Summer Pudding

As many of y’all know, I am one of those Americans who loves England and Englishers. Sometimes people even think I may have lived there, I am so steeped in English ways.

But I’m still conflibberated by the concepts of Pudding and Dessert. I mean, I know what I consider pudding, and generally speaking, I’d place pudding within the larger category of dessert. Except for the Yorkshire pudding my English grandmother made. It is the idea that any dessert might be considered pudding that baffles me, and in any event I think I have got the idea wrong. I don’t know the rules.

So I give up. And dream of the perfect summer pudding, whatever that might be.

39 thoughts on “Summer Pudding

  1. Carole Corlew

    Honey, you need a good southern-ized trifle. I have just the one. I will make it for you. You won’t need to fret about it anymore. It has vanilla pudding in it and chocolate cake, blueberries and raspberries and a bunch of whipped cream (not the stuff in the can either). You will forget all your pudding concerns.

  2. Erica

    I’m guessing you might need a cup of tea and the best lemon bar recipe ever. I’ve got crazy amounts of English/Scottish heritage and I’m not into pudding. Unless it’s the semi burnt rice pudding my mom made when I was a kid. Basically the recipe involves making lemon curd AND shortbread from scratch. After you make the lemon curd, you want to eat it straight with a spoon and you might just forget all about puddin’

  3. Phil Bebbington

    As an English person I would say that a dessert is a more general term whereas pudding is more specific, it generally refers to a type of dessert.

    Having said all of that as kids we would say, what’s for pudding. I’m not aware of that expression being used now. A pudding is a specific type of dessert. Suet pudding, jam roly poly, summer pudding. You’d be more likely to have custard with a pudding.

    Purely from an English point of view, you understand.


  4. Cindy Scroggins

    Vegetarian suet. Fuck me.

    England is a very strange place. In fact, unlike Sheila, I find it to be wrong in many ways. Suet pudding. Fuck me.

  5. Phil Bebbington

    I sent Amy and Deron a book with traditional English puddings in it – you need to have a pudding party and I would say, sooner rather than later!

    Deron, can you sort this out?

  6. Carole Corlew

    I’d like to come back to the trifle. Which of course is English, made with egg custard, sponge cake soaked in fruit and sherry, then covered in whipped cream. Deep south cooks are crazy about the trifle and there are many versions. But does this mania extend to Texas?

  7. Cindy Scroggins

    I have been known to make a trifle, Carole. I even had a footed trifle bowl for a time. I love a good trifle.

    I do not, however, believe that suet should be consumed by anyone except a bird in winter.

  8. Sheila Ryan

    I don’t recall Texas trifle. Oddly, I don’t recall my mother ever making trifle, although she made lots of desserts and it was her mother, whose parents were English, who served roast beef and Yorkshire pudding even in summer.

  9. Cindy Scroggins

    I learned about trifle when I was 17, eating dinner on the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach. I should get a prize.

  10. Sheila Ryan

    Oh, and my parents were Connecticut Yankees transplanted to Texas, so y’all should know that our family meals were not like my friends’ families’ meals. Still, I don’t remember ever eating trifle at a friend’s house. That may just come down to lazy 1960s home “cooking.”

    Now come to think, though, I have an Alabama-grown friend (in addition to Cece) who knows her trifle.

  11. Carole Corlew

    See? A trifle is not a triflin’ thing to some of us, Shelia. I had to say it, I’m sorry. I have a trifle bowl too, Cindy. And truthfully that’s the only time I’ve ever seen suet, too, thrown out for the birds.

  12. Rick Neece

    My Grandmother Neece used to make egg custard. I loved the consistency. How I could slurp a spoonful of slick and have it dissolve into curds in my mouth before swallowing. Sweet, eggy. Delicious.

    Years later, Jello made an instant version. She took to it. I didn’t.

  13. Rick Neece

    I get the taste and consistency of mincemeat and raisin pie confused. I like them both. They are similar but not. Seems Grandmother Neece made one of them. Grandmother Rickey made the other.

    Then there is the crust of a pie. Both grandmothers threw flour on the counter, or in a bowl, and pinch in butter or lard, knead or stir. “But not too much.” Flatten it out with a rolling pin. My Mom knows how.

