There are a few special dishes that speak of mine. Certain smells that greeted me when I entered my grandmother’s house. The sound of a pressure cooker preparing seasoned green beans. The beauty of a black, cast iron skillet filled with perfectly browned cornbread.
‘Round Ethel’s house, there was never a day that wasn’t appropriate for ham. Or chicken n’ dumplins’.
And nothing said “You’re home” more than Mamaw’s Banana Pudding. It was only served in one particular dish – the round glass Pyrex with tiny flowers etched on the bottom. This pretty bowl always had the honor of serving up this southern comfort food.
A few months ago, my kitchen welcomed this pretty, treasure into her collection. A monumental moment in my womanhood. A badge of “Banana Pudding Honor”, if you will. The special day that Mamaw passed it down to me – very memorable.
And even though I follow her recipe’s every detail, I can not replicate perfection.
But still, I hope I can do her proud.
Mamaw Arden’s Banana Pudding
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup flour
dash of salt
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
40-50 vanilla wafers, divided
5-6 bananas, sliced
PREP: MIX 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water 10 to 12 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Put aside 12 wafers for garnish.
Spread a little of this custard onto bottom of 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Cover with layers of 1/3 each of the remaining wafers, bananas and remaining custard. Repeat layers 2 times.
Topping: Beat egg whites on high speed of mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. (This always takes longer than I think it should) Spread over custard, spreading to the sides of the dish.
BAKE 15 to 20 min. or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Top with reserved wafers just before serving.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. Luke 9:17
The miracle of Jesus multiplying the bread and fish is a beautiful picture of Jesus’ delight in satisfying every need of his people. Physical hunger not excluded. He loved on the five thousand men and their families this day…with food.
If one of your love languages is cookin’ for your people, then that is just a little Jesus in you. He loved serving his people with food, too.
Day 24: Love Makes Banana Pudding, Fishes & Loaves.
Mamaw didn’t just make pudding because she liked to make pudding. It was one of her ways of telling me she loved me.
Today, love on someone with food. Make a special treat for your kids while they are at school. Greet them with cookies off of the bus. Or maybe you take your honey to her favorite restaurant. It’s Friday, so that could mean Pizza and a Movie night. Or bake a homemade pie for your husband (Brent loves me more when I do this, I’m pretty sure of it).
So much love can be expressed through food. And even though my kids may not see that now… I trust that one day, they will.
What smells and dishes mark your childhood?