I just walked to the store with Mary. She wanted to buy raisins to make bread pudding. Her granddaughter had made her something to eat with rice and mushrooms (risotto). She wanted to return the container with a treat inside.
Mary fell in love with Bread Pudding while she was boarding during her school years. The family she lived with also housed some of the employees of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The lady of the house was a great cook. Prior to cooking at her home for the boarders, she had cooked for the Railroad. The man of the house worked for the railroad too. He was an engineer.
Every Sunday, there was something for dessert. Mary enjoyed eating the bread pudding but what she really loved was the way it smelled when it was cooking.
Her own mother was a good baker and made great pies, but she did not make Bread Pudding. Bread Pudding makes sense as a Sunday dessert. It’s the end of the week and there’s probably stale bread.
The Railroad workers were always hungry. It was labor intensive, hard work. Bread pudding is filling.
The history highlight of our conversation had to do with royalty. In 1939 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth toured Canada. This was the first time the monarchs had come to Canada. They traveled by train from Quebec City 2,236 miles cross the county to Vancouver.
She told me that her friend did not cook for the King and Queen. None of the railroad employees cooked for the King and Queen. They traveled with their own chefs.
They went to Vancouver to try to catch a glimpse of King and Queen. She said the streets along the railways were packed with curious, excited onlookers. She still has the little flag that she waved as they train passed by.
She also fell in love with Railroads. She has ridden trains, including steam driven trains all over Canada and the US. I told her I had been on a few of them in Colorado, the Durango to Silverton run and the Cumbres and Toltec run, which is the longest narrow-gauge steam railroad in the United States.
She has ridden on both of these routes.
She said the Amtrak run from Portland to Vancouver has just opened back up.
I regularly travel by Amtrak to Seattle. I will take it up to Vancouver as soon as I can.
I think I can smell Bread Pudding.