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Tuesday, November 10. 2015
Things in Life That Really Matter: A Maggie's Shout-Out Request for Classic Easy Mommys of America Desserts
Re-posted to collect some more ideas -
Our popular Maggie's Classic Mommys of America Comfort Suppers series reminds me to do a series on classic old-timey Mommy's Desserts. Most Moms today don't make dessert except for special occasions, but it was a nice touch and popular with the kids.
Furthermore, growing and physically-active kids need sweet and sugary treats - for health, energy, and peace of mind - and to feel the love.
Moms never used to buy desserts. People lived on strict budgets, and only the prosperous went to restaurants other than the hot dog stand, which was fast food. People raised in the Depression, or raised during WW2 or the 1950s and 60s, did not buy stuff, and a linen-napkin restaurant was very special, unlike today. They got off their butts and made stuff - even my Mom with 5 kids. I remember some my favorites:
Coffee Jello with Jiffy-Whip (that's how I learned to love coffee in my youth)
Apple Pan Dowdy or whatever version of that sort of apple thing
Blueberry Cake with Hard Sauce (she'd only make it if we picked the wild berries at the Farm)
Yellow Cake (from the box) with Mocha frosting for birthdays. Mom never bought a cake in her life (except for the annual Buche de Noel)
Indian Pudding for winter holidays, with ice cream or whipped
Bread Pudding +/- rum, and English-style custard or rum sauce on top
Apple Pie, from our apple trees, with ice cream.
Cherry pie, from my great-aunt's amazingly-productive cherry tree.
Home-made vanilla ice cream, hand-cranked machine. Sometimes, with home-made chocolate sauce, sometimes with rhubarb sauce, sometimes with butterscotch stuff out of a can or bottle.
Peach Melba, with canned peaches
Trifle with rum- or wine-soaked pound cake - for special parties
Strawberry Shortcake, made with Bisquick
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brownies, occasionally with ice cream on top
Rice Pudding with raisins. Might be good with dried cranberries too.
Root Beer or Sarsaparilla Floats in hot weather
I'll get to work on an Official Mommy's of America dessert post, but only if you tell me what some of your favorite Mommys of America home-made desserts were. Since we are read all around the world, the whole world will appreciate, and benefit from, our homey memories.
Tell me in the comments.
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Pineapple upside down cake baked in a cast iron skillet.
My mom was not a huge baker, but these are the things she'd take time to make every once in awhile:
1) lemon meringue pie
2) chocolate chip cookies
3) white sugar frosted Christmas cookies
4) banana meringue pie
Banana pudding, gingerbread, bundt cakes, butter cookies, fresh raw coconuts from the back yard tree, blackberry cobbler, toast with homemade blackberry jelly, blintz.
Cookies (of all varieties)
Cakes (any and all)
Crumbs & Cobblers
She would get on a roll at times and bake for what seemed like days - followed by everyone in the neighborhood being our "best friends".
I have great memories of the kids going out and picking fresh blackberries from bushes that grew along railroad tracks near my house.
We would come home badly scratched and bleeding and full of blackberries (one for the pail and one for the mouth).
My mother would then make fresh blackberry pie with home made crust (none of that Pillsbury stuff). We would eat it fresh out of the oven with vanilla ice cream. I can smell it and taste it now.
Strawberry shortcake- in season, of course.
Rhubarb pie- rhubarb picked from our own patch.
Apple pie. Apples from nearby orchards. When you could pick a half bushel for a buck or two.
Apple Cobbler. Recipe was my grandmother's. The crust used only 2 TB of butter/oil, so it was a low-fat dessert. Quick and easy.
Mincemeat pie- from my mother's own green tomato mincemeat recipe.
Cakes- German Chocolate, devil's food, etc. But I much preferred pies and cobblers.
Cookies- by the time I got to high school, I could make them myself. Sturbridge Village had some great cookie recipes.
My mother also made bread a lot. Fresh out of the oven, dripping with butter. Can't be beat.
Cinnamon rolls. No bakery cinnamon roll I have thus far tried can compare. Plenty of cinnamon and plenty of brown sugar-butter glaze on the bottom.
Following are some of the Old Sturbridge Village cookie recipes.
Lumberjacks, a.k.a. I’m a Lumberjack and I’m Better Than Ok!
You can find the Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook on Amazon.
I second Mike's endorsement of Flan. When I worked in Argentina, I had Flan with Dulce de Leche every night for dessert, and never got tired of it.
Swedish coffeebread at Christmas. Not to mention all the Swedish cookies, esp. spritz.
Coffee Jello with Jiffy-Whip created my addiction to coffee ice cream, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, etc. Love it.
