Here, Freddie Donroe (my dad) is showing off for his father, Albert Donroe, and grandmother, Margarita Donarumo, sometime in the early 1950s. Did I mention my dad’s apparently-very-long bratty phase? It was known to bring out the best in people. For example…
Freddie and family were at his Aunt Ann’s house. A music-lover from an early age, Freddie was rifling through her collection of 78 records. He was undoubtedly warned to be careful with them since the older shellac records were quite fragile compared to the newer vinyl ones.
As the story goes, Freddie wanted to bring some of them home. Ann said no. Freddie launched into a huge tantrum. It went on forever. Finally, Ann lost her temper, grabbed a record, and hit him over the head with it. She wisely chose one of the durable vinyls. Still, it shattered.
Ann was more surprised than Freddie. “It said it was unbreakable,” she remarked.
“Yes,” replied Freddie’s Uncle Gerry. “Under normal circumstances.”
All right, food snobs, brace yourselves. Jell-O pudding is about to make an appearance. There are only a couple of distinctly non-Italian desserts that Nonni makes, and icebox cake is one of them. Why? Because kids love it, and the author of this blog was no exception.
To lazy to make Italian cream pie? Have I got a recipe for you.
2 packages chocolate instant pudding
2 packages vanilla instant pudding
5½ cups milk (or whatever the instructions on the box call for)
1 box graham crackers
In a large bowl, mix together 2¾ cups milk and the contents of two packages of chocolate pudding according to the instructions on the package (e.g., add mix to milk and whisk for two minutes).
In a 9”x13” pan, arrange graham crackers on the bottom, breaking into smaller pieces to fit, if necessary. Pour half of the chocolate pudding on top and spread evenly. Slice two bananas and arrange in a single layer on top of that. Add the remaining chocolate pudding. Set another layer of graham crackers on top.
Wash out the bowl and mix together the remaining 2¾ cups milk with the two packs of vanilla pudding. Spread half of it over the graham crackers. Slice two more bananas and arrange in a single layer. Add the rest of the vanilla pudding. In a blender or food processor, pulse 5 graham crackers until pulverized. Sprinkle crumbs over top of cake. Cover and chill in the refrigerator (i.e., icebox) for 24 hours before serving.
Dora [Barbaresi] Donroe
(Previously: Baseball Cards)