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


  1. What beautiful memories. I feel the same way about Peanut Squares. They evoke my family, my home--everything about them says, "Wisconsin.".

    Would you consider sharing your Thanksgiving Pudding recipe? It sounds so refreshing!

    1. Thanksgiving Pudding

      Bottom layer:
      1 sm box orange jello
      1 cup boiling water
      ½ cup cold water
      ½ cup ice (approx 8 cubes)
      1- 20 oz can crushed pineapple drain all juice off and set aside

      Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add cold water and ice. Stir until ice is melted. Add drained crushed pineapple. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Refrigerate until firm.

      Middle Layer:

      1- 8 oz extra creamy Cool Whip
      1- 8 oz softened cream cheese

      Beat Cool Whip and cream cheese together and spread carefully across the firm jello layer. Return to refrigerator.

      Top Layer:

      1 to 1½ cup pineapple juice that was reserved when you drained the crushed pineapple for the bottom layer.
      Add water to pineapple juice until you have two cups full.
      1 cup sugar
      3 slightly rounded Tbsp flour
      3 beaten egg yolks
      Stir all together with a wire whisk and bring to a gentle simmer in the top of a double boiler or another saucepan if you are willing to stir without ceasing. Simmer until thickened. remove from heat and cool. After it's nice and cool spread on top of cream cheese layer and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    2. Wow, that sounds so delicious! Thank you so much for sharing your family recipe!

  2. It is amazing how food can bring so many memories flooding back. I am amazed at foods that we love that we only seem to eat at the holidays.

  3. Wonderful memories of two sweet women who cared so much about you. My Mom always made a jello dish every year, only on Christmas. It had pretzels and strawberries but I never did get the recipe.
    You made me smile on facebook this morning with Steven's shopping expedition. I would love to know the gift if you would like to tell me.

  4. I love how certain foods will remind us of our loved ones who created them for us. What sweet memories you have!

  5. It does sounds yummy!

  6. I love this story. It's the family pumpkin pie for me. This same pie has been made for seven generations in my family and it isn't Thanksgiving without it.

  7. We never stop carrying for those we love in our hearts and there is something very special about a favorite family recipe that gets moved through a family with the dear loved one's name and love remembered. I have a large bowl that my Mom always used to let her bread dough rise in and I use it every time I bake bread. It feels like Mom is there in the kitchen guiding me along in my baking :)
    We have so many blessing to be grateful for, but mostly the people that the Lord has put in our lives . . . those who have passed on to be with Him, those that are standing beside us, those many miles away and those yet born into the family.
    Our heavenly Father is so good all the time :)

  8. Its like we are remembering them in a special way.For me its Cranberry Salad and Dressing...every thanksgiving and Christmas.Somehow it brings sweet memories every time


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