Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

1950 Cherry Pudding Dessert

Jerry Stratton, February 22, 2023

Cherry Cream: Cherry Cream from the 1950 calendar of Hope Lutheran Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.; cherries; pudding

For February’s 1950 calendar recipe, I had planned to choose the Shrimp Spaghetti. But I found myself in a hurry and wanting something sweet, and realized that the Cherry Cream would give me an excuse to also make my favorite vanilla pudding. I still intend to try the Shrimp Spaghetti. It’s just such a Deplorable Gourmet combination of ingredients. But it’ll have to wait until later.

The Cherry Cream recipe calls for a package of vanilla pudding; if I’m reading it right, it assumes that you’re mixing the two cups of milk in the ingredient list with a package of powder. The milk isn’t called for anywhere else, and it’s listed after the “1 package prepared vanilla pudding”. The recipe then later refers to the prepared pudding as “custard” if I’m reading it right.

My favorite quick vanilla pudding recipe uses 2-½ cups of milk, so that’s what I used for the “custard” of this cherry pudding.

I’m not sure what the recipe list means by “cherries”. I’m assuming some sort of canned or preserved cherries, because the second item in the ingredient list is a cup of cherry juice. I’m guessing that the juice comes from the can or jar of cherries. I chose to use maraschino cherries, because I have a giant jar of them in the back of my fridge. I suspect that maraschino cherries are sweeter than what they meant, so I cut back on the sugar, from ¾ cup to about ⅓ cup. I probably could have cut back further, or even completely.

I also increased the lemon juice by half, to a full tablespoon. Partly to offset the sweetness, but also because I had a bowl of leftover lemon juice in the fridge and it turned out to be exactly a tablespoon. There didn’t seem much point in leaving a teaspoon of lemon juice in the fridge.

And as is often the case, I doubled the amount of almond extract in the cherry part of the mix, because I pulled the fact of almond extract from the instructions, and the amount from the ingredient list. Recipes that sum ingredients which get used in multiple parts of the instructions often cause me to mistakenly add the full amount from the list rather than the partial amount from the instructions. It doesn’t seem to have hurt it, probably, again, because the maraschino cherry juice is very sweet.

This is more of an idea than a recipe in any case, the idea being, taking some pudding and some fruit and layer them. To add to that idea, I also added whipped cream on top. If I were to do it again, I think I’d plan ahead of time to add some crunch to it: toasted nuts, or a crushed cookie layer on the bottom. Or some homemade granola on top. It was very good with banana oatmeal cookies, and they’re not even crunchy.

February’s theme in this calendar (PDF File, 9.4 MB) is winter sports—that is, families going out and working very hard at having great fun in the snow and cold. Both the Shrimp Spaghetti and this Cherry Cream reflect that: they’re stick-to-your-ribs foods that are easy to make. The Shrimp Spaghetti is easy to throw together; the Cherry Cream is easy to prep ahead of time and assemble as needed.

Cherry Cream with Whipped Cream: Cherry Cream from the 1950 calendar of Hope Lutheran Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with whipped cream on top.; whipped cream; cherries; pudding

Because the Cherry Cream recipe is in the calendar that I’ve already made available, I’m going to give you my vanilla pudding recipe. This recipe is almost verbatim from Around the House, a cookbook apparently from the Lake Mills Graphic of Lake Mills, Iowa. It collects recipes from that appeared in the 1966 newspaper columns of Anita Levorson. Levorson’s column was probably also titled “Around the House”.

The book may have come out in 1968—the only reference to it that I can find is in the nearby Bayard, Iowa, Bayard News. In their April 25, 1968, issue, Mary Louise Robinson (This ’n That) writes:

The Lake Mills Graphic gave us an interesting book of columns written by Anita Levorson titled “Around the House.” Here is quote from same:

    • “Of all the things that mean a lot
    • Money’s not!
    • But if anything will help a little
    • Ittle.”

This vanilla pudding really is an amazing recipe, a very fast pudding with ingredients I almost always have on hand. And it’s easily modified: add cocoa powder to the milk and sugar to make chocolate pudding, or add other extracts to make other flavors (such as the almond-flavored, here). I’ve even added sage leaves and lavender extract for a very old-school flavor combination. I’ll bet some crushed chocolate, added with the flavorings so that it only partially melts, would be great, too.

Sage pudding

Fast Vanilla Pudding

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Mrs. Harry Gilbert
Review: Around the House (Jerry@Goodreads)


  • 2-½ cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 heaping tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Put two cups of the milk in a saucepan with the salt.
  2. Turn heat to medium-high.
  3. Pour in sugar. Do not mix!
  4. Whisk the cornstarch with the remaining ½ cup of milk.
  5. Whisk egg yolks into the cornstarch liquid.
  6. When the milk comes to a high rolling boil, remove from heat and whisk in the cornstarch liquid, pouring slowly.
  7. Set back on heat for 30 seconds while stirring.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Mix in vanilla, almond extract, and butter.

In response to A 1950 recipe calendar for 2023: In October, a friend gave me this cool calendar of recipes from 1950. It turns out, 1950 is the same as 2023, right down to the date of Easter. Print it out and hang it if you wish, and happy New Year!

  1. <- January veal
  2. Lenten fish au gratin ->