Grandma Sirkka was a badass.

She wasn’t my grandma, but I had the privilege to know her. I feared and respected her. Her voice was feisty, she laid down the rules and everybody did as she told.

Sirkka used to look after her grandchildren and a few other kids from the same village when they were little. One day when Sirkka and the kids were having a walk near the forest, Sirkka spotted a snake on the path. She killed it with her bare hands. And a stone. That’s how the story was told to me and I didn’t doubt it for a second.

Nobody messed with Sirkka.

But don’t get me wrong; despite her tough shell she had a heart full of gold and a great, twisted sense of humor. Here’s one example of it: She had a strict rule that if you swore you needed to put a coin in a jar. And when the jar was full, she made a strawberry cake and invited all the swearers to share it with her. I love the nonlogic of that logic.

She also made damn good vanilla pudding. I dared to ask for the recipe.

vanillapudding //

Grandma Sirkka’s Vanilla Pudding

5 dl whole milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons potato starch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Combine the egg with a few spoons of water and the potato starch in a kettel and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, whisk and place the kettel over the medium heat. Add a pinch of salt, the sugar and the vanilla. Whisk slowly but constantly until it starts to thicken and the pudding starts to bubble. It will take about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve chilled with jam or berries.