Are there dishes from your childhood you’d give your right earlobe to duplicate? (Don’t fear it, Stephen Colbert’s doing okay without his.) I finally came across my mom’s potato pancakes when we moved here — miraculously, they’re made every morning by the nice folks at The Roost, just up the street — who knew?
Still looking for a few things, most of them cooked up by one of my vimmens … the collection of interesting females who shaped my concept of personhood, for good and ill. My grandmothers, my mom, my aunts … they’re a warm honey-pot in my heart, part perfume, part tears, part crazy, part food. Like peach cobbler. I have my grandma’s recipe, but not her homegrown peaches that I helped pick and blanch and slice. So there’s that, but it’s fixable, except for the grandma part.
Still-warm lemon-meringue pie that’s at least four inches high, baked from scratch with my mom’s recipe. Actually, somebody I know might have that recipe …
My Aunt Bette’s meatloaf. That one could probably be solved, too. The list gets really long, though, once I open the Food Memories file folder — might have to leave the rest of the salivating and crying for another day. Meanwhile, here’s a thing I’ve looked for and tried to whip together and just happened across today because that’s how the universe works sometimes … the clone of my mom’s tapioca pudding, which, trust me on this, is equally incredible warm or cold. But I like it warm.
Notes from 12 Tomatoes, where I found the recipe:
“A dessert that’s a favorite among many is tapioca pudding. It’s similar to other sweet puddings like rice pudding to a degree, however there’s something unique to the taste of tapioca. What exactly is tapioca, though? It’s a starch harvested from the cassava plant.
Far too many tapioca pudding recipes call for an instant mix or come in the ‘instant’ variety. So much of the creamy, delicious flavor is lost this way. Instead, our recipe calls for small, pearl tapioca. This wonderful, sweet dessert is a great way to end a meal, or even as a night-cap before you head off to bed. Some tapioca requires soaking overnight. If that is the case, soak overnight and reduce the milk to 2 1/2 cups.”