From sunup to beyond sundown, she cooked to nourish and to delight. On Sunday mornings I could smell the delicious aroma of the satisfying fragrant spices of nutmeg and cinnamon. Mixed with pure vanilla, rich butter, melting sugar, milk, eggs and the desired bread source for a tried and true dessert dish. Mama mixed up a bread pudding dish so fast, it was prepared from memory “like the back of her hand,” as was said about most of the dishes she skillfully cooked for us. Sometimes we’d cut and devour a small, square piece while it was warm as it melted in our mouth. And other times it was served at room temperature. It was a treat, a quick breakfast grab or a dessert “Bread pudding is made from leftover bread,” she said. The milk helps to soften the bread pieces before you mix it up. “Bake it slowly so it won’t burn. When it starts to bubble brown on the sides and on the top, it’s usually done.” Fifty minutes later, it’s a melt in your mouth dish of pure old fashioned goodness. This dish was served by my Great-Grandmother before her and now by my Grandmother to her children and grandchildren. When I ask her to repeat the recipe, she says “any old bread will do.” “Let it cool a bit. If you dig in to it too soon, it’ll fall apart.” Since then, I’ve attempted this dish several times. But it never tastes as yummy as her bread pudding. I’ve found that it’s not the bread or the brand of ingredients that makes it taste so special, it’s my Grandmother who cooks to nourish and delight us, that helped make this simple dish, so unforgettably delicious.
Love this poem. Felicia Taylor is one of my favorite authors!
Beautiful poem. Reminds me of my Grandmother making tea cakes!!