2.14.2009

Going Home

A move in 1981 brought me and my family from southern California to a little town about 26 miles south of Portland called Canby. I did pretty much all of my growing up there, and although I live closer to the rose city these days, my parents are still there. And, of course, as any loved, adored, perfect child, I hardly ever venture out to visit them. Oops.

A scheduled trip to my doctor on Friday had me staying at my parents' for a couple of nights this weekend. It's always nice to go home no matter how far away you are from the parental unit as it's so simple to step right in and feel so immediately comfortable. The other thing about going back home? Some good old comfort food. And not just the over-the-top, highly fattening, overindulgence kind, but the familiar brands and packaged goods that you only see when you go home.
I always get a kick out of discovering certain products in the house that I don't necessarily buy now, but remind me of when I used to live there with them: Yoplait yogurt, Pringles(R), Welch's grape juice (one of my favorites!), Cambell's Chicken Noodle Soup and Nilla Wafer cookies.

To make my first night with them totally complete, my mom sealed off a home-cooked meal of chicken, rice and corn on Friday night with one of the best childhood desserts ever, one that is so incredibly simple to make and that we all love still today; banana pudding with Nilla Wafers. Yay!

I helped my mom put the batch together as the kitchen began smelling like warm, vanilla pudding. The dish takes just four simple ingredients: milk, Jello Cook & Serve Vanilla Pudding, Nilla Wafer cookies and about four bananas.

She takes one 4.5 ounce box of Cook & Serve Jello Vanilla Pudding and cooks it on the stove as as per the directions on the box (stirring it in three cups of milk until the mixture comes to a boil).
While the pudding cooks on the stove, she begins to fill a large ramekin bowl with the contents that make up the yummy bites within. She first covers the bottom of the bowl with a good layer of the wafers.
Then a layer of sliced banana.

Then another layer of wafers and so on until she reaches to top of the bowl. By this time the pudding is complete on the stove and it's time to to pour over the bananas and wafers. Once all the pudding has been poured in she'll shake the bowl slightly just to ensure all the pudding gets through the layers of banana and wafers and makes it to the bottom. She'll then take a few wafers, crush them and sprinkle them on top. This gives the dish it's attractive little presentation.
The dish can be eaten warm as the pudding cools slightly or refrigerated, we all like it still warm-the flavor of the vanilla is still so prominent then.

As always, the dessert was perfect, and hanging out with the parents for a couple of days delivered a few laughs as well.

Some random pictures from home. I couldn't resist...


Little me and my mom


Little me and my dad
It's always fun to go home.
Cheers,
~JF



15 comments:

Rhiannon said...

I'm from Canby, too!

Jennifer said...

Such a small world, Rhiannon. :)

Kelli Matthews said...

Super cute! I love this post. :-)

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Kelli. :)

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great post. Banana pudding is a family tradition. My wife makes it for me instead of a birthday cake. The candles stand a little crooked though.

Love,

Uncle Curt

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Uncle Curt. And yes, I can imagine the candles are a bit unforgiving in the banana pudding. :)

Cheers,
~JF

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