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Military Wives Cookbook ...Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

I was fortunate to receive an email from Sourcebooks asking if I could take a look at their Military Wives Cookbook,200 Years of Traditions , Recipes, and Remembrances. This treasure of American historical lore and modern vignettes is the brainchild of an accomplished Military wife herself , Carolyn Quick Tillery.She's a go getter who having a law degree and retired form the Air Force, decided she needed a 'portable career' as her husband , still in the Air Force was constantly assigned all over the world in various posts.So she combined her love of history and food , thereby forging a career. A pretty successful one at that.
I admit, I know nothing about the whole military culture and lifestyle. As an account executive I had an account on a naval base and saw a glimpse. I envied those PX Stores for the great deals.What I did see was my hard working sales staff who may have had a spouse in service and was used to the ordeal of moving around , or them being way , and surviving on limited means. I saw the cadets come in every few weeks after graduation to pretty up a bit and get their cosmetics before heading off to some new assignment. For many it was there first time away from home perhaps. I admit I am pretty privileged and spoiled at times, but I can recognize the great sacrifice those that serve and their families make for our country. It takes a strong woman, or man to support that spouse in service. Lets honor them on Friday May 8th , which happens to be Military Spouse Day.Our current First Lady of the United States, Michele Obama has vowed to focus on aiding Military families.
Military Wives Cookbook is chock full of recipes from today to 200 years ago. I was expecting Americana type of recipes, which there were plenty, but also got some international ones , reflective of the wives travels all over the world. The author assembles the recipes into menus with themes. For example a Colonial Thanksgiving or Christmas in the Confederate White House. The cookbook is divided into 6 sections:
Teas and Coffees
Buffets, Brunches, and Lunches
A Taste of Home: Dinner Family Style, Alfresco Dining
Over There: An International Affair
Home for the Holidays and Other Celebrations
It was hard to pick a recipe to try out. But I was drawn to the Old Fashioned Banana Pudding, because it reminded me of my mother and is a tradition in the Black community and others as well . You will find this at every event or picnic this summer. A lot of people fake it with pudding mix and vanilla wafers. I like it old school.
Note I was out of Vanilla wafers but had Vanilla Biscuits , that worked fine. A coworker of mine uses shortbread , which is also a great substitute. I shamefully admit I polished this off and gave a bit to a neighbor. Nothing was wasted. It was that good. I might play on this recipe with chocolate chips or banana rum one day.
I will be giving away a copy of this cookbook. The drawing runs until May 12.Just leave a comment! And be sure to check out Month Of Edible Celebrations posts on this great book and her giveaway as well.

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
adapted from Military Wives Cookbook 200 Year of Traditions, Recipes, and Remembrances
6 servings
2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups half and half( I used heavy cream and milk combined)
1/2 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 12 oz box vanilla wafers
2 cups bananas (ripe)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a double boiler over boiling water, combine sugar, salt, and flour.Add half and half and stir constantly until mixture thickens.Remove from heat.Place egg yolks in separate bowl. Gradually while stirring constantly( I use a stand mixer for this to free up hands) add some of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks to temper. Then add the egg mixture back to the cream in the pot.Cook to a simmer and thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cool for a bit while you assemble the pudding.
In a baking glass dish, layer vanilla wafers first, the sliced banana, then pudding, Continue layering of wafers, bananas, pudding, ending with pudding on top. Set aside.
Make Meringue topping.
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
In a bowl whip egg whites, with cream of tarter with a electric mixer or use your stand mixer. Whip until they hold stiff peaks.Fold in vanilla extract and confectioners sugar.
Spread atop the pudding and bake for 10 -15 minutes until golden.

I know I missed the deadline by a few days, but I want to offer this up for the Retro Themed Waiter There Is Something In My Soup.

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Dixie said...

OMG! I was just thinking about some "Nanner puddin'" as we call it in GA. I'm a lousy cook but my sister makes this for me everytime I go down to visit.
Maybe this cookbook would help me?


~~louise~~ said...

What a GREAT prospective you've written Courtney. I know what you mean trying to pick a recipe it was so difficult. There's so many recipes worth revisiting. The Old Fashioned Banana Pudding is a perfect example. It looks so yummy!!!

Thanks for mentioning my post. How Sweet. Boy we sure do have lucky visitors getting free copies of this book, it's a gem:)

Memória said...

I think it is very interesting that they named the cookbook "Military Wives..." when both men and women serve in the military, and both men and women cook.

Anyway, I think that banana pudding looks delicious. I may have to try this one out.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Belle said...

That banana pudding looks amazing!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great book which I'd love to win... That pudding looks delicious and so pretty!



Nina Timm said...

I love a Sloppy pud!!! This pudding is right up my alley!! Soft, mushy and comforting, just how I like it!!!

linda said...

Never had banana pudding but it must be delicious! Looks very pretty in the glass!

Black and (a)Broad said...

