Making Aunt Gert’s Indian Pudding
by Joanne Corey

Her recipe calls for butter the size of an egg,
conjuring the image of scooping butter
from the crock in the creamery,
rather than slicing a few tablespoons
from a stick of Land O’ Lakes.

Simple and frugal,
no spices required,
that expense unnecessary
through the wonder of molasses,
slow-baked and intensified.

Summer corn stored as meal
and fresh milk from the cows
meld to warm us
in the November chill,
honoring our New England roots.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My hands holding a serving of Indian pudding, warm, with ice cream, August 2015. (I made a batch in the heat of August in order to take this photo to submit.)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Indian pudding is neither related to India nor descended from the First Nations of the Americas. It is a New England variant of British hasty pudding using maize or “Indian corn” rather than wheat flour and slow-baked rather than prepared over direct heat. As native New Englanders, my husband and I grew up with Indian pudding as a traditional fall or winter dessert. In my husband’s family, Great-Aunt Gert always made it for the family’s Thanksgiving dinner. We are passing the tradition on to our daughters. An earlier draft of this poem appeared on my blog in November of 2013. I have since written two more Indian pudding poems and committed to posting an Indian pudding poem on my blog each November 13th, which is National Indian Pudding Day.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanne Corey lives and writes in Vestal, New York, where she is active with the Binghamton Poetry Project and Sappho’s Circle. Her 2015 publications include the spring anthology of the Binghamton Poetry Project, Candles of Hope anthology (GWL Publishing, U.K.), the “All About My Name” and “My Perfect Vacation” poetry series from Silver Birch Press, and Wilderness House Literary Review fall quarterly. She invites you to visit her eclectic blog at