November 13th is National Indian Pudding Day! In keeping with a Top of JC’s Mind tradition, here is an Indian pudding themed poem for you. Enjoy!
by Joanne Corey
It’s simple –
an old family recipe
a bit of salt
butter the size of an egg
Two hours in a 300 degree oven.
But the sweetness brings memories
of Great-Aunt Gert
and generations of frugal New Englanders
making do with what they had
to fill children’s bellies with warmth.
Aunt Gert’s recipe can be found here: https://topofjcsmind.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/indian-pudding-recipe/
November 13 is National Indian Pudding Day. Last year, I (belatedly) wrote and blogged a poem about Indian Pudding. This year, I am sharing an Indian Pudding poem that I wrote in response to a prompt in the fall session of the Binghamton Poetry Project. Will Indian Pudding poems become a tradition at Top of JC’s Mind or next year will I move on to pies? Stay tuned!
Aunt Gert’s Indian Pudding
– by Joanne Corey
Hand-written from the recipe box
with a molasses stain
in the right corner
Promised to my daughter
who will travel five-thousand miles
to be with us this Thanksgiving
Generations of family tradition
steaming and fragrant
with a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream
National Indian Pudding Day was November 13. NPR did a piece about it: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/11/13/244983031/its-national-indian-pudding-day-heres-why-you-should-celebrate.
I had not previously realized that there was such a thing as a National Day for this purpose, but, as a New England native, I was certainly a fan of Indian pudding. We make a recipe that came to us from my husband’s Great-Aunt Gert. We aren’t sure from whom she received the recipe, but we know it is an old one.
I made it earlier this fall when I went out to visit my college roommate and her husband in Colorado. They had never had it before but enjoyed it. Today, we made a batch to have as part of our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. We like to make it the day before serving, as the molasses flavor intensifies after it has set for a day in the refrigerator and is then re-heated to serve with vanilla ice cream. Besides, given that the pudding needs to bake for two hours, it is impractical to do it along with the turkey, dressing, baked squash with apple, and onions that also are vying for oven space.
Here is (at least the first draft of) my poem in honor of Indian Pudding:
Making Aunt Gert’s Indian Pudding
The recipe calls for butter the size of an egg,
Conjuring the image of scooping butter
From the crock in the creamery,
Instead of slicing a few tablespoons
From a stick of Land ‘o Lakes.
Simple and New-England-frugal,
no spices are required,
That expense unnecessary
Due to the wonders of molasses,
Slow-baked and intensified.
The summer corn
Stored as meal and
The fresh milk from the cows
Meld to warm us in the chill of Thanksgiving,
Honoring our New England roots.