The pandemic made connecting with family challenging to say the least.
I am fortunate that everyone stayed safe and healthy, albeit in different places. And thankfully, we all got used to chatting to a screen.
In our weekly video chats, my mom and I have talked our way around current events, future bucket list items and past family memories. Those calls have often been the highlight of my week, like a rainbow after a storm. I have looked forward to sharing something special on every call.
Maybe it’s because we couldn’t share a meal together, but every week, we have recounted our culinary exploits. We have traded some fun new recipes and reminisced about old family favourites.
Last summer, we traded hints on how to use herbs in season and laughed about roasted marshmallows stuck in hair and runners that melted while drying too close to the campfire.
As winter rolled in, we shared soup and stew recipes and poignant Christmas stories.
Now into another year, our calls have their own history — we can say, “Remember last spring when you showed me the first blossoms?” Or something like, “We have talked about this since the beginning,” meaning -of the pandemic, not our lives together.
This week on our meal review, Mom mentioned “lemon pudd,” quite possibly the most classic dessert of my childhood. It was my first taste of decadence - one I will never forget. As soon as she said the words, I knew I had to make one soon.
The recipe for Lemon Pudding Cake is a batter that magically transforms into an elegant combination of lemon sponge and tangy custard. It looks rather unassuming in the bowl, but the ethereal taste has transported me many times to a happy place. Presentation isn’t everything, it turns out.
My mom loves it too – my habit of sneaking a spoonful in the middle of the night is one I come by honestly. For her though, lemon pudding was attached to another food that she did not enjoy at all.
My grandmother was a great cook and a wonderful baker, but not everything she cooked was loved by all. In those days however, it was also important for kids to finish their dinner, eat what was on their plates. So you ate even what you didn’t like.
For some reason, every time my grandmother cooked lemon pudding cake for dessert, it came after parsnips as part of the main course. My mom was not a fan of parsnips (I never tasted them as a kid because she didn’t want to subject my bother and I to them.)
My mom would take a while to get through those parsnips on her plate, but she never missed a serving of “lemon pudd.” Thankfully, I enjoyed many different dinners with my lemon pudding, and they were all good.
Do you have any childhood recipes that have been passed down? Or ones you wish you had? Chase your own rainbows if you can and make a call.
The taste of something you enjoyed with someone you love is a beautiful way to warm your heart and soul as well as your tummy.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.