Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More confessions

Update at 31 October 2005 - I've been noticing a number of hits off the search term "what is boiled custard".
This post may not be the best description of what boiled custard is, but it sure as heck describes why I don't drink it anymore.

If you want a good description of boiled custard, including a recipe - this site with Ora Belle Smith Warren's recipe for boiled custard including a description of its desired consistency and serving suggestions is a good place to go. She came from Fayetteville, Tennessee and could very well be related to me and the woman who made the boiled custard described in the original post below (I ought to check my geneology files before
making such an assertion, but I can't be bothered.)

Anyway, if you do make some boiled custard - enjoy, but I won't be having any...

Original post below:

Yesterday after reading my post The Vol Abroad Confesses All, the Vol-in-Law expressed surprise that I hadn't confessed about boiled custard incident. I told him that I was really not much more than an innocent bystander, and at worst I was only following orders. But here goes anyway.

My great aunt Tiny (I'll let you ponder whether that's a real name or not) used to always make boiled custard for our extended family get togethers at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was good, it was so sweet and creamy, we drank it like egg nog, and it was probably my favorite holiday food. All the kids (and many of the adults) loved Tiny's boiled custard.

Every year Tiny and my grandparents would alternate the hosting of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and at the holiday of the boiled custard incident my grandparents were hosting. I can't remember which holiday it was, but it was cold. My cousin and I were larking about and so we were ordered by an adult to help Tiny bring her various cakes and casseroles and the custard into the house. We did.

Tiny used to bring the boiled custard in one of those big white plastic opaque catering jars like you might buy pickles or industrial portions of mayonnaise in. But she had long ago lost the lid, so sealed the jar with some saran wrap and a rubber band. Tiny very nearly made it to the house with the boiled custard, but sadly dropped it on the carport. My cousin and I were heartbroken. We loved that boiled custard.

Now boiled custard's pretty thick to begin with and it was a cold night, so the congealed spillage didn't extend far. My cousin and I just stared at that boiled custard, but Tiny was a woman of action. She said "You girls get down there and scoop that boiled custard back into the jar". We did.

Then she said "Your grandparents keep everything so clean, it'll be alright if we just serve it anyway." Then she told us it not to tell anyone. We didn't

Tiny was not the kind of woman you wanted to cross. I never said a word about it for maybe 15 years and I'm not sure my cousin ever would have told.

And Tiny, she served up the boiled custard in my grandmother's nice sherbet glasses to all my extended family young and old, who were happy to get it. But she didn't ask my cousin and me if we wanted any. She knew we didn't.



melusina said...

I don't know. There are some things so good I think I might have eaten them off the floor.

Not MY floor, but perhaps someone else's.

Vol-in-Law said...

I made the mistake yesterday of telling Vol that I liked to imagine she & her co-conspirators had just scooped up the spilt custard that wasn't literally touching the floor, leaving a thin layer of floor-custard to clean up and dispose of later in sanitary fashion.


Anonymous said...

I have been looking for sites like this for a long time. Thank you!

Vol K said...

This reminds me of a potluck dinner Vol's former college roommate participated in. She used the flour in the baked goods (was it shortbread?) even after she noticed it had bugs. Under dire circumstances, without sufficient time or resources to recover, when you have social pressure to deliver - you have to thank god for our immune systems.