I have a love/hate relationship with custard.
My grandma would always make us grandchildren homemade custard when we were sick. She believed it was easy on the stomach. And, I do remember that cool, luscious custard as giving a brief reprieve from whatever ailment I had at the time. But because we only got custard when we were sick, my memories of this homespun remedy (which was fabulous) are forever mingled with thoughts of chicken pox, the flu, and sniffling winter colds.
Since mom and dad both worked off the farm as well, many time when we were ailing we got to spend the day at grandma and grandpa’s. Grandpa would often give up his seat on the coach so grandma could make out a bed for us there. Then, we would spend the day watching daytime TV with them—the Today Show (with Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley and Gene Shalit), The $20,000 Pyramid, Match Game, the local noon news, Ryan’s Hope, Guiding Light (although my sister and I were Days of our Lives‘ fans), and finally Jeopardy. Then, usually mom was able to pick us up.
In between our shows, we might have cold compresses put on our foreheads, Vick’s rubbed on our chests, or our temperature taken on the hour, but we would always have that custard. Whenever I think about sick days with grandma and grandpa, I remember the love that grandma put into each custard cup.
It’s good for what ails you!
4 cups scalded milk, cooled slightly
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
nutmeg (for sprinkling on top)
Slowly beat together milk and eggs.
Add vanilla, sugar and salt. Stir to incorporate and until sugar is dissolved. Pour into custard cups and sprinkle nutmeg on top.
Set the custard cups in a large pan of hot water (about halfway up the sides of the custard cups).
Bake in a 350°F oven until a thin knife inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean. Refrigerate custards until ready to serve. Serve cold.
Serves two ailing kids and enough for grandpa!
Grandma made a mean custard pie as well.