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Easy flan that won’t disappoint

By Staff | Apr 9, 2010

They dwelled in Quaker Oat Boxes as premiums for many years. Households across America purchased Quaker Oats, and to their delight, they were given a dish often known as a custard cup. The little gems were created mainly by the TST “Taylor Smith and Taylor Pottery Company.” Stamped on the back of each piece you will find “T S T Genuine Oven Serve Ware USA.” They came in a variety of colors such as soft baby pink, squash orange, canary yellow, light blue, dark brown and even spruce green. They were not only very attractive, but very useful as they could be used in the oven as bake ware. Plastic dishes had not hit the mass market yet so many mothers welcomed these support bowls. As crashes happened in the kitchen, these abundant oatmeal bowls were called into service.

Being attracted to color and design at an early age, these were some of my favorite kitchen cupboard pals back in Underwood. For several years, they had hibernated in the lower cupboard mainly unused. My Mom took great care of her dishes. When, as a five-year-old, I spotted them sitting attractively with raised rosemaling-like flowers on their sides along with vertical line around their upper rim, they had no rest! Breakfast cereal was served out of the soft pink ones and all puddings were placed in the light blue and yellow ones if I had anything to say about it! These oven-proof dishes had not seen this type of adulation since they were first released in the cylindrical Quaker oatmeal box.

If you have not figured it out by now, even as a child I realized the importance of originality. While my brothers ate their cereal out of Melmac, I stuck with my TST pottery. If pottery can have a mood, it was unfalteringly positive and thus became the outcome of many of my childhood endeavors. Let me explain. This pottery listened very nicely as I explained why I hated to give up my training wheels. As the tears flowed, I shared with them how very mad my Dad was when I showed up by the lawn mower sporting my Pinocchio bedroom slippers. I do believe this pottery whispered to me that correct protocol for lawn mowing is sturdy shoes-after all, we don’t want to lose a toe! Over the years this personal support team has been fairly motivating. They do a wonderful job of sporting food in such an attractive way; and how they listened to all my concerns, problems, and joys. Living is art, and to my childhood table canvas, they brought a colorful scenery and unique expression.

Recently, Lydia has taken attraction to these little pals as well. It is true that history repeats itself. When I see her little hands cradling these vintage dishes, I am taken back to my childhood. These dishes were of importance to my Mom. However, she took the time to share them with me and explain their origin. Schooling a child on family heirlooms is great. However it is the experience of using these dishes that was the most effective teacher. Whether Lydia is asking for a bit of cheese, chocolate chips, apple slices or even a bit of pudding, she prefers to have them served in “those cute little dishes.” I have already shared with her that these pals are wonderful listeners. It does not hurt to trace your fingers around their little roses, scrolls and leaves while releasing your feelings. One of these days I will also have to inform her that as motivating as they are, you must realize that you must grab success your own way!

With the addition of each sister-in-law to my family, I have enjoyed their sharing of recipes. My sister-in-law, Lois grew up in Mexico. I recall with much passion the first Christmas she made flan at our family home in Underwood. She garnished it with red and green cherries. It was a sight to behold and delicious to taste. She shared with me that flan is very popular in Mexico. I have enjoyed flan several ways, but I always come back to this recipe as I feel the taste cannot be beat. If you are looking for a dessert for spring that is refreshing, easy to make, attractive and inexpensive, give flan a try. You will not be disappointed.

Repnow is a Rugby


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