My Mom wasn't much for deserts as such - puddings, occasionally cookies, she just wasn't a baker.
My Father-in-law learned how to make some incredible pastry when he was a teen-ager and worked at the Adams House (upper class hotel) in Marblehead. He even considered making pastry professionally, but opted for the Post Office when he couldn't qualify for military service during WWII.
So, oatmeal raisin cookies, Apple Pan Dowdy to die for, warm Apple Pie (Mrs. Capt. Tom makes the best apple pie), Peach Cobbler (or any cobbler for that matter - with or without vanilla ice cream or whipped cream - fresh cream, not that canned crap), banana cream pie and a regional desert that I never heard tell of until recently, banana pudding with 'Nilla wafers. You see it everywhere and in almost all the resturants.
Blueberry cobbler with home-made granola on top for breakfast, pecan pie for a special treat, something called strawberry fluff in the summer-really awesome, jello with mandarin oranges or fruit cocktail suspended in it and zucchini bread. All these are from my American husband, I was raised in England on horrible tapioca and rice puddings and green and slimy egg custards. Traumatic boarding school memories!
I actually like Fluffy tapioca pudding (once in awhile), Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Mincemeat Pie, Peach Pie (all of the above with homegrown fruit), a particular type of pudding that deliberately separates to a custard base with a fluffy, dry, lemony top (no idea of the name), no-egg chocolate cake, blueberry buckle, seed cake, gingerbread, rice pudding. (and that horrid tinned fruit cocktail...)
When I was a kid, my parents owned a Mexican restaurant in the San Diego area.
That fact, and our increased Hispanic population over the years, leads me to add Bunuelos and Flan. Mom was one of the cooks.
I still make bunuelos for my kids on occasion.
There is a tilde over the "n" in bunuelos. I admit to not taking the time to figure out how to type that in your comment sections.
Oh oh. My dear old mom worked all day in a small single woman beauty shop that was her "very own". In between customers she would sit in the shop and make Christmas ornaments, or other decorative items. Then at night she and her disabled husband would go out and clean offices. They were so thrilled to have hope and opportunity in sunny southern California! But, she didn't have much time for home made treats. Every once in a while, she would bring something home from the bakery and occasionally she would make date bars. She could make a good pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but only because it was expected of her. Because she was so reliable and honest she got a good job working with a bank. She worked until she was 79 on a grade school education. Now you know why I am so angry about what we have done to this generation of young women!
zucchini "bread" --really a cake
home made pudding. really. Some people don't realize you don't need to buy a box in order to make puddin
red velvet, lemon sponge and mess every bowl in the house german chocolate cake.
my family household favorite is the hot milk cake. recipe in the king arthur flour book. ok with frosting, better with fruit.
Chocolate chips cookies.
Poppy seed cake from the Solo brand poppy seed label
Pineapple upside down cake, in the round Pyrex dish.
We LOVE the poppy seed cake in our family...so much so, in fact, that we teens wanted it as our birthday cake. Mama even cut the sugar down and it's still the best cake ever.
Cobbler. Especially peach and blackberry. Coconut pie. Banana pudding with a tall meringue.
The lists are impressive. I'd add tapioca pudding, which is still a favorite even with the grandkids. Mom wasn't the best cook, but she did manage cookies and puddings. Whoopie pies are a big favorite, along with puddings for little ones.
Second the pineapple upside down cake. Tapioca too. Rice pudding - the Puerto Rican kind with cinnamon and raisins (arroz con leche). And vanilla wafers, custard and bananas - don't know what you call it. I love bread pudding, but only made with home made bread. And zucchini bread, any recipe.
"Next Best Thing To Robert Redford," also known as "Better than Sex," also known to the more demure as "Shortbread Pudding Delight."
A layer of shortbread crust with nuts in it, covered with a layer of sweetened cream cheese, next a layer of chocolate pudding, next a layer of Cool Whip.
Butternut cake and molasses raisin cookies from my grandmother. Pies from my mom. Coconut cake and pineapple upsidedown cake from my aunts, and beautiful tortes. But even more than that were the Christmas cookies that my dad received while delivering mail. All the ladies would give plates of cookies for his Christmas gift and we got to sample the best of the neighborhood where he delivered.
Our favorites when we were kids (1960s)
Butterscotch Pudding with Ice Cream
Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Leftover pie crust baked with cinnamon & sugar
Wild blackberry pies. The little lowgrowing ones with flavor not the big tasteless ones.
Peach upside down cake.
Boiled raisin spice cocoa cake without egg, recipe from WW11.
