Tag Archives: celebration with food

Grandma’s Pudding and the Red, White, and Blue

banana pudding 5I  pause only a brief moment to pull up the memory.

In my mind’s eye I see a hand built bar extending in front of the stove. On it is a black rotary phone, glasses, sweet tea, and pop bottles awaiting the evening meal, and there, covered in plastic wrap in a clear glass bowl is my grandma’s banana pudding.

A few years ago I happened upon notes in one of my cookbooks. I was thrilled. Grandma had been with her God for years, and I thought her famous banana pudding left with her. But there, in my own handwriting, were adaptations to the pudding recipe with the note, “Grandma’s way” next to them.

A new 4th of July tradition was born that day, and I held my own bowl of banana pudding high when I arrived at my brother’s house whispering, “Grandma’s recipe.”

It was first on my to-do list this morning (well right after the 3.77 mile walk with hubby and the two eggs and 1 chicken sausage I ravenously consumed after that.)

The pudding was made the old-fashioned, southern way–layered vanilla waffers and perfectly ripened bananas.

banana pudding 1a

Whole milk, sugar, eggs and flour on the stove, don’t stop stirring.

banana pudding 2

Finally, just when you think your arm is going to fall off, it thickens.

banana pudding 3

Then you add the real butter and real vanilla. (Grandma used margarine, but even the best banana pudding ever sometimes needs tweaks.)

banana pudding 4

Once mixed, it flows over the bananas and wafers, then is decorated with a few crumbles, just like Grandma did.

banana pudding 1

Then it is off to the refrigerator where the cookies become mushy, the bananas softer, and the flavors invade each other to make a new one, slightly altered by their unity.

Today is a celebration day. Not a day to count calories or worry about the waist line. It’s a day to embrace my little family and rejoice that my son asked for Grandma’s pudding, pulling my past into this cycling of life to the future.

Celebration isn’t about money or bells and whistles. It’s the simple things, like Grandma’s pudding and cuddling under a blanket together to watch fireworks. It’s also the deep things. Gratitude for loved ones. A humble embrace of freedoms earned by another’s sacrifice. A moment’s reflection on the value of the human soul, the meaning of liberty. (Thanks, Jerry for the link.)

Now to bake pies and fry chicken. I wanted to grill in the backyard, but the kids wanted a picnic at the fireworks site. Call me old-fashioned but sandwiches and chips just don’t cut it today, so I’m off to the kitchen.

It’s a good thing Jerry and I walked before breakfast.

Happy Fourth!

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Grandma’s Pudding and the Red, White, and Blue!


Weight Loss Journey Day 41 & 42

Yesterday the weight loss journey was good. Exercised. Stayed at 1200 calories. But had a discouraging appointment with my doc about the on-going weirdness in my head, and that’s just old news. I will get better, no matter the diagnosis or lack thereof, so . . . moving on . . .

Jerry cropped

My honey, Jerry Moldenhauer, at one of my booksignings

Happy birthday to my precious husband!

Today was one of the worst days I’ve had in a while when it comes to weight loss. No time to exercise and treats everywhere. Way over calorie count. BUT it was a glorious day in other ways. Had a wonderful session with my counselor.  I told her a bunch of my holiday angst. She said she felt the Holy Spirit say, “Let Jesus surprise you.” So I’m going to. I’m going to trust God has this all figured out.

Had our Christmas party at critique group. Everyone brought snacks. I brought myself a salad in hopes I’d eat less, but I still couldn’t resist all the treats. I do think I did less than at this time last year, but . . .

I had so much fun. It was one of the best parties ever, so much laughter! The Lord must delight in our humor, in our giggles, in our love. I think it was extra special because it was a small group, and we all know each other so well. And Kathy Kovach, Miss Spiritual Truth with a Giggle, leads the group. She loves to laugh.

Came home to finish up the famous Moldenhauer chocolate cake for Jerry’s birthday dinner. It is SO good. My mother-in-law is still known for this cake even though she is in her late 80s and no longer bakes. I’m honored to continue the family tradition. All the kids, including Sarah’s fiancé, David, made it for dinner. The best part is when the kids prayed, thanking God for their dad. David’s precious prayer started my waterworks, and they just kept welling. I was blessed when the boys asked the Lord to help them be like their as they grow up. I can’t imagine what Jerry must have felt.

I am eternally grateful to have married a man who consistently makes his family and his faith a priority. Jerry’s unconditional love has shown me God’s heart—how I don’t have to perform to be loved. God has brought much healing to me through my husband. I know few women can say that, and I am forever humbled by this gift.

Real Time Update:

Okay. So I went over calorie count. We all do that sometimes, do we? Not that I’m almost 35 pounds down and still putting new holes in my belt to keep my jeans up, I know that it’s not a day that throws you off, it’s a lifestyle. So . . . be conscious of what you’re eating every day, but don’t let one day of celebration send you into a tailspin or drown you in guilt. Enjoy the party and balance that day out with great choices the rest of the day and week.

I believe food is one of God’s gifts for times of celebration. We should embrace and rejoice . . . we just shouldn’t eat every day as though we were at a party, right?

How About You?

Do you think it’s okay to celebrate with food? Does that thought trip you up? Should we even think of food as a way to celebrate?