I have always enjoyed cooking. Not only does it allow me creativity and provide my family with yummy stuff, but it also brings back warm and comforting memories. Everything I make has a memory connected with it. My grandmother was a wonderful Southern cook. She never measured a thing, she did it all by feel. Many of the things I make are called “Mimi’s ____” after my grandmother. She was such a wonderful person and made so many good Southern dishes–golden egg custard, cheese grits, corn pudding, and succotash….
Whenever I make her recipes, I feel as if she is still with me, watching over my shoulder. Sometimes the feeling is so strong that I’ll catch myself speaking to her out loud. My mother and mother-in-law are both very good cooks. From my first mother-in-law, I learned to garden on a large scale and to can. I get a great sense of satisfaction and RIGHTNESS when I put food up, bright and beautiful, into jars. My current mother-in-law is of German descent and from her I have learned how to make sauerbraten, schnitzel, spatzel, and several other ethnic goodies. She makes a to-die-for pie crust, fluffy waffles, and effortless breads. Many of her dishes (for me) are still a work in progress! I am growing half a dozen heads of cabbage in my front flower bed and am looking forward to trying sauerkraut!
Mimi’s egg custard is a good old-fashioned Southern desert. Every bite brings back memories of my childhood. This recipe is easily doubled depending on the number of people. The recipe as is will feed approximately 4-5 people.
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups milk (scalded)
nutmeg to taste
Place two cups of milk into a pan and heat just until a skin forms on top. Set aside. Beat the first four ingredients together then add the scalded milk, tempering the eggs first. To temper eggs, add a little of the egg mixture slowly to the hot milk, stirring constantly. Then slowly add the milk back to the remainder of the egg mixture. Pour into a casserole dish or pie pan. Sprinkle nutmeg on top to taste. Set pan into another larger dish with water in it (a cookie sheet with a lip is fine). Bake at 325 degrees. Center should still be a little soft when done. It will set as it cools.
Get the handy printable here: Mimi’s Egg Custard