Peach cobbler, apple crisp, strawberry shortcake, baked strawberry pie, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, rice pudding, and homemade bread was as good as any dessert, I like the wheat bread best. Leftover pie crust baked on a cookie sheet, with cinnamon sprinkled on it was good, too.
Grandma made the custard pie that everyone tried to make but never could.
My mom did not bake often, as she was a single working mother. However, she made GREAT pies. My favorite was her lemon meringue. She'd make several pies every time it was her turn to host her bridge club at our house.
Icebox cake. Tiny doughnuts fresh from the deep fryer and dusted with powdered sugar.
Mom, not so much.
Grandmother and the Corp of Danish Aunts, yes! We lived in Arlington, MA and so did the rest of the clan. As a kid I could walk five blocks to Gram's and get a sandwich, then for the serious treats. Back up two blocks and Aunt Anna, pies were her thing, whatever was in season. Over four and east three blocks to Aunt Greta and plies of Danish cookies; Butter cookies, Frosted Almond cookies, Kringles and fruit filled cookies. Aunt Ethel was in Cambridge but treated visitors like sailors rescued from a desert island.
Coupled with a child's metabolism that kept me looking like a camp survivor with my ribs showing.
Ah, to be able to eat like that again.
My mother made puddings, tapioca, chocolate, vanilla and banana. She used milk, eggs, flour and which of the above she was making. She used vanilla wafers to line the banana pudding.
The dessert she made most often was yellow cake from scratch with a carmelized brown sugar/butter frosting. She carmelized it under the broiler. When she made fruit pies she cooked the filling first and then put it in the pie crusts. I do that too as it shortens the baking time considerably and you can be sure the filling is done.
I was reminded of the differences in speech when spell check wanted me to spell caramelized instead of carmelized. Interesting.
I second the flan (Mom was from the Caribbean). Also, cornbread muffins and apple bread.
Can't wait for the desserts post!
My (beautiful inside and out) Italain Mom, whadda cook!
She could make something from nothing, and it was wonderful, feed her husband and four kids, and her motto said "there's always room for one more at the table." (But look out, if she ever said "__ is no longer welcome at this table" you are dead to her. Only (deservedly) happened to one person that I am aware of!
Her favorite fast dessert, triple chocolate cake, just barely warm, with a dollop of fresh, real, whipped cream. Ooooo I miss her, crying as I type! I hope it is true that she is with my Dad, "Saint Owen" he was called.
Recipe: make 1 pkg chocolate pudding (not instant!!) per the directions, but stop just before fully thick, cool just a tiny bit, dump in 1 pkg chocolate cake mix, use mixer for a few mins. Pour into crisco-greased 8 1/2 x 13, sprinkle w/ chocolate chips (until about 3/5 surface covered) bake 350 til done. Serve while still warm (so those chocolate chips melt in your mouth, not crunchy!) mmmmm.
Snickerdoodles. Lemon Squares. Angel food cake. Spritz cookies & fudge at Christmas.
rhubarb crunch, several days a week in season, we had a HUGE rhubarb patch, cherry cobbler from maternal Grandmother's cherry trees, cherry pie, still my favorite, lots of other pies, paternal grandma lives with us, when she died the desert level went down, my mom was a good cook and baker, but on our dairy farm she was outside much of the time, but when she was in the mood, especially when teaching her 4-H club (she was an adviser for 34 years, her first love sewing, then public speaking, she made those girls hop and they loved her) cakes cakes cakes, notably Texas sheet cake a sort of milk chocolate sheet pan cake, and more rhubarb, jam jelly and anything else you can do with it
Egg custard (baked in the oven with nutmeg on top)
Lemon meringue pie
Apple pie (only with green apples)
Chocolate pound cake
Girdle Buster ("baked" in the freezer, had graham cracker crust, coconut, chocolate chips, caramel, vanilla ice cream, and other stuff)
Angel Food cake (sliced in half, partially hollowed out and filled with raspberry sherbet, closed back up and returned to freezer, then frosted with whipped cream)
Half-moon pies! My Gramma, who grew up so poor during the depression that she had to take turns with her sisters going to school because they couldn't afford shoes for all the kids, shared with me some of the wonderful recipes from her childhood. Sweets were very special to her, as sugar was a coveted commodity. Half-moon pies are the dessert my kids also cherish making and are nostalgic for Great-Gramma when they do! Pie crust, homemade or store bought, canned or fresh fruit with sugar and seasonings - cut small circles of crust 4-6" across, fill with fruit, wet edges with water or egg, fold over and pinch together, poke holes with fork and bake! Before you bake, can also decorate outside of the pie- brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar for a simple but pretty look.