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Four generations of grandmother, mother, daughters and granddaughters: front row: left to right, Brenley, Julie Spreen, Tiffany Shadd, and Emma. Back row: Selina Shadd and Valerie Boeker.

Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away and I thought it would be fun to share a memory, a recipe and a few photos of moms and daughters.

When I was in high school, home economics (Home Ec) was a required subject for both girls and boys. I loved that class. Of course, I have always loved cooking, so the cooking semester was my favorite. I came home with the list of supplies that I was required to buy. One item on the list was “The Better Homes and Garden’s New Cookbook.” Yes, the same one my mother had at home, but a newer version. When I received my cookbook, I couldn’t wait to compare it to hers. When I looked at her book – Oh my, I didn’t realized how dog-eared and used it really was. Torn pages, a stained cover – as well as what looked like food stains on several recipe and photo pages. She had handwritten notes on recipes she made often and had folded several pages, I presume to remember she liked those recipes. All in all, her cookbook looked awful compared to my brand spanking new cookbook. Well, my mother has been gone a few years now and one of my daughters ended up with her cookbook. When I gave her cookbook to my daughter, Karie Lynn, I noticed something remarkable. I went to the cupboard, pulled out my cookbook and a miracle had happened. My cookbook, now 39 years old, looked exactly like hers. My cookbook had become a mirror image of hers with stains, notes and folded pages. It was a bittersweet moment; I wish I could have shared that moment with her and just sit with her awhile to talk, laugh, smile and compare our now “twin” books. I smiled as I gave the book to my daughter. I know she will take good care of the book and share the memories of Mom’s cooking, bound up inside the worn-out pages of her favorite cookbook. With that, I invite you and your mom to “Please Join My Table” as I share one of my mom’s sweet recipes and one or two other sweet eats from our readers.

 

Karen, I am sending you my family banana bread recipe. I have been making it since I was in 7th grade! Selina Shadd

Selina Shadd’s Favorite Banana Bread

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup nuts

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup bananas, mashed

 

DIRECTIONS: Grease a 9”x3”x5” loaf pan. Sift together flour, soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add bananas, buttermilk, nuts and flour mixture. Beat 30 seconds. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

 

Grandma Jean’s (my mom) Banana Pudding

She always said this was so easy and delicious with Nabisco vanilla wafers, Jell-O instant pudding and fresh banana slices.

Ingredients

1 cup cold whole milk

2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla

30 vanilla wafers (reserve a few for decorating the sides or top)

6 bananas, sliced

1 tub (16 ounces) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed and divided in half

 

DIRECTIONS: In a mixing bowl, beat pudding mix, sugar, vanilla and milk with a whisk for about two minutes. Let it rest to thicken about five minutes. Add 1/2 the tub of Cool Whip. Stir just until combined well. Layer bottom and sides of a 2-qt. glass casserole dish with vanilla wafers. Top with 3 sliced bananas. Layer on 1/2 of the pudding mixture then the remaining vanilla wafers. Top with the remaining banana slices, then the remaining pudding. Top it all with the remaining cool whip. Chill and serve! Note: You can garnish with additional vanilla wafers and more banana slices. 

 

This recipe is from my daughter Julie’s godmother. Here is her sweet note: 

Karen, baking was a key part of my mom’s life. It was a gift that she was given, and one that she shared, baking for her family, friends, and community over the years. Each time Mom visited us, she would come with her big recipe box and update me on any new favorite recipes she had along with the tried and true “must-make recipes.” This is a favorite of ours. 

Evelyn Comminos Moore’s Karethopita (Walnut Cake)

Ingredients

6 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1⁄2 cups flour

2 heaping teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

 

DIRECTIONS: In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and spices. In a large bowl, beat egg whites ‘til stiff, add sugar gradually, and then add egg yolks. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts, then mix well. Bake in 9”x13” pan for about 35 minutes at 350 until done (center is dry). 

While hot, pour warm syrup over and cover with tin foil to keep moist.

 

SYRUP INGREDIENTS

4 cups sugar

2 cups water

1/2 cup honey

Juice of 1/2 lemon (I throw lemon right in pan after squeezing)

SYRUP DIRECTIONS: In large saucepan bring all ingredients to a boil until slightly thick, it threads and/or feels tacky on a wooden spoon. (Mom’s hints: Mom would cut in big diamond-shaped pieces, and if it were a special occasion she would top it with a maraschino cherry.

 

 

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