My grandma’s coup de grace, reserved
only for Christmas Day dinner. Baked
in repurposed tin cans swaddled
in shallow pans of water.
The tantalizing aroma of brown sugar
and subtly spiced fruit saturated
her small home, an olfactory gift etched
into our collective memory. When we
sat down to the collaboration of family
recipes that comprised our feast,
the promise of grandma’s pudding
was the real bud tease.
Our noisy anticipation was matched,
tempo for tempo,
by Grandma’s bustle and expansive shooing
of all taste-seekers from her kitchen.
Only her daughters were allowed to serve
the slices of warm pudding topped
with smooth, delicate lemon sauce
and a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
After many years of delighting us, Grandma
retired as head holiday cook. Too many hours
of preparation, not enough energy. The torch
was passed to the next generation.
And Grandma’s masterpiece of a dessert
retired with her.