Labor Day hasn’t been a big deal for my husband’s family, at least not since I’ve been part of the crew. My husband doesn’t remember doing anything special as a kid, either. But since we have my niece’s birthday, my brother-in-law’s birthday, the other brother-in-law’s wedding anniversary, our wedding anniversary, and my sister-in-law’s birthday within a three week span, we have more than enough opportunities to get together for celebrations at the end of August and into September.
Still, I’m feeling nostalgic for those end of summer picnics, playing with my brothers and cousins, eating hot dogs and watermelon, and just being around the family that I took for granted would always be there.
I especially miss my grandma. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my uncle used to call me “Little Cordie”, because apparently I resembled her quite a bit. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder what features I inherited from her. I don’t have any pictures of her when she was younger, so I really don't know. I recognize her artistic talent in my daughter, though. My grandma was a painter in addition to being a good crafter and seamstress. She used to make all of her Christmas gifts for years. Unfortunately, no one in the family learned to sew as well as she did. She was a professional seamstress, and she could whip out a new dress for me in a matter of a couple hours.
I’m a pretty good cook like she was, but nothing ever tastes as good as what grandma used to make. Her specialties were chicken and dumplings, chocolate pies, chicken and dressing, and my favorite, banana pudding. I ran across her recipe the other day. I've had it for years, but I’ve never tried to make it myself. So, in memory of my grandma, I thought I’d share her recipe for banana pudding. For all I know, she cut it out of magazine or found it in a recipe book, but to me, it will always be hers.
Do you have a favorite food you associate with someone you love?
Grandma Cordie’s Banana Pudding
2 cups milk
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 bananas, sliced
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated (but undergoing family therapy to solve their differences)
Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl. In a saucepan, beat the egg yolks and milk together. Add the flour and sugar mixture and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Add butter and vanilla to the boiling mixture. Have a bowl lined with vanilla wafers and a layer of bananas. Pour some of the pudding mixture on top. Repeat layers. Beat egg whites until stiff and add 3 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Top the pudding and brown it in the oven.