Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hard Times (Pudding)

Today is Saint Tatiana Day, the Name Day of all Tatianas everywhere.  My Tanya and Andrei's Tanya, along with Masha and Lena celebrated by going for lunch to Marichka's for pizza while I reloaded programs on my computer.  We then invited friends over for supper for which I was responsible for dessert.  I made Oatmeal Squares (my kids will recognize this). They turned out perfect except for one small flaw.  They were glued solidly to the cookie sheet and one needed a chisel to remove them - in small pieces, not 3" squares.  Plan B was to serve ice cream with lots of cookie crumbs sprinkled on it.  Still tasted good.  And now I know why the recipe said to cover the cookie sheet with wax paper.  It is what you call Cookie Doh!!

I got looking at all the different family dessert recipes handed down over the generations made with flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, raisins, baking powder, milk and butter.  These are pretty basic ingredients, not fancy, not expensive.  Homestead food, poor farmer food.  The milk and butter were home grown, the rest of the stuff bought in bulk with no use before date and no refrigeration needed, so to speak.

A favourite of our family when I was growing up was Hard Times Pudding also known as quick raisin pudding, though at our house it was "Raisin pudding in its own sauce", a rather cumbersome title.  Basically it is sweet biscuit dough, filled with raisins and baked in a brown sugar sauce.  Mom would sometimes make it for supper but most often it was a surprise dessert hot out of oven late on a cold Friday night or Saturday night when Dad, my brothers and I would come in from working late outside on "weekend chores".  A double recipe would fill the big green Pyrex bowl, (the same one in which she baked scalloped potatoes), and the six of us would make quick work of it.

Ice cream would have been perfect with it and that is how I serve it now but in those days, even at 99 cents for a half gallon, it was a rare treat.  Now I need to go chisel the rest of the cookies off the cookie sheet.  #%^&@@@# to coin a phrase.


  1. Now you know why they tell you to grease the pan with butter before cooking.

  2. I use parchment paper so the baking doesn't stick to the pan.

    I've always thought name days were cool. The Finns used to celebrate name days and probably still do in Finland. I never got to do that, it was just the old folks who did that. My name isn't on the calendar, altho there is a similar name and my middle name is on the calendar. But still I like the idea of having two days to celebrate, your birthday and your name day.

  3. Demeur, I KNEW I forgot something. I usually do grease the cookie sheet AND also remove teh cookies while still warm.
    Kulkuri, We were out of parchment paper. Tanya has it on the list for next shopping. And I was surprised to see how many countries do celebrate name days. Naming your kids after saints does tend to limit first names. 20 women's names and 20 men's names pretty well covers the pack in Ukraine and Russia

  4. That's my favorite pudding! Mom used to make it often and I have too ... but not so much recently. There are a lot of things I can bake and let the rest of the family devour but that one is too tempting so I just don't make it.


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