When the going gets tough…

Since my boys took up residence in Denver, my life has gotten so much easier. Not only can I count on one of them (or their friends or Sweetie Pie) to accompany Hank to a season of Rockies baseball, but they also pony up as his cycling companions on century rides. Such was his 2008 Father’s Day gift from Gideon, who had the good luck to be in the country while his brother, Noah, is not. As a present to my youngest for such expression of Dad-comradery, I baked his favorite cookie bar, Hello Dollies
While the sweet was in the oven, I took to the basement to iron, and in the solitude and quiet of the environment, I heard water running. Hard. Like PC was taking a shower at full blast for a longer time than was necessary or sensible. Oh, that he had been.

The cause of the Niagra Falls soundtrack took a day of diagnosis by my pals at Cut Rate Sewer and Drain

and a day digging up the yard to locate the break in the waterline

It’s not every day that I have a front loader as a lawn ornament

I often deal with stress by baking, but having already baked Hello Dollies, I instead turned to my second favorite stress-dealer, whipping up a boat load of Banana Puddin’.
The recipe for this most delicious concoction is from a booklet titled Quick & Easy Desserts, published in 1986 by the Borden Kitchens. And with that recognition of provenance, I happily share the recipe:
1 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 4-serving size package instant vanilla flavor pudding
2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped
36 vanilla wafers
3 medium bananas
In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and water. Add the pudding mix & beat well. Chill 5 minutes. Fold in the whipped cream. Stir in the bananas and wafers. Now, pour the mixture into a presentation bowl. Chill thoroughly.
My addition: Banana pudding tastes oh so much better if served a day later, which allows for the wafers to soften a tad.
Caution: Eating just one bowl is oh so difficult, especially upon receipt of the bill for a waterline break!
But then again, oh how joyful if all our bumps in the road could be soothed with homemade banana puddin’.
Tie One On…an apron, of course!


  1. Joy, I jumped to your blog and noticed that your favorite movie is Gone With the Wind. Well, if we aren’t just two peas in a pod or bowl of puddin’. There’s not a finer July 4th dessert. One sugestion: make double, for after.


  2. Femail Doc, hey! As a bit of historical notation, I tend to serve anyone working on the Money Pit with snacks reminiscent of preschool days, like cinnamon grahame crackers and juice or a cookie and juice or popcorn and juice. I actually serve the workers their snacks…wearing an apron, of course. Appearing at mid morning/afternoon with a silver tray set with glasses, a pitcher of juice and plate of goodie, I know I’ve been the oddest of visions, but oh, it’s been worth it. Everyone, and I mean this, knows what an apron is and everyone has a story to share. memories.

    The Hello Dollie recipe is so easy and my tip is to cut individual Dollies, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Defrost and warm in the microwave.

    Preheat the oven to 350. In a 13 x 9 inch pan, melt 1/2 cup margrine (I use butter)in the oven. When melted, remove the pan and sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of grahame cracker crumbs over the melted margarine. Smooth out and pat down so crumbs cover the bottom. Pour one can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs (going back and forth, up and down so the crumbs are evenly covered). Top with 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups of sweetened coconut and pat down.

    Bake about 25 minutes or so (until coconut is lightly browned).



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