Momma said a lot of things that shaped my life and while on the surface, to others, we may not have appeared to be  close, but we were.

In my life, moving from town to town, Momma was home and Dad was working nites and days and Sundays. So in each new town a house, owned by a church, was made into a home by Momma. I lived in 5 different towns before I graduated high school.

I was born in Savannah, moved to McKenzie for Daddy’s Bethel College years, Hohenwald for my 1st grade and 1st full time church, then to Clarksville, TN, a big promotion type move for Dad and my third grade. From Clarksville, TN, I spent my 6th grade in Hightstown, NJ, where Dad got his Masters at Princeton, and finally to Milan where I enjoyed the longevity of 7th grade thru the 12th. Then Dad moved again to Jackson, TN and I went 2 Martin for the college experience, and moving has never stopped since and I am restless now for a move.

During all my days away from home, especially college at Martin, Jackson and finally Texas A & M, I would call Momma to see how to make a certain food she had cooked for me, and she would enjoy revealing her cooking secrets to me and I learned them by heart.

So I loved cooking for a long time before I new it. I got good at it but it took trial and error and Momma and patience.

When I married Diana, about a year after divorcing my 1st mistake, she asked me what I would like for her to fix me special for Christmas. I told Diana, “I like boiled custard and pound cake”; that’s what I was used 2 at Momma’s house. Diana was feeling very unaccepted at the time by the Barkers, so when I told her 2 call Momma, she did so uncomfortably, to ask how to make “the boiled custard Jay liked” and “the pound cake” he loves.

Momma and her made a bond that day, as Diana called her several times as she stirred the custard because she didn’t think it was thickening. Calling Momma again, going over the steps with her, Momma assured her it would turn out fine. Diana asked, “How will I know when it’s done?” And Momma said, “It will be done when it coats the spoon” and “Be patient, but keep on stirring.”

You know, life is kinda like that, if you be patient and keep on keeping on, what looks like is not going to turn out right, finally does … “coat the spoon.”

Diana does a great job on her boiled custard and pound cake and again she will cook these 2 Christmas treats for me, from Momma’s recipe. And every year it is slightly different, but always good cause she waits til it “coats the spoon” before she turns it off and quits stirrin’.

Patience in life and cooking is essential. You can’t rush cooking and it be any good, no more than you can rush thru this life expecting immediate results that must be stirred and simmered and cooked slowly to develop properly.

Mommas always make cooking look easy and enjoyable and we should follow their example with our lives. We need to be patient and stick 2 a proven recipe that will in the end be a life we can be proud of and everyone can have a piece of your life and enjoy it.

By the time Momma passed away, Diana felt totally accepted by the Barkers and Momma was the one that knew the recipe for that acceptance… “keep on stirring til it coats the spoon.” Diana’s love for Momma stuck just like the custard on the spoon.

Diana and I were talking about the things Momma said, before I started this blog entry, and I had my pen ready on the paper but I was not riting. She looked over and said “what r you gonna rite about today Jay?” And I answered that I was going to end the “Momma said” chapter. And I said “I’m just waiting on a thought.” And I sat there with my head down, looking at the pad of paper Diana had readied for me and my pen still still, she said, “I will always remember one thing your Mother said 2 me” and I looked up and said, “What?”

She told the above story after saying, “You gotta let it coat the spoon.” And my hand wrote the words and the story is told.

We never know which things we say sticks with people and many times we are influenced by sound words, or funny words, or bad words, or no words. So in writing this blog, I am very conscious of my words and their influence on others and me. And furthermore, I realize the power of the spoken word and the written word, and I pray I say and rite the right things for you and for me.

Momma said many things, but more than what she said, what she did and how she loved is my greatest gift ever received. So for all you out there that will see another Christmas without your Mother or another dear family member that has passed before you, bring their life up in your conversation and let the spoken word heal you and relive their love and memories.

If you will be patient and follow the recipe, soon your spoon will be coated and you can quit cooking and start living the joy that the custard brings.

I will often refer to Momma in the blogs 2 come, and even though I miss her still, she gives me comfort now without words.

The gift of a Momma’s love is forever, so let it “coat the spoon” of your life and if it ain’t that way now, be patient and keep stirring.

Ah, my favorite, boiled custard and pound cake, in a bowl with custard poured over it…. Christmas is here!

May you have a blessed Christmas and try some of Momma’s Boiled Custard and Pound Cake. Just follow these 2 recipes and be patient. Merry Christmas!

Peggy Barker’s Boiled Custard

Beat: 2 cups Sugar and 10 Eggs

Add: One Gallon Whole Milk and ½ t. Salt

Cook: On Medium heat stir constantly until mixture coats a metal spoon

Cool completely and add 2 T. Vanilla Flavoring

Pound Cake

2 c Butter

3 c Sugar

6 Eggs

4 c Plain Flour

2/3 C Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease Bundt or Tube Pan generously.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Bake in pre-heated oven for 50 – 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. After removing from the oven, immediately loosen cake edges with a knife. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then remove from pan. Cool completely on wire racks.

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