There is nothing better than comfort food. Our favorites are grilled cheese sandwiches and creamed chicken and peas over biscuits. Not your typical health food, but YUM. We normally aim for healthy meals, but there is something to be said for just satisfying that occasional craving for what feeds the soul as well as the tummy. Pudding is one of those things.
Pudding is SO a thing of my childhood. Butterscotch or chocolate with whipped cream on top. Just the stuff out of the box, milk added and brought to a boil. What could be better. We don’t do that anymore.
When I think of good comfort food too, I think of the Nelson Girls. That is what we always called them although they were hardly girls when I was young. The Nelson girls were relatives of my mother – Lena, Tilla, Freda, Milla, Ella and Lottie. Good Swedish stock out of Ingeborg and Ole, farming along the Red River Valley of the North outside of Comstock, Minnesota. I grew up hearing that you really had to be blessed and special if the Nelson girls shared a coveted recipe with you. They were that renowned as cooks.
I don’t know if the Nelson girls did pudding (I’m sure they did) but the falling apart yellowed pieces of paper from my mother’s file speak of long ago.
First is her “Lemon Pudding” which is really a “pudding-cake” and bears the name of “Alma”, as in Alma’s Lemon Pudding. I remember mother talking about Alma, but I haven’t put the pieces together. I have made it repeatedly however, and it is always a hit, especially after a heavy meal, the perfect light ending.
ALMA’S LEMON PUDDING
1 Cup sugar
2 T. Butter
Yolks of two eggs
2 Heaping T. of flour
Grated rind and juice of one lemon
Add 1 Cup of Milk and fold in Beaten Egg Whites.
Pour in greased baking dish, set in a pan of water and bake in 350 oven
For ¾ of an hour.
Serve with whipped cream.
This recipe is so torn that the page is in four pieces. But I can still read Mom’s handwriting and I will always remember that we made it for special occasion dinners, unlike Lemon Pudding, and I still reserve it for Christmas, because it is like a Norwegian version of Plum Pudding, only better.
1 Cup flour 1 T. melted butter
1 Cup sugar 1 Cup sour cherries and juice
½ teasp. Salt 1 tsp. Soda dissolved in 1 tsp water
1 egg, beaten 1 Cup chopped nuts (I always like
Mix sugar, flour and salt. Add beaten egg, soda and cherry juice. Mix well. Add melted butter. Fold in cherries and nuts.
Bake in greased pan until well done- 350 for 35 minutes. Pour sauce over cake as soon as taken from oven.
SAUCE FOR PUDDING
1 Cup brown sugar 2 Cups hot water
2 T. flour 1 tsp. Vanilla
1 T. butter Pinch of salt
Melt butter, mix in brown sugar, flour, hot water, vanilla and salt.
Cook til boiling and pour over hot cake. Serve with whipped cream.
(1 ½ times recipe makes 13” by 19” cake. Need only one recipe of
sauce for larger cake.)
NOTE: Make the larger pudding cake! Serve portions with whipped cream!
Well, this is the upscale version of what came out of that box!
¼ Cup Sugar
¼ Cup Cornstarch
¼ Cup Cocoa
¼ Teasp. Salt.
Combine in a saucepan the above and gradually stir in 2 ¼ Cups
Milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until boils.
Boil one minute longer and stir in 1 teasp. Vanilla and 2 T. butter.
Dish up and obviously serve with whipped cream.
My Mom said (and I think she actually meant it) that she would eat
Dirt with whipped cream!
CUSTARD Makes 6 Cups
And speaking of my Mom, she always thought that when anyone
was sick they needed Custard. Comfort food. But with plenty
of whipped cream on top! Here’s her recipe.
4 T. sugar
2 eggs, beaten lightly
A “little” vanilla (whatever that means!)
2 Cups milk
Mix together, put custard cups in pan of water. Sprinkle dusting of Nutmeg on top. Bake until set (knife comes out clean) at 325.
Harriet’s recipes are written in pencil, fading now on slightly torn pieces of paper. They were some of her best. And unlike the Nelson girls, I’m sharing them with one and all.