Today, where my wife works, they'll have a little Christmas dinner. The company will provide the turkey or ham and each employee will bring a "covered dish". Some of her co-workers asked if she could bring one of my banana puddings. I was happy to oblige.
Everyone loves my banana pudding. The reason for that is simple; I am one of only a very small minority who can make a traditional, Southern style banana pudding like "grandma used to make".
The custard is home made.......made with eggs, milk, sugar and flour. It's not made by throwing an instant pudding mix together. It doesn't come from a box.
The top of the pudding is a meringue and not made with Kool Whip.
When I was a boy, that was the way banana puddings were made. My mother, her sister and their sister-in-law all followed pretty much the same recipe as did every other woman in the southern United States.
The Baby Boomers killed the traditional banana pudding in the way they've attempted to kill every worthwhile tradition in this country. In this case, it was radical feminism and fast foods that did it.
The women in my generation decided that they would not be like Mama and many simply refused to learn to cook the traditional recipes.
Of course, there were a few women (and some men) who still went into the kitchen, but, sadly when it came to preparing certain foods, convenience became more important than taste. It was too much trouble to separate yolks from the egg whites. Why take the time to do it right, when you could just make this kind of Franken-pudding from powder ?
Twenty years ago, when I discovered that no one was going to make a proper banana pudding for me, I looked for, and found the recipe. Now, I can have it whenever I like.
Best of all, I know my three year old will not be one of those poor waifs who grows up without ever having tasted a true, traditional banana pudding. I hope he appreciates it.