    Danny doesn’t try. “I’m not a baker,” he says. He buys the ready-made crusts you can buy and unfold into the pie-pan. Science has come a long way.

    Or it has been too long since I’ve had the real thing.

  14. Carole Corlew

    Mother makes what she calls custard for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is not eggnog. It is not very sweet. And generally it is eaten with a spoon from a cup.

    And Rick, my father’s mother, Miss Rose, had one of those cabinets with a flour mill. I don’t know what happened to it. I hope it is still in the family somewhere. She was a fine cook/baker. My brother was born while my parents were living with her in her boarding house days. So when we arrived, she started hauling out his favorites — pecan pies, banana pudding, egg custard, white beans and corn bread. I was no fun to cook for. I preferred icy cold bottles of Dr. Pepper and watermelon and climbing trees to eating anyway (back then).

  15. Sheila Ryan Post author

    Carole, I sure hope you can replicate Miss Nell’s Christmas custard. I know I would love it.

  16. Sheila Ryan Post author

    Also, I want steamed suet pudding.

    Suet was essential to my grandmother (née Stonebridge) Adelaide’s Yorkshire pudding. I mean, how could you make it without?

  17. Carole Corlew

    Miss Nell’s custard is one of those little of this and that, as you would expect, Shelia. It is Miss Rose’s recipe, but amended. I need to get her to guestimate and write it down. I’m glad you said that, Shelia.

  18. Daryl Scroggins

    Carole–did you and/or yours ever make a Charlotte? Nice cakey-whipped cream things always make me go dreamy. My grandmother used to make a custard pie she called “buttermilk pie”; it would have been too eggy for Cindy’s taste but I loved it. She always sprinkled it with nutmeg and heavy whipped cream was available. And then there were the Jello “congeal” pies and wiggly rectangles on lettuse leaves–filled with walnuts and pineapple. I don’t need to ever eat that kind of thing again, although I do still like to see the chiffon pies that have the multi-colored jello cubes in them that look so beautiful when cut.

  19. Carole Corlew

    Guess what Daryl, I have long been known in these parts for my buttermilk pie. When I worked on the UPI foreign desk, we would have big parties and everyone would bring a specialty. In I would waltz with a couple of buttermilk pies and maybe a sweet potato casseroles with pecan topping. Only the occasional southerner had even heard of a buttermilk pie.

    Charlottes weren’t made in my family. But some of the town ladies made them. And yes they are dreamy!

  20. Rick Neece

    Daddy used to (probably still does) crumble (southern, not sweet, baked in bacon fat, crunchy) cornbread into a glass and pour buttermilk over it and eat it with a spoon. For dessert! I haven’t tasted it for years. But I remember it was good.

  21. Carole Corlew

    Yessir-re-bob, Rick. That was Sunday night dinner (or supper, depending). Delicious. Miss Nell makes the best cornbread. In a black skillet. Flips it over midday through the baking. That can’t be duplicated and I think part of it is that skillet.

  22. Cindy Scroggins

    Rick, my Papa did the same thing–cornbread and buttermilk. I always wondered why he ate it from a glass rather than a bowl. Papa also put Jello in a glass and poured milk on it. Sweet milk, not butter. And he put Spanish peanuts in his bottled Co-Colas.

    Stancel Ganus Hyche. Of the Alabama Hyches. In case any of Miss Cece’s people know my people.

  23. Rick Neece

    Cece, I’m sure the crunch came from the skillet.

    Cindy, peanuts in Pepsi was our preference. For the cornbread, I can’t say why the glass. For the record, I can eat the shit out of jello in sweet milk. I haven’t had that for years either.

    Somehow, I’m sure Cece’s people know my people, too.

  24. Carole Corlew

    Oh my. That is a good Alabama name, Stancel Hyche. I don’t know the Hyches but I wish I did. And when I met Rick, I thought not only did my people know his but that we were probably distantly related. Rick you quite resemble Miss Nell’s long tall brothers. Which of course leads me to mention her ancestor who was listed as killed in the Civil War. Instead of going home to Tennessee he stopped off in Arkansas where he stayed for seven years. Teaching school, he claimed.

    The Iowan says so many people are related in the south that I married him to make sure I was safe from all that.

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