Good evening gents. A comment made in one of the replies to the canning thread started me thinking. Have you ever cajoled a secret or semi-secret recipe out of a favoured relative? My little anecdotal story is about a simple dessert dish. Really more like a snack dish. My great aunt Mima, God rest her soul, made this certain dish for decades that she called Reliable. Sometimes Old Reliable.
It was reliable in that no one ever went away saying anything but how grand it was. The "recipe", and I use that term loosely, was quite simple but she had this certain thing like all good dishes that made it special. I never knew what it was. A rather plain affair made in a pie tin but the crust did not come to the top of the tin. And the filling was rather shallow as well. Maybe a half inch deep. My foggy memory says it was sort of like a better hasty pudding filling but not as rich as a regular baked custard filling. It was gently seasoned with cinnamon and ...? All the family members begged her to bake them. I think she delighted in the simple joy they brought to kin. A particular treat on the rare times we made it to Nebraska to visit her. A grander lady you will never meet.
Anyroad, I thought she took the knowledge to the tomb but lo and behold I mentioned it to mum a few months back and she told me she has the recipe! Now mind, my aunt died in 1989 at nearly 100 years of age. So I haven't actually eaten one in nearly thirty years. She had made these since she was a teenager. So by the time 1982-ish or so had rolled around we were helping her move to an assisted living residence she chose on her own. She made one last Reliable for me and my Da. It was divine. It dawned on me at the time she had been making these for over 80 years. And never once shared the exact mix of ingredients with anyone. And I mean anyone. But she liked my mother best of all her niece's and nephew's spouses. She liked my Dad a lot and that helped too. Anyhow unbeknownst to me she had slipped the recipe to mum as we moved the final boxes out of the house. And to think it has been under my nose for THREE decades. So quite soon I will be making one and hope it holds up to a dear lady's memory. So lets hear some of your stories...and scores.