Sunday, December 27, 2009

Comfort Food and Cracker Pudding

Today I found a recipe for a pudding that my mom used to make so I decided to try it. It is actually made from cracker crumbs, but it contains the exotic and tropical ingredient coconut, which saves it from blandness. Sometimes a girl wants comfort food with a kick.

I began to make the pudding, a multi step process. By today's standards, it could be considered labor intensive. But it was another trip down memory lane. I was mixing, stirring, and measuring and remembering standing beside my mom while I assisted her. I had never done the whole process, just the parts she assigned me to do. I was looking at the thickening substance and thinking that it didn't look like mom's or grandma's. I leaned over and inhaled, relief, it smelled like my mom's. God bless the olfactory system -it cannot tell a lie.

I ate it warm, I ate it cold, I fed it to my husband who doesn't necessarily like coconut. He smiled, said it was good and willingly ate more. Did I mention that he is very sweet? I will take my mother some later and thank her for letting me help her so many tmes before I could do it all by myself.

Cracker Pudding
4 cups milk
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups coarse cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla

Scald milk. (very hot, almost boiling, bubbles beginning to form on the sides of the pan)
Beat egg yolks and add sugar.
Add this mixture gradually to scalded milk. Stir constantly.
Allow to cook for one minute and then add cracker crumbs and coconut. Stir until cracker crumbs are soft and mixture is thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Pour into a buttered baking dish.
Spread with meringue made by beating 3 T sugar into stiffly beaten egg whites.
Bake at 350 until meringue is a golden brown.

I remember beating those egg whites and asking mom, "Is this ENOUGH?" and she would say, "Keep going until they peak, Ellen." So, as you beat those egg whites, think snow capped peaks of fluffy meringue to top off your paradise pudding.

With fond memories of Grandma Yutzy and my Mama Herr,
Happy Cooking and Eating!

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