The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Recipes that Bring Back Memories of Mom

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1990

Issue: May, 1990

It has often been said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and I suppose, to an extent, that is true of everyone (women included) when it comes to remembering Mom's homemade cooking. When we think back to fond memories of our childhood, likely as not, they will be centered around food.

In this issue, the recipes we are printing are ones that are typical of the foods people most often remember Mom making especially for them or on special occasions when the family was all together. When we were sick, Mom cooked up a batch of get well soup. When we came home from school, we were greeted with the aroma of bread baking or a cake or cookies. Yes, our memories of mother are definitely linked with food.

We hope they spark good memories for you and that perhaps you will enjoy them so much that they will become apart of your family's memories in the future.

How many times have you heard someone say, "Nobody will ever cook as good as my mother?" That was because mother loved you and cooking from anyone else would never again be seasoned with so much love.

Bread Pudding

Dear Mountain Laurel,
This recipe for bread pudding is my mother's.
Judy Wright, Willis, Virginia

2 cups biscuit crumbs
4 cups sweet milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins

Soak bread crumbs in milk. Beat eggs, add sugar, nutmeg, vanilla and raisins. Mix with bread mixture. Pour into a greased baking dish which has been set in a pan of boiling water. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Editor's Note... My mother made bread pudding by saving the "heels" (end crust slices) of loaf bread. She also made bread pudding with a can of peaches. We ate it hot out of the oven with cream poured over it. We hope this recipe brings back pleasant Mother's Day memories of bread pudding and other tasty homemade delights.


Another simple desert delight was called "Stickies" or Sticky Buns. I have seen it crop up often as people were reminiscing about their childhood. One person said that her mother made them for breakfast and then packed a few in with the children's school lunches.

Stickies were made from biscuit or pie dough. Sometimes they were just the leftover dough, but in families that had a particular taste for them, they were made all on their own.

There are several variations of Stickies. My mother made them from leftover pie dough. She rolled the dough out flat, sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon on it, dotted butter over it and then rolled the dough up and cut it to make pinwheels. These were placed on a cookie sheet and baked in the oven at 375 degrees until they were brown, only a matter of a few minutes. My sister and I loved them.

The most traditional recipe is made with biscuit dough. In a cast iron skillet, melt enough butter to cover the bottom of the skillet about 1/4 of an inch. Roll out and cut biscuits. Dip biscuits into the melted butter and remove from skillet. Sprinkle brown sugar into the melted butter in the skillet and place the biscuits in skillet, filling the skillet so that the biscuits touch each other. You can also add cinnamon and nuts to the brown sugar. Cook on a medium heat on top of the stove until dough is done. Turn skillet upside down on a plate so that the Stickies are turned out with the sticky side up. Pull apart and eat! In another version, you can make the Stickies in much the same way, only placing the butter sugar mixture in well greased muffin tins and then placing the dough on top and baking them in the oven. They are even better if you add a little sugar and cinnamon to the biscuit dough as you are making it.

Chocolate Pie

The absolute favorite of many is chocolate pie. I know one man [Bob] who holds his mother's chocolate pie up as a ruler to measure all chocolate pies, and none have ever measured up to hers. He said that her chocolate pie was not the slick, smooth, silky version most other pies use as a standard, but a pie that had a consistency more like fudge. I asked her for her recipe and am printing it below. It isn't exact measurements, so you might have to experiment with it some. The trick to getting the fudge consistency is to cook the filling beyond the pudding stage.

3 eggs
a big can of condensed milk (but don't use quite all)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup (or more) sugar

Cook these ingredients on top of stove on low heat until they are the consistency you wish. Pour into a baked pie crust and top with meringue or whipped cream if you desire.