Nostalgia Food

This is delicious comfort food from
This is delicious comfort food from

By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi | @tangledpasta

Today is Day 4 of coping with a ruptured disc in my back.

Instead of indulging in a succumbing to pain, I re-focused on my daughter’s arrival this afternoon. We had tickets to a Chicago Cubs minor league baseball game tonight, followed by fireworks to kick off her 4th of July birthday weekend. These plans altered when it became clear that my disc would a slow-healing process. As much as I had looked forward to the ballpark tonight, I urged her to ask a friend to take my ticket and go with her. Off they drove in her friend’s boyfriend’s big, new, shiny Ford truck. While the two girls are feasting on hot dogs, chips, and drinks at the game, I’ll console myself with a salmon patty.

I wanted to have a homemade treat for Anjelica. My thoughts turned to Brownie Pudding, a favorite childhood dish of mine my mother used to make. Ever since Mama’s death 13 years ago, I’ve come across some of these favorite recipes she used to make in my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. This cookbook staple is also where I chanced upon the recipe for cream pie – coconut, chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla, and for rice pudding. Thumbing through the cookbook, I took a deep breath. Lo and behold, there it was! I served us up a small bowl full. It reminded me of the warmth of family dinners, of the nostalgia of an easy recipe with great taste in spades, of laughter over dinner with my parents and with my brother.

I have most of The Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, which I use frequently. Martha Stewart cookbooks are now appearing on my shelf, too. Like any rabid foodie, I have Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, worth the money alone for her classic Bouef Bourguignon and Quiche Lorraine recipes. Yet for the comfort food of yore, I find myself turning to my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook for its Brownie Pudding of 1944. Serve it warm with a dollop of whipping cream and a sprig of mint for a taste of Heaven.

Ciao for now.

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