Sep 21, 2012

Trip down sugary memory lane

By Rida Zaidi

Q. Describe a food and the memories associated with it.

I have always had a sweet tooth. My favourite desert since childhood has been home-made egg pudding, made by my grandmother. I can still imagine her standing in her kitchen. Her long auburn hair tied in a loose pony, soft linen clothes flowing in the light breeze coming in through the window. 

The kitchen was her all time favourite place to be. Briskly she would beat a couple of eggs together until they became fluffy. Boiled milk and sugar would be poured in next. The milk streamed through the mixture reminding me of a river on the sun. The whole pan was then placed over simmering water and was allowed to cook. About an hour later the pan was kept in the fridge. 

I can remember my anticipation waiting for the dish to cool. My grandmother would gently place a kiss on my cheek after I checked the dish for the tenth time. She would place me on her lap and play with the loose curls that hung naturally near my shoulders. She told me stories about her childhood to make the time go by. Open verandas, large gardens and swings would be a part of almost every story she told. 

Finally the dish would be ready. Skipping next to her as she took out the pan from the fridge my joy would be inexplicable. With one swift movement she would flip the pan over so the caramelised side faced the top. Beautiful golden syrup painted over the surface of the lemon yellow pudding. It looked like a work of art! The pudding seemed so smooth and silky I imagined sliding down its slippery sides. 

My grandmother would place a large slice into a stemmed bowl for me. The icing on the cake would be the dollop of fresh cream placed on the top. Whenever anyone mentions home-made pudding it takes me down memory lane.


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