Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Grandma's Banana Puddin

No holiday would be complete without my Grandma Haley’s Banana Pudding. As a matter of fact, so family gathering would be complete without having a bowlful of this rich banana/custard/vanilla combination…..heavenly….the perfect end to a laaarrrge meal!

This holiday season, The Man and I hosted a Southern/Serbian dinner for a few of our friends. For my contribution, I made Chicken and Dumplins, Dressin, and my grandma’s Banana Puddin. Although I have a recipe that I love for Banana Pudding, I used the recipe I learned from her this summer….OMG…..perfect!

Here is the recipe:
(this is for a small batch, I doubled the recipe for my party and put it in a larger bowl)

2 cups of milk (warmed in the microwave or on the stove - prevents lumps)
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup flour
2 eggs beaten
Ripe Bananas
Vanilla Wafers - don’t skimp and get the generic - if you are in the south, use Jackson, otherwise any good brand will do.
Stick of Butter
Tsp vanilla

In a bowl, combine flour and sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir eggs into flour/sugar/salt until it makes a paste. Add a bit of warm milk to thin the mixture and pour into a medium saucepan. Turn on heat to somewhere between medium and low ( you have to gauge this - you don’t want lumps, but you don’t want to stand in front of the stove until your gray hairs multiply). Stir constantly (stirring with a whisk helps) to keep custard from sticking to the bottom. When the mixture is thickened, turn off the heat and add a stick of butter and vanilla. Stir until butter and vanilla are combined with the custard.

Find the prettiest bowl you own - I typically use cut glass bowls. These photos were taken at my Grandma's house and we used a square, handled white dish  For this recipe-the small batch, the bowl doesn’t have to be large….medium-sized will do perfectly. If the bowl is too big, your layers will not have a lot of custard. If it is too small, the bananas and wafers get lost in all of the custard.

Layer….vanilla wafers then custard then small slices of bananas (the important thing is that the wafers are on the bottom, otherwise it makes no difference). Layer a few times - end with a layer of custard on top and put wafers upright around the edge of the bowl, sunk halfway into the custard. I typically put a few wafers in a design on the top of the pudding.

Per my grandma’s tradition, I do not serve this dish cold (except for leftovers--which are amazing in their own right). I serve it warm or room temperature like a custard-based pie. Enjoy!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dream and Lucky

I had to write an allegory for my Literary Masterpieces class in our last test.  I kind of liked it and wanted to share - - by the way, my horses are named Lucky and Dream......  Enjoy!

Today, as I went out to the barn to brush my horses, I put on my coat of despair.  Winter is setting in and dark dreary days are ahead of me.  Bills are piling up on the counter and there isn't enough jingle in my pockets to satisfy them.  Lucky walked up to me and nuzzled my shoulder.  "Why do you despair?" he seemed to say...he smelled my coat in deep breaths and sighed, "I am can ride on me anytime...wind in your hair....and be free."  He whispers in my ear...." have grace..."  Dream whinnied from the distance.  A half-broke filly full of energy, she prances across the field tail fanned out, bright eyed daring me..."Catch after me....I am yours if you just try."  I take off my coat of despair, jump on Lucky and start chasing Dream....and I feel free.