I have always been fascinated by the way that people lived, survived, ate, and lived in the past. Maybe it was too much Little House, but i have always been amazed at the things that people knew how to do. Baking, and sewing, candlemaking, fire banking, farming and building things with their hands.. . these have always been things that interested me in a way. I often think of how far removed I have become from those skills in just two generations. My grandparents did not have tvs, cars, electricity and running water when they were small. They had no heat or air conditioning. No malls, target, or Walmart. They had the rolling store. They had Grandma’s Singer sewing machine. They had lathes and planes and saws and mills and plows. They had mules, horses, and wagons. They had chickens and eggs and pigs. They knew how to wring a neck and kill a pig. They made hoecake. They had gardens, and wells. They canned. They made their own clothes.
All of this is becoming lost to us. Sure, I can remember my grandparents talking about these things, but talking and doing are not the same thing. So, sometimes, I like to try and learn little skills such as the ones they knew.
No, I didn’t kill a pig. I made Grandma Palmer’s banana pudding.
This may not seem like a lot. But i didn’t even know that the stuff in the pudding is actually custard. Until i made the custard, I did not even know what was in custard. That fluff on the top is meringue? Huh. I had no idea that was just egg and sugar. I made that bitch and it looks damn good, too. Haven’t tasted it yet, but i don’t know how it could go wrong with ingredients like that.
Not sure why i wanted to make the pudding, except that it makes me think of my grandma Palmer, and i have been thinking about my grandmas a lot lately, and my mom, too. I don’t think that growing up as a tomboy and a daddy’s girl I ever realized just how hard my mother and grandmas worked to put meals on the table, or to make holidays as wonderful as they were. And I never heard a complaint from them.
Rollie and Tiller will not such peaceful memories of their own mother at Christmas time.
Fucking custard and meringue, sugar cookies that look like blobs, and fudge that won’t set up . . .