Love is Banana Pudding

For Mother’s Day I videotaped my 5 year old talking about what she loves most about her Grammy. She tilted her head back,  closed her eyes, had a wistful expression on her face and just about whispered….

“Oh, her banana pudding!”

I then asked her what she thought about when she thought of her Grammy. Her response?

“I think about her making me banana pudding!”

Last question. What does Grammy do that makes her feel special?

“Makes me banana pudding.”

Well then. Love = Banana Pudding.

She did say she wanted to hug and squeeze her so tight when she saw her next. Probably hugging her in thanks for banana pudding.

I know what she means though- my mom makes a mean banana pudding. And she learned from her mom, my Granny.

When I think of my Granny, immediately all the special treats she made us comes to mind. The popcorn balls, the finger jello, the Sunday BBQ with Southern Pork Steak, morning breakfast of biscuits and milk gravy.

She made all these meals because she knew we loved them. So she made them, because she loved us.

Almost everyone has a “signature” dish. Whether it be a fancy, took all day busting my butt in the kitchen recipe, or a quick semi-or full- out of the box meal, you have a meal you’ll be remembered for.

It could be simple, “She always has the cereal I love!” or “she has the best snacks!” It doesn’t have to be much, but the memories are lasting.

My mom has always been a “foodie”, and I have inherited her love of cooking and good food. When we traveled cross country together I planned the state parks/national landmarks portion of the trip, my mom painstakingly researched and planned everywhere we would eat in each city. Each state was punctuated with stops in roadside diners, restaurants recommended word of mouth from friends, or reviewed in one of her many food magazines. In my family, food = memories.

Before I got married, a good friend of the family passed away. She was one of our mainstays down at the beach, known for her dinner parties and get togethers. Whenever she had a good meal, she’d always say, “mmm. ‘licious Nana!” After she died, friends got together all the recipes that had been shared over the years at various celebrations and put them together in a cook book titled, “‘Licous Nana!” My goal is to make each of those recipes over the next 2 summers, brining back the memories of back yard BBQ’s and beach cookouts.

A good meal isn’t just about the food. It is about who made the food for you, the time, the planning, the preparation, the presentation. There is always a story behind a family recipe, one that is remembered and retold at each serving.

So when my daughters are remembering my mom through one of her special desert recipes, that is just about the highest compliment one could receive. Do you have a family favorite recipe that you’ll be remembered for?

Have a great crazy day?

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