Saturday, February 6, 2010

Original Recipe Ice Box Cake- A South Philadelphia Row Home Tradition

In my lifetime, I have constantly been reminded of how things used to be. "Nothing is like how it was in my day, nothing", has been proclaimed at every opportunity from my father. And he is right. I have been part of a generation where things have been made differently. The way cars are made, knives are sharpened, clothes are sewn and food is prepared have all changed, causing the general public to become immune to the "new way".

From my experience, things are always better when done the original way, especially when it comes to recipes. I rarely tamper with my family's recipes, preserving every ingredient and instruction if possible. I have been making ice box cake for years, a recipe passed down from generation to generation. It seems as if this recipe is a staple among South Philadelphia Italian homes, because my friend's families also have this recipe, which has also been passed down within their family. We have all preserved the original, 5 ingredient recipe, causing this recipe to become a staple within the community.

This ice box cake has been given its name, to my knowledge because it needs no oven, no baking and no stovetop preparation. It uses only an ice box, a term given to the refrigerator years ago. It uses simple ingredients that even a beginner chef should have in their pantry.

You may see recipes for ice box cake calling for lady fingers, coconut and chocolate wafers, but I know this original recipe doesn't need any added fillers to make it taste any better than it already does. Enjoy!

Original Recipe Ice Box Cake
Serving Size: 9-12

What You'll Need:
1 Small Box of Instant Chocolate Pudding
1 Small Box of Instant Vanilla Pudding
4 Cups of Cold Milk
16 Whole Graham Crackers
4 Medium Bananas
1 Throw Away Aluminum Utility Pan 13x9x2

Follow the directions on the boxes of pudding, making vanilla pudding first, and in same bowl making chocolate pudding when the step in the directions calls for it
Lay whole crackers on bottom of pan- Breaking into smaller squares if necessary to fit flat
Pour prepared vanilla pudding on graham crackers, spreading evenly
Cut slices of bananas and lay them across in one layer over the vanilla pudding
Lay another layer of graham crackers on top of the banana slices
Pour prepared chocolate pudding on graham crackers, spreading evenly
Crumble one whole graham cracker in hand and sprinkle on top of cake
Refrigerate for 30 minutes
Serve and enjoy

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