Traditional foods for the Imbolc celebration include those made with seeds, (to symbolize growth), raisins (a fruit of the Sun God), pork, poultry, or lamb, with sides of potatoes, cabbage, onions, and garlic. Imbolc is the mid-point of the dark half of the year, and though stored foods are running low, it is a celebration of renewal and preparation for Spring.
Soak raisins in hot water, in a covered bowl, for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large non-metal bowl, mix flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in carrots, raisins, apple, and almonds. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Stir egg mixture in to the flour mixture until just wet. Grease muffin pan with a little butter or use cupcake/muffin cups. Divide the batter into the cups and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 8 servings.