Nostalgia Comes With Roly Poly Pudding

Handwriting or a recipe on a dog-eared cookbook page can conjure up so many memories.

Celeste Wilson
3 min readJun 4, 2022


Image by the author Celeste Wilson

Reading and Remembering

As I read a post by Amanda Laughtland about revisiting her grandma’s recipes, it made me think of my granny.

My mom often traveled for work when I was a little girl. I stayed with Ouma during her trips and for many summer holidays. I remember her kitchen the best because we spent so much time in it.

One of my favorite memories is of pumpkin slice people. She bought great big pumpkins and cooked them up in stews. After she peeled them, she’d cut slits in the long pieces and sharpen one end. It would look like a little person. I usually had a whole ‘family’ of pumpkin slice people on the kitchen table to play with.

Ouma’s Recipe Book

I was looking for a stencil and found her old recipe book. My mom had typed up the recipes for her and stapled them all together. Mom used a manual typewriter, so it must have taken her forever to complete.

As the years went by, Ouma added handwritten recipes. Sometimes she found one in a magazine and pasted it on a blank page.

The memories were all there. In her recipes, comments, and handwriting. She always credited the person who shared a recipe with her.

So there‘s Isobel’s milk tart and Auntie Let’s coconut cookies. She had a delicious roly poly pudding of her own, but she added her sister Betty’s version on page 23.

Image by the author Celeste Wilson

She Had Clear Favorites

If you pay attention to some of the pages, it’s obvious which recipes were most visited. The corners are tattered and I felt something sandy on one of them. Maybe it’s a bit of flour that spilled over.

Gosh, if only the pages could talk.

Pumpkin fritters, meat bread, and asparagus tart were all clear favorites. I remember the pumpkin fritters. They were friends with my pumpkin skin family.



Celeste Wilson

I’m a freelancer, author of 4 YA fantasy fiction novels, mom, and crafter. Words are powerful, beautiful and full of lasting memories. 1 x Top Writer in Food