Did you know that Oranges were stuffed in stockings?
Do you know the symbolism behind stuffing the stocking with an orange?
There are 4 different explanations to this tradition
1. St. Nicholas and his sacks of gold.
St. Nicholas inherited a large sum of money, but devoted his life to helping others, and eventually became a bishop.
According to the story, St. Nicholas learned of a poor man who wasn’t able to find suitors for his three daughters because he didn’t have money for a dowry. St. Nicholas traveled to the house, and tossed three sacks of gold down the chimney for each of the dowries. The gold happened to land in each of the girls’ stockings which were hanging by the fire to dry. The oranges are a symbol of the gold that was left in the stockings.
2. A treat during the Great Depression.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, money was tight, and many families simply didn’t have the means to buy gifts. Instead, it was such a treat, even a luxury, to find things like a sweet orange or some walnuts in your stocking on Christmas.
3. Oranges were once a scarce treat.
Some also offer the idea that fresh oranges were hard to come by, especially in the north, so finding one of these fruits in your stocking was a huge treat, and a way of celebrating the holiday.
4. It’s the season of giving.
Another theory behind the tradition is that December is the season of giving, and the orange segments represent the ability to share what you have with others.
I’ve used this wonderful fragrant citrus fruit to make a delicious Orange and Almond Cake
250gms orange pulp (2-3nos oranges)
175gms almond meal
125gms caster sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1: Boil the oranges on low heat for about an hour and half to 2 hours. This will remove all the bitterness from the oranges. Pulse the oranges to a puree
Step 2:Pre-heat the oven at 160°c while you prepare the cake batter
Step3: In a bowl, mix the eggs and sugar till they are smooth and have doubled in size
Step 4: Sieve the almond flour, baking powder and salt
Step 5: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the vanilla extract at this stage. Fold in the orange puree gently. You will want a light and fluffy batter. Line the 9″ tin with parchment paper and pour in the cake batter. Cook for about 1 hour (till the toothpick comes out clean)
Step 6: To prepare the orange chilli vodka drizzle. Use the remaining orange puree (since the cake batter calls for only 250gms), one slit green chilly, as much Vodka as you want (:) and some water. Simmer on a low heat till most of the alcohol is evaporated (about 15mins)
Step 7: Let the cake cool completely and then poke tiny holes and drizzle this sauce over the cake.. Serve with a scoop of ice cream
This is the song that I was listening to when baking this cake.. Perfecto!