Hi Glamah,

You know what? I don't think I've ever had banana pudding! I think I'm going to try it this weekend. Would love to try other recipes in this intriguing book. Nice review!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Courtney,
Thanks for the link to my Give-Away. I added your scrumptious Banana Pudding recipe as a suggested dessert for the post I did for the Santa Maria Style Barbecue recipe. Don't you just LOVE this cookbook??? What FUN!!! (Please don't include any of my comments in your give-away, I already have the book:)

Peter M said...

C-town, count me in for your draw, some banana- puddin' and a Hell Yeah!

Natalie said...

thanks for posting this recipe...i've been craving banana pudding and i've never tried the "homemade"'s the time :)

i'd love to win a copy of the cookbook!

toontz said...

My mom used to "fake it" with pudding mix and graham crackers. It is still a favorite of mine, and now with my kids. I am absolutely going to try your version.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great cookbook. :)

Tiff said...

That banana pudding looks fabulous! What a great giveaway.

LegalAlien said...

Wow, I discovered just in time that tomorrow it's sort of my day, too (military wife, but not American, would I be in?)
I'll make sure to celebrate it with this pudding, any reason is good to celebrate!

Jeanne said...

As somebody who really dislikes bananas, I guess this is not my ideal dessert... but even I can see the comfort food angle. And OMG look at your picture-perfect meringue toping!! Thanks so much for participating :)

Lori Lynn said...

Great looking nostalgic recipe.
Your meringue is so perfect!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Can I just say...That looks outstanding!

Kate- Aapplemint said...

Coming to think of it, i've never actually had a banana pudding before. How strange is that. Surly gonna bookmark his n try it out :)
P.S Just read about your coffee grinder ... :(( well now you get to buy a brand new shiny one !

joanne at frutto della passione said...

What an amazing idea for a cookbook. Growing up in an Italian household meant that there are a lot of traditional (north) American foods that I never tasted until I was older and have no idea how to make. I have always been curious about these kinds of dishes which, to me, are so exotic!

Jeanne said...

The WTSIM retro classic round-up has now been posted! Come and take a look:

Sandy Smith said...

My dad just brought me about 3 pounds of really ripe bananas, which are now sitting beside the 3 pounds I bought yesterday. So, this pudding is making me smile! Mmmm.

MrOrph said...

I love banana pudding and your's looks fantastic.

That book sounds like a winner too. I never got to experience much of the traveling when I was in the Army. Besides training at other bases, I was stationed here in Atlanta for my entire enlistment. I really wanted to go to Germany where I could get my DJ on.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I absolutely LOVE banana pudding! I've never made it with meringue topping before - I usually just do whipped cream. I'll have to try this next time. :-)

And that cookbook looks great too!

Hendria said...

I have not ever had banana pudding....I will try it soon.
I would love the cookbook...I have an air force cookbook my step brother gave me many years ago....I have used that cookbook many times over the years....
Love your blog ... :)

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

What a beautifully written post Coco...salute! My dad was in the services & I think you've done a swell job with this post. We grew up on puddings & stuff like this, something the British left behind in India. Well done indeed...xoxo

Deborah said...

This cookbook sounds like one I'd love, even though I, too, know very little about military life. But the recipes sound amazing!

Renee G said...

This picture looks yummy. If all the recipes are this good, the book will be great. Please enter me.

The Caked Crusader said...

I love that kind of cookbook - I always try to pick up localised cookbooks on my travels and particularly love recipes where the origin and history of the dish is explained

Anonymous said...

Nice post here. It's a great recipe and a great honor for all military spouses. Delicious banana pudding!

Bellini Valli said...

What a great tribute to our military families and cooks. In the beginning my dad was a cook in the army when he served during the Korean War.

Junie Moon said...

I popped over here from the Daring Bakers forum to read your blog and discovered this marvelous post right away. As a former military brat when growing up and a military wife in later years, I absolutely remember such recipes such as the banana pudding. Thank you for sharing this book today; it reminds me of all the amazing adventures I've had in my life due to being associated with military life.

Pille said...

Too bad I missed the deadline - it would have been a great book to win :)

PS Thank you so much for popping by in February and congratulating us on the birth of our baby girl. She's doing very well, is already weighing 6 kg. We've named her Nora, and she's a real sweetie :)

Jamie said...

Ha! I was just talking with my sister about my mom's Banana Pudding she made when we were kids (boxed pudding and Vanilla Wafers) and I wanted to try it again but completely homemade. This recipe sounds perfect and it looks amazing! I'll let you know how it comes out!

This cookbook sounds wonderful and I'll add it to my Amazon shopping cart! (sorry I missed the Give away deadline).

african vanielje said...

Great retro dish, and I love go getter women. Hurray for this cookbook.

♥Rosie♥ said...

This sounds a great cookbook "Military Wives” and you have really done justice in your review. I adore retro food like this and bet this Banana Pudding lived up to all the retro great standards. Gosh, I would really love to win this book.

Rosie x