Category Archives: My Mother’s Recipe Box

From My Mother’s Recipe Box: Five of Five Christmas Puddings


On the fifth day of puddings I’m posting a Jewish recipe from My Mother’s Recipe Box, or so it says on the recipe card.

Kugel is a baked noodle pudding or casserole, according to Wikipedia. It’s similar to a pie and often made with egg noodles.The name comes from German kugel meaning “sphere, globe, ball”; the Yiddish name likely originated as a reference to the round, puffed-up shape of the original dishes. Nowadays, however, kugels are often baked in square pans.
Kugel Noodle Pudding recipe

So, it’s really not a Christmas pudding. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Plus, I was running out of pudding recipes.

Happy holidays!

From My Mother’s Recipe Box: Four of Five Christmas Puddings


What’s the big deal about pudding anyway? I wonder if it was all the rage before ice cream was a possibility–that is, before the ice box or refrigerator made it possible to keep things cold and frozen. I remember Jell-O pudding when I was a kid. It was a yummy dessert that was easy to eat. Chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch…all yummy. Maybe it’s time to try making pudding again!

Caramel Custard recipe

By the way, I have no idea what Hyannis sauce is. I assume it’s something from Massachusetts.

From My Mother’s Recipe Box: Three of Five Christmas Puddings


For the third of five pudding recipes in the countdown to Christmas, I posted this one for Orange Pudding from My Mother’s Recipe Box. If you can decipher my grandma’s handwriting, you might enjoy this citrus treat. My guess is the recipe comes from California, where my grandma was born.

Orange Pudding recipe

Orange Pudding recipe

From My Mother’s Recipe Box: Two of Five Christmas Puddings


Dates and Christmastime automatically go together. I’m not sure why, but they have appeared in desserts during the holidays as long as I remember.

Date pudding? I’ve never had it, but why not go retro this year and make a recipe for the holidays that brings you back to the 1960s?
Date Pudding recipe

Date Pudding recipe

From My Mother’s Recipe Box: One of Five Christmas Puddings


Where have all the puddings gone? I found several pudding recipes in My Mother’s Recipe Box that I wanted to share, and I figured the holiday season is the perfect time. So watch for a recipe a day during the five-day countdown til Christmas.

On the first day of pudding….what could be more intriguing than the Mystery Pudding? This recipe is from my great-grandmother. I think you can still find fruit cocktail in the grocery store!

Mystery Pudding recipe

From My Mother’s Recipe Box: Fruit Cocktail Torte


When I think of summer, I think of picnics. And when I think of picnics, I think of the occasions back in the 1970s when my grandma would make two birthday cakes in September: one for my sister and one for me. Our birthdays are three days apart. Each was a sheet cake made in an aluminum 9×13 pan with a lid that slid on for transporting. My grandma, aunts, and cousins would meet our family at a state park halfway between their homes and ours where we would feast on potato salad, sandwiches, pickled eggs, and birthday cake.

This recipe reminded me of those days because it’s a sheet cake that could be easily baked in a pan that travels well. Plus, I had completely forgotten about fruit cocktail in a can. Did you know its original purpose in the 1920s was to find a use for “imperfectly shaped pears and peaches sorted out of the regular canning operation”? It also helped find a market for a surplus of seedless grapes. Apparently, you can still find it in the grocery store today. One brand is Del Monte.

Fruit Cocktail Torte recipe

Fruit Cocktail Torte recipe

I was fascinated to learn that in 1977 the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service published an 18-page Grading Manual for Canned Fruit Cocktail. It’s everything you ever wanted to know about grade standards, specifications, and procedures for producing fruit cocktail in a can.

If you’re wondering what a #2 or #303 can is (as mentioned in the recipe above), see page 17 of the Grading Manual. Apparently, it refers to the size of the can, in this case more than 15.5 ounces.

Nothing says retro like a can of fruit cocktail baked in a sheet cake!

From My Mother’s Recipe Box: Rice and Cheese Casserole


Rice and Cheese Casserole Recipe

Anyone who grew up when processed food was all the rage has most certainly eaten a casserole. They vary from lasagna to macaroni & cheese to tuna casserole, with the main ingredients ranging from some form of carbohydrate plus a meat or dairy component, and some vegetables thrown in. From the French word for saucepan, it’s basically a meal in a pot or pan.

For some, casseroles are comfort food. For others, it’s a reminder of the harried lifestyle they lived, running from school to sports events to theater practice. To me, moms and casseroles go hand-in-hand. So this year for Mother’s Day, I’m featuring one from My Mother’s Recipe Box: Rice and Cheese Casserole.