Strawberries and the South
By Joyce Lavene
The Sharyn Howard Mysteries
I'd like to just say how happy I am to be here writing blogs for the Fatal Foodies. Mysteries seem almost incomplete without food and good cooking - especially Southern recipes!
I write with my husband, Jim, and our first mystery series was the Sharyn Howard Mysteries. The stories are about a woman who becomes the sheriff of a small town after her father, the past sheriff, is killed in a robbery. Though she'd always planned to be a lawyer, she found out she was good at being sheriff and she kept the job through 12 adventures that we enjoyed writing.
The books are now available in mass market from Harlequin. And there were plenty of opportunities in the stories to indulge in finding some great Southern recipes. Jim and I were both raised by Southern mothers who'd married Northern fathers and their cooking was one way they kept their homes alive in their hearts.
So here's Strawberry Pudding, a recipe my Mom made when I was growing up. I hope you enjoy it!
1 quart strawberries: cleaned, stripped of their green tops, and sliced
2 cups vanilla pudding (1 large package) - better to use the kind you cook so you can make it thinner
1 lemon pound cake - you can make it yourself or buy it from the store (I always get mine from the store)
If you've made banana pudding before, this is very similar. Start at the bottom of a medium, flat bottomed bowl with a layer of lemon pound cake. Add a layer of strawberries next then another layer of lemon cake. Then strawberries again. This should alternate until the bowl is full or you run out of cake and strawberries.
Make your vanilla pudding a little thinner than normal with 1/2 cup extra milk. I always let mine cool a little after cooking, but not too much. The trick is to pour the vanilla pudding across the top of the strawberry-pound cake mixture so that it will all soak into it.
Once the pudding is finished, put it into the refrigerator to chill. I like to add whipped cream to the top before serving. You can see how this could be done a variety of ways. Jim's mother did something like this with almond cookies and strawberries. Yum! Both ways are good! I feel sure Sheriff Sharyn Howard enjoyed something very similar to this during strawberry season - between catching bad guys!