Friday, December 4, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday with Puddin' in the Pan

Postcard image copied here with kind permission of

This little Christmas Angel looks a bit distressed with holly adorned gifts toppling and a potential Christmas dinner running off with the Christmas cards. Each item pictured is a symbol of Christmas. In short, we see the rose/purity; holly/reminder of the crown of thorns; gifts/gifts from the Magi; Angels/announcing the birth of Christ; pig/good fortune, thrift and savings; Christmas cards/expression of goodwill; red/Christ's blood and green/evergreen - eternal life; mistletoe/birth, renewal.
By the way, mistletoe may remain hanging through the year to preserve the house from lightning or fire, until it is replaced the following Christmas Eve. Scandinavia gave us the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe, thank you very much.

The card is postmarked in Quincey Mass. December 14, 1908. The sender's address is actually in Wollaston which is a neighborhood in Quincy.

Did ya know the first Howard Johnson's restaurant was established in Wollaston?

The card was mailed to the American School of Archaeology in Rome Italy.


Archaeological discoveries in 1908 included:

A 40,000-year-old Neanderthal boy skeleton is found at Le Mostier in southwest France.

Venus of Willindorf
The Venus of Willindorf ,carved around 23,000BC from oolitic limestone, was discovered

Willard Libby, the inventor of radiocarbon dating, was born in 1908.

Quincy, MA birthplace of John Adams and John Quincy Adams, is pronounce qwin-zee just as the Quincy family pronounced theirs. Most "outsiders" including me - pronounce it qwin-see. I've given this some thought, and have come to the conclusion that if you (and I) are over the age of 60, we might as well continue pronouncing Quincy as we always have.
However, if you are 59 and younger, get it together, and start pronouncing it qwin-zee. And don't correct me if I say Qwin-see.

Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams, American Presidents.
Abigail Adams: "Alas!" she wrote to John Adams in December 1773, "How many snow banks divide thee and me...." in response to his frequent and far travels as a circuit judge.
The traditional New England Christmas table would be groaning with seafood, chowders, cranberry and blueberry dishes. There would be corn meal dishes including corn muffins and one of my personal favorites, Indian pudding.

This cornmeal Indian Pudding is as American as apple pie and is delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Despite the name Indian Pudding, it is not a traditional native dish. Native Americans did not have milk or molasses to use in their cooking. Indian pudding is a more elaborate version of Hasty Pudding. Hasty Pudding, usually made with flour, is a centuries old English tradition with recipes dating to 1599 and brought to America with the first settlers. (Puddings made from oatmeal were called burgoo). Indian pudding recipes appeared in American cookbooks in 1796.

Hasty pudding is referred to in a verse of the early American song Yankee Doodle:

Fath'r and I went down to camp
Along with Captain Goodin',
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty puddin'
Indian pudding is relatively easy to make, scents the house nicely while it bakes and worth the effort to make. Here's an excellent recipe:

Indian Pudding

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy (whipping cream) cream

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup light brown sugar
lightly packed
1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Lightly grease a 6- or 8-cup soufflé or baking dish with butter (you can use margarine, but DON’T use non-stick sprays).

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, scald the milk.

While the milk is heating, pour the cream into a medium to large bowl, add the cornmeal, sugar, molasses, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Add this cream/corn meal/spice mixture to the scalded milk. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat until the pudding has thickened to the consistency of syrup (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.

In a bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. Temper the eggs by adding 1/2 cup of the hot cornmeal mixture to the eggs while whisking rapidly. Vigorously whisk the egg mixture into the remaining cornmeal mixture. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring until melted.

Pour mixture into the prepared soufflé dish, and place dish on a shallow baking pan on the center oven rack. Pour enough HOT water into the shallow baking dish to come 2/3 of the way up the outsides of the soufflé or baking dish.

Bake until pudding is set, a tester inserted close to (but not in) the center comes out clean, usually about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and remove from the water bath and let cool slightly.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream or heavy cream.

Makes 8 servings

Try it!

While it's baking, stop by and visit our fav Postcard Friendship Friday host, Marie, at Voila! Vintage postcards. Thanks so much for stopping by.


Bob of Holland said...

The pudding looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe. Happy PFF.

jeannette stgermain said...

Interesting and different concept of a pudding - I grew up in Holland where pudding was more like custard.

MuseSwings said...

Yes Jeannette - In the USA, puddings are also thought of as sweet milk and egg based desserts. Recipes from the United Kingdom include those mentioned in the blog plus other savory main dish puddings - Yorkshire, black, suet and one of my all time (not) favorites, baby's head pudding. The word pudding may have come from the French "boudin" meaning small sausage.

Postcardy said...

I used to love Indian pudding, but I haven't had it in many years. I used to order it at Howard Johnson's.

viridian said...

Gosh it sounds like a lot of work to make Indian Pudding.

Irene said...

I've never heard of Indian pudding. Next time at Howard Johnsons though. Happy PFF

Snap said...

I just never know where you are going to take us! Too much fun. Love the card and your explanation of the symbols. Howard Johnson, Indian Pudding. A Happy PFF indeed!

Sheila said...

We'll forget about the correct pronunciation of Quincy for now - it sounds too much like quinsy for me!

The pudding on the other hand, looks delicious. It sounds absolutely delicious but I think yellow cornmeal may be a stumbling block if I try to make it.

Christine said...

I've never had Indian pudding, but that certainly looks delicious!

MrCachet said...

I was hoping for corn BREAD yesterday, but now... I'm going for the PUDDING!

Lyneen said...

Love your postcard... great trivia from all the info on the card... Yummy pudding. TFS