2019: C… A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories
Cream Puffs… Aunt Mary Style
I’m back for “Year 4” of the A to Z… April Challenge.
My first year of this challenge had me racking my brain for a writing topic… especially as I didn’t quite understand the process. But finally I came up with 2016: Southern Foods and Memories. They said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew. 2017: Conversations with Mama was a somewhat easy one for me as I’d journaled our conversations for years so I researched some of my favorite topics to write on. 2018: All About Nancy Drew has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another to equal it. It literally had me researching every day for over six months… researching, reading and perfecting every post. I was totally consumed with Nancy Drew for months… and still am! I didn’t want to “not” participate this year, but I was drawing a blank. Finally, mid February, I came up with writing on my husband’s Italian family foods and memories. I did my Southern foods the first year, so it was time to finally give his family their due! I’m also participating in the yearly 52 Ancestors 52 Stories this year… I am really feeling over-extended this month. April is a tough month for me, as we usually are traveling to my mother’s and my son in Florida… but somehow I’ll manage!
I think I can safely say that before marrying into an Italian family, I had never eaten any of the foods I’m blogging on this month… such an underprivileged child I was! Growing up in the South where we ate fried chicken, okra, black-eyed peas, butter beans, mashed potatoes, creamed style corn and southern biscuits! Oh My…!
Cream Puffs… Aunt Mary Style
No one in our family ever thinks of cream puffs without thinking of Aunt Mary! She made the Best!
Aunt Mary cooking… best known for so many good foods!
While the cream puff recipe itself is pretty much the same for everyone… it was Aunt Mary’s filling that made them the best. Before learning her “secret” I made pudding from scratch… Italian cream we call it. It’s actually easy to make pudding from scratch… just eggs, milk, flavoring, cornstarch and sugar… stir until it bubbles, then keep on a low boil, stirring constantly, it will soon begin to thicken. I’ll post my recipe at the end if you’d like to give it a try.
Even though mine were tasty with the Italian cream… there was something about Aunt Mary’s which made everyone dance a jig whenever they saw her walk in with them. But there was a secret… which I didn’t know the first time I made them… but I soon learned.
Aunt Mary’s cream puffs are made with instant pudding and the secret is… use one-half of the milk called for on the package… with the reason being you want it thicker than normal. The other half of liquid comes from using one cup of heavy cream, whipped. Fold the whipped cream slowly into the instant pudding and blend well; let the finished mixture chill in the fridge for awhile before filling the cream puffs. We have also substituted one cup of Cool Whip instead of whipped cream. Just remember to always use “half” of what the liquid calls for on the package… as there are small and large boxes of instant pudding… each calling for different amounts.
Prepare filling using only “half” of milk required on box… whip 1 cup heavy cream… fold the two together. Chill in fridge, then fill cooled puffs.
If you can bear to freeze some of the puffs or make an extra batch… you’ll be one step ahead on making more another day! Aunt Mary always froze them in small batches… and if you stopped for coffee… she often treated you!
Continue reading more of the A to Z… Cooking Famiglia Italian Foods and Memories
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