a salad, or cooked soft and swimming in a pool of butter.

For some reason, when I ran across this recipe, I had to try it. It’s insanely easy. And it’s insanely delicious. A bit on the sweet side, it’s like a soufflé and it’s perfectly acceptable as a side dish for your next dinner. Plus, it’s really pretty. And did I mention delicious?

The recipe comes from “American Cookery”, the first known cookbook written by an American-Amelia Simmons-and published in 1796. (FYI: the full title of the cookbook is actually: “American Cookery, or the art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life.” I bet Amelia was a talker.)

Here’s the recipe, which I followed almost to the letter. It makes six servings.

• 2 cups of raw carrots, chopped in small pieces
• 5 eggs
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• 4 tablespoons butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• *Optional 1 teaspoon Penzey’s French Four Spice (Contains white pepper, nutmeg, cloves and ginger) or similar spice mix

Boil the carrots in a saucepan for about 15 minutes or until quite soft.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain carrots, reserving ¼ cup of the water in which you boiled them. Place carrots and reserved water in a blender and puree until smooth.

Pour carrots into medium bowl. Mix eggs, sugar, butter and spices into carrots and then beat thoroughly until creamy. Pour mixture into small oven-proof bowl lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake for one hour or until pudding is fluffy and a toothpick stuck into the middle comes out clean.

I served this as a side dish and my daughters thought it was heavenly. It’s sweet and very pretty on the table. If you have trouble getting your family to eat carrots, try this recipe-and enjoy!

Next blog post: French pancakes-known in the modern world as crepes!