Sunday, January 5, 2014


Traditions....what kind of traditions do you find in your family.  Most family traditions center around holidays.  When the kids were small our youngest daughter Beka made place cards for everyone on Thanksgiving.  She did it right up until she left home.  Now Liz's daughter Sydney keeps up the tradition.  Our second Christmas I challenged all our guests (My parents and brothers) to bring a hand made ornament for our tree.  Mr. Scottie Dog made an 8" tall cross of stained glass. Every year since (41 years ago) I've made him put it on the tree near the top with a light just behind it.  Another family tradition was to go out for ice cream on the last day of school.  

But I am certain that many, many family traditions revolve around food. Black-eyed peas and greens for New Years (not one of my family traditions), ham or lamb on Easter, watermelon and corn on the cob for 4th of July, turkey on Thanksgiving, etc.  When I was growing up every Thanksgiving my mom began to make persimmon puddings.  She made a lot of them.  I imagine she must have had friends who gave her the persimmons...I don't remember seeing them in the stores when I was young.  She'd make one or two a day until Christmas, put them in the freezer and then she'd give them away.  If I couldn't make it home for Christmas after I got married, there was always one in the freezer the next time we got to Southern California.  Perhaps the reason I like them cold is because we couldn't wait until they had totally defrosted!

Persimmon Puddings are baked in a Pudding Pan.
Here's the recipe as I got it from my mom, Marcella Mae McNally:

Persimmon Pudding                    Preheat oven to 375 F

1 C sugar                   1 T melted butter
1 C flour                    1/2 C milk
1 t baking soda          1 t vanilla
1/2 t nutmeg             1/2 C raisins 
1/2 t ginger               1/2 C chopped nuts
1/2 t cinnamon          1 C persimmon pulp, sieved (3 or 4 large persimmons)

Mix dry ingredients, pour milk, butter and vanilla into well in center of dry ingredients.
Stir well.  Add nuts, raisins and pulp.  Mix well and pour into well-greased pudding pan. Securely close lid and set in pan of hot water in oven.  Bake 1 1/2 hours.  Run knife around pan and turn pudding onto rack to cool.

May be served warm or cold, with or without hard sauce.  You can drench it in brandy and flame if you wish.  I like to slice thin and eat at room temp.  My mother liked to spread cream cheese.

I have wondered if you could substitute pumpkin or banana, etc for the persimmons...but I've never tried it.

After I had been married a few years my mom gifted me with my own pudding pan.  I haven't made any for several years and this year put out a plea on FB for local friends with persimmons....Thanks to Rob and Crystal and to Laura and Kevin (who delivered them all the way from Santa Rosa!) who gave me bags of fruit.  It was one of my favorite things to do this Christmas.