Sweet Sacrifice; the making of a surprise

After my morning trip to the bathroom, I was thinking about what I was going to have for breakfast. Sundays are usually yogurt or a little fruit for me. I like to avoid cranking up the stove if at all possible in the mornings. Not that I’m lazy, I just prefer to do as little as possible on Sunday mornings. Well, and every other morning for that matter when it comes to breakfast. Unless of course I’m cooking for someone. Then it’s no chore at all. So, as I’m heading into the kitchen and I notice a couple of bananas on the table and consider one for breakfast. But then I remembered that I had promised to make a banana pudding for dessert. Dilemma. Should I eat one of the two bananas since it wouldn’t be enough to make the dessert anyway? Or, should I head to the store to buy the rest of the ingredients and make the dessert instead? After a brief pause, I decided to make the banana pudding. I figured, Summer is almost over and since banana puddings are considered summer desserts and the fact that I just happened to have two bananas lying around waiting to turn brown, I might as well. And I did promise.

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I began to searched for the perfect homemade recipe online. It was extremely frustrating because I could not find one of my favorite recipes for the pudding. Better Homes and Gardens has a recipe to die for. I’ve used it several times in the past. It’s never let me down. I’ve gotten rave reviews every time I used it for pudding. I’m old school when it comes to making this dessert. I like to make the pudding from scratch. Not that pudding mix from jello with whipped cream. No. I prefer to blend the dry ingredients, mix with milk and egg yolk and stand over the sauce pan until the texture of the pudding is nice and thick. I love the aroma of the vanilla extract and condensed milk. Mmm, pure sweetness. I finally found the, somewhat perfect, recipe. So, I checked the cupboards for extract, flour, etc then headed to the store for the rest of the ingredients.

I was a little skittish using this non-Better Homes and Gardens, substandard, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am pudding recipe. But I figured, “What the heck? A pudding is a pudding. Don’t make a big deal out of it.” Onward and upward. I set out all of the ingredients on the counter. I was ready to make it happen. Until I lost the recipe. Yep, the one I had so diligently searched for for about thirty minutes! I don’t know what happened. One minute I was checking the site for the measurements and the next the screen was blank. I just needed to know how much sugar to add, amount of floor, well everything! I went back to the previous screen found it then realized that this particular recipe required that the pudding set in the fridge for two hours before baking. “What?!”, I thought to myself. No way. I am not waiting two additional hours to finish this thing. So I searched for another recipe. I like old school, but not that old school. With a little of the ingredients already mixed, I switched gears, created another batch of ingredients then prayed for the best. I slaved over the pudding till it was just the consistency I wanted then put it aside. I layered the bottom of the dish with wafers and the sacrificial bananas then another layer and another.

Now for the meringue. After nearly twenty minutes of whipping the egg whites, by hand mind you, I found the mixer in the most unexpected place. You see, I was at my mom’s house making the dessert while she was attending Sunday service. I wanted it to be a surprise for her. My mom is a nice lady. It’s just that she’s a pack rack that has a storage system that only she understands. Why would you put the mixture in the area of the pantry that has plastic utensils, gift bags, paper plates and napkins? Why? I had located the attachments to the mixer but not the mixer itself. I searched high and low. And I mean that literally. She has stuff in her kitchen that no normal person would think to place there. I cannot figure out the logic to her system. But it works for her. With my arm exhausted from beating the eggs. I plugged in the mixer and continued until the egg whites were the perfect, fluffy I had hoped for. Once I placed it into the oven to give it that lovely coat of just the right brown to the peak tips of the feathered, whipped egg whites, she walks in the door. We greeted each other. She rustled out of her heels and began to push the temperature setting on the oven. My back was turned so I had no idea what was happening. All of a sudden I heard this clicking sound. She had changed the oven temperature in order to make bread to accompany the dinner she had started earlier that morning. She didn’t know that I had a banana pudding in the oven. I have no idea how many minutes had passed before I realized something was amiss. I thought to myself, “Oh no. How many minutes did I have left on that timer?” I rushed to the oven, grabbed a mitt and reached to take the dessert from the oven. The beautiful, white cascade of fluffy whiteness as a golden brown with sweat beads all aglow the top the pudding. I had barely saved the day. The pudding was intact. A little tough on the meringue, but eatable nonetheless. She screamed with surprise at the sight of the pudding. I was happy. The pudding was on the counter all of two minutes before she had a fork in hand giving the dessert a taste test. It had no time to rest from the overheated oven. She loved it. Mission accomplished.

The death of the bananas was not in vein. Sweet sacrifice.

dorothy’s page © 2018 Dorothy E. Young

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