by Lonnye Sue Sims Pearson
"Hello, my name is Lonnye Sue, and I'm a *gulp* FOOD-AHOLIC!"
"Hello, Lonnye Sue."
"Yes, I love food . . . any kind, anywhere, anyhow. It's a double curse because, not only do I like to eat, I like to cook. I collect recipes the way some people collect baseball cards. I hoard them and pore over them and halve them and double them until I have committed them to memory.
"I moved a bookcase to the dining room ostensibly to house my collection of family pictures, but my cookbooks are crowding out the frames. I own cookbooks on a variety of subjects that includes, but is not limited to, potluck dinners, pasta, bread, chocolate, tarts (both savory and sweet), Italian food, Southern favorites, hors d'oeuvres, pies, cakes, cookies, slow cooking, grilling, preserving, beef, pork, chicken, fish, game, and beverages. I download recipes from the Internet and carefully categorize them in a three-ring binder that is growing by leaps and bounds. One of the first things I ask someone I meet for the first time is, ‘Will you share recipes?’
"I have tried at least ten recipes from each cookbook I own. If there are three ingredients or thirty, I will scrounge up pennies from the dryer or nickels from the floor of the car to buy said ingredients. I will stir and sauté and broil and bake and marinate for hours. I will knead and allow to rest and punch down dough until my tiny apartment is filled with the aroma of yeast. I will mix and chop and scoop until I bake enough cookies for the U.S. Army. My co-workers have come to believe that we cannot have a weekly grade-level meeting without Mississippi Mud cake or cheesecake muffins or banana pudding.
"To add to the mania, I collect kitchen gadgets, china, teapots, pots and pans. I have mixers, emulsifiers, blenders, choppers, dicers, slow cookers, garlic peelers, indoor grills, outdoor grills, spatulas in a variety of colors and shapes, toasters, tongs, and whisks. My cupboards runneth over.
"I drool over Pampered Chef catalogs. I zone out completely when I visit online cookware sites, and my family won't go shopping with me if my store of choice has a housewares department.
"I need help."
"Uh, well, we can help you, can't we?"
"Absolutely! Can you bring a banana pudding to our next meeting?"
"Yeah, sure. Be glad to."
35-45 vanilla wafers
5-6 medium, fully ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar, divided 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
dash of salt
4 eggs, room temp, separated
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Stir in 4 egg yolks and milk; blend well. Cook uncovered over boiling water stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Spread small amount of custard on bottom of casserole and cover with layer of wafers. Top with a layer of sliced bananas. Pour 1/3 of the custard over bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make 3 layers of each ending with custard. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Spoon on top of pudding spreading to cover entire surface and sealing well to edges. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until merigue is slightly browned. Cool slightly and chill.
Associate editor of USADEEPSOUTH, Lonnye Sue Sims Pearson grew up in the Mississippi Delta, but now calls North Carolina home. She’s an English teacher (one of THOSE), and she loves to share her stories.
Write Lonnye Sue at Deltamiss2002
To read more of Lonnye Sue’s tales at USADS, visit these links:
Fessin’ Up Is Hard To Do
Mamaw And The Night Visitors
Hail To The Chief Drive In Movie
For more, click on the USADEEPSOUTH Articles Page.
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