I have been collecting old family recipes in the past few years to give to my older kids someday when they have kitchens of their own. There are the obvious ones: Canadian meat pies, the pork stuffing from Thanksgiving, little knot breads, the popular spaghetti sauce that has morphed into something new from both Tony and my recipes of old. But there are recipes from the more obscure memories of my childhood. My mom's Sour Cream cookies with browned butter frosting....oh my! And one thing she didn't make often, but was worth remembering. Chocolate Steamed pudding with vanilla sauce. This must have been from her British roots on her mom's side.
I managed to find my mom's pudding recipe there. And I thought: how hard can it be? Mrs. Cratchit made one for Bob. I can certainly make one for Tony.
It was REALLY hard. Not the mixing. But the steaming. I had to put the cake pans in a "steam bath" which meant that I had to fill a roasting pan with boiling water while it was in the oven with the cake pans in it. Somehow I don't remember this whole process when my mom made it. But by hook or crook I managed to get the finished product. There were a few casualties on the way. The pans were too full and overflowed their banks, so to speak.
There was the whole lugging the pan out of the oven with boiling water sloshing everywhere. I discovered why all the old paintings of housewives in the kitchen depict them with very large forearms. This kind of cooking requires strength training. And then there was the whole "getting them out of the molds" fiasco.
But at long last...VICTORY. One, solid, small but mighty chocolate pudding with vanilla sauce.
And if you have ever wondered when you would ever use any of those Latin sayings your children have been memorizing over the years, and you have seared into your memory, here is the perfect one for this process:
AD ASTRA PER ASPERA! To the STARS through DIFFICULTIES.