Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Pudding of Thanksgiving

    Growing up my Mom used to make a layered pudding every year for Thanksgiving. 
    The  bottom layer was an orange jello with some crushed pineapple stirred in it.
    The middle layer was a fluffy one made with whipped cream and cream cheese.
    The top layer was a smooth and absolutely delicious pineapple pudding.
    The colors of it seemed festively appropriate for Thanksgiving. I have no idea what the original creator of the recipe called this dessert, but we dubbed it as Thanksgiving pudding, and the name stuck.
    I used to look forward to it all year.
    When we moved halfway across the country, I knew we would not be celebrating Thanksgiving at my parents house any longer. The thought of missing out on that pudding made me sad, but then I thought - what's keeping me from enjoying it at anytime of the year? I called Mom for the recipe and with LV's brother and his family coming to see us I prepared a batch.
    While my sister-in-law Emma and I were putting the finishing touches on our meal I told her how my Mom always made this pudding for Thanksgiving.
    As we were cleaning up after the meal she asked if she could have the recipe, that she had really liked it.
    Fast forward to the following year when we celebrated Thanksgiving at their house. Among the bountiful spread of food was Thanksgiving pudding! "I wanted you to have your family's special pudding today," she said.
    I could almost have cried at her sweet kindness. I savored every bite of that pudding, and savored the way she had made me feel for much longer.
    Every year as I make Thanksgiving pudding I think of both my Mom and Emma.
    This year as I'm pulling out all the recipes for the things I want to prepare for our Thanksgiving meal I am once more presented with the nostalgia of this pudding.
    I still love the festively appropriate colors, still love the taste, but somehow it's the memories of Mom and Emma that I like the most now when ever I make it.
    I miss them both a great deal, but I'm so happy for them to be experiencing heaven. And I'm so thankful for the happy memories I still get to cherish from both of them