Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Farmhouse Cooking

Creamy and delicious, nothing quite sends southern loving to your family and friends like banana pudding. Any respectable southern wife or Baptist woman must (or should) have a banana pudding recipe tucked away in her pantry. Mine came from my husband's grandmother whom he affectionately called "Muzzy". Her name changed to Grandmuzzy when our kids were born...and to this day, her cooking graces my table.
Banana pudding is not as difficult as people often express to me. Time and patience are needed- gentle cooking over a low fire..cooling and layering are the main steps. My husband prefers loads of vanilla wafers and bananas in his (I mean a ridiculous amount!), so that is how I make his...others prefer a more conservative approach...less stuff..more pudding.
Now, to the debate...meringue topping or whipped cream; this can cause all out battles at a church social. Seems this is a fiery issue. Through the generations, our family has preferred the whipped cream..and I learned it the hard way. After learning the recipe, I made a perfect meringue top on the pudding...had it chilled and ready to treat my husband after he came home from work.
Men are not exactly tactful. Needless to say, he was not impressed and proceeded to scrape the beautiful "calf slobber" off his delicious pudding - replacing it with whipped cream. You see, I am from the Kansas and they meringue their puddings, but in my husband's southern family meringue didn't happen.
Living and learning, I have taught my children (even the farmboy) how to make a banana pudding that would make Muzzy proud. So to honor her (her birthday would have been this month), here is our farmhouse food for this week....

Grandmuzzy's Banana Pudding
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs (three if they are small) (farm eggs yield beautiful color)
1/2 cup flour (use cornstarch if gluten free)
1 large can evaporated milk
1 small can evaporated milk
(or skip the evaporated milk and use 3 cups full fat fresh milk)
1/3 cup butter (yes real butter), soft
1 tsp vanilla
3 bananas
standard box vanilla wafers
whipped cream
I use a heavy bottom saucepan, but was taught to use a double broiler...use what you have.
In the saucepan, mix eggs and sugar, then flour. Pour in milk and stir gently (if using evaporated, measure in cup and add enough water to make 3 cups). Drop in the butter and set this over medium flame. Gently stir and cook until it begins to thicken and will coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat, cover to prevent a "skin" forming on top, and cool to room temp.
After cooling, stir in the vanilla. Now begin layering in a casserole dish..cookies, sliced banana, pudding...repeating until done. I chill this until cold before adding a topping of whipped cream.
One other thing, this makes a 9"x13" dish. I make a single serve dish on the side and always find someone to share with (grandparents, homebound, neighbor..you get the picture). It's just to good to keep to myself!
We hope you're having a beautiful day today..I plan to work in my garden and bind a quilt to day..and of course, spend time with my family. Maybe you can give our recipe a try and share some farm love with your favorite people!

No comments: