Today is what could have been one of the most influential men in my life's birthday, my Pa.
He was honestly one of the funniest, jovial, friendly, and smartest people I know. You could say I get my desire to dabble in many different creative things from him. He was always doing something, from making lye soap to breeding chinchillas. Yes, chinchillas. He always made cinnamon rock candy every Christmas and I loved it! I think he secretly liked being in the kitchen because he was known in our family as the best banana pudding maker.
He loved to sing country music and I loved singing with him when I was a little girl. I used to tell him that I didn't like country music just to watch him squirm. I was ornery, what can I say!
Pa was quite the jokester. He had a joke, as cheesey as some were, for everyone who graced the doors of his house. Even the pastor. For many years I had a joke written in every birthday card I received. The last one that I remember was something about a monkey and a lawnmower. haha!
Cancer took him from this life 9 years ago and it still saddens me to this day that he's not here to walk through life with me. To hear me sing at church, to walking down the proverbial aisle (I got married at the lake). But I have peace in knowing that he is with the good Lord above telling him jokes and making him laugh. He would have no shame in that. hee hee!
So in honor of Pa's birthday, the recipes for today are Banana Pudding and Cinnamon Rock Candy.
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafer cookies
In medium saucepan combine sugar, flour and salt. Add eggs and stir well. Stir in milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. When mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and continue to stir, cooling slightly. Stir in vanilla and butter until smooth.
In 9x13-inch dish, layer pudding with bananas and vanilla wafers. Chill at least one hour in refrigerator before serving.
Pa always added cool whip to his. So be sure to add it to yours too!
Cinnamon Rock Candy
1 cup water
3 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1 teaspoon red liquid food coloring
1 teaspoon cinnamon oil
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with foil; butter the foil and set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine water, sugar, corn syrup and food coloring. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook for 3 minutes to dissolve sugar crystals.
Uncover; cook on medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees F (hard-crack stage), about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in cinnamon oil (keep face away from mixture as odor is very strong). Immediately pour onto prepared pan. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.
Break the candy into pieces using the edge of a metal mallet. Sprinkle both sides of candy with confectioners' sugar. Store in airtight container.
Happy birthday Pa! What do John the Baptist and Winnie the Pooh have in common??? Their middle name!!
Have a good Monday!