Aunty Pud was a psychiatric nurse. Sylvia
was her name but some by gone time had seen her eleven brothers and
sisters give her the nick name, Pud. Being the oldest child in a family
who had lost their mother may have been what developed her personality
for her job. Her position was that of Administrator over a
hospital which had at one time been an army base. The mature woman was
all professional. She was quick in her decision making, thinking and
physical activity. She had a way with people and it was a joy to see how
she would interact with the patients. She was never condescending to
them. She never passed over their worries, fears, or problems, no matter
how mixed up, difficult or seemingly trivial they might be. The elderly
folks who were there because they were mildly disturbed; yet, could not
function on their own, or with their families.
Sylvia was, indeed, a well qualified nurse. However, her administration
capabilities were truly a gift. There wasn't anyone she could not help.
The joy of knowing the woman was given to those who were not aware it
was a rare moment in their lives. There was the other side too, the side
to see her working with the employees, aids, nurses, caretakers,
janitors and others. The quiet little society removed from the
mainstream was another world. In this world there were abilities and
accomplishments of all those answering to her which often had nothing to
do with the working system of the place.
One person, Rosy, could have been just a social misfit. Her dress was
always neat and very clean, but she was definitely different. Her shoes
were quite off beat and would have been worn by a gentleman for a better
appearance. High topped and loose fitting with no shoe strings to lace,
they were, no doubt, the easiest for the woman to wear. One would have
to say they made no fashion statement. But, on the other hand, Rosy was
wonderful with children. She loved babies. Aunty Pud always saw to it
she had an opportunity to be with the children and babies at the
hospital. With this trust given her, Rosy was happy. Her tenderness with
the children made for their security too. What a wonderful world it was
for that little group.
Then, there was Alice. This woman was probably, what would be called
paranoid. She absolutely could not be left alone. If and when she was
the quaking little woman would simply go into a shell of fear, not
moving, or talking. She had a gift too, which Aunty Pud discovered. She
loved to iron. If she had an ironing board and an iron she was intensely
happy, with the wonderful side benefit of providing the loveliest crisp
ironed white shirts and uniforms. She was paid by the piece and she did
quite well for herself since her skill was in demand by the folks who
needed someone to iron uniforms. Somehow, Aunty Pud had discovered the
woman's talent and saw to it she was gainfully employed while being
occupied, enough so that she didn't have time to think of being afraid
while she worked.
Mrs. Duncan worked on the premises as an aide. She was a strong square
built woman who was capable of doing the sometimes heavy work. To look
at Mrs. Duncan one would not have known her father had been a Senator.
Aunty Pud knew, and it was with this respect she treated Mrs. Duncan
even though the woman was not by any means demanding any extra attention
The talent Mrs. Duncan had was somehow
ferreted out by Aunty Pud. It was a rare thing she accomplished. She
made up wonderful recipes. There was one in particular she was
constantly asked to do. It is a sweet Bar B Q. She made it by the quart
and as she had done it for years, she began to charge for making the
wonderful sweet dressing for cooking meat. Because Aunty Pud kept her
busy with new customers she finally gave her the recipe. Aunty Pud gave
it to me and here it is:
First, wash five quart jars, lids and sterilize in boiling water.
1 gallon tomato sauce
½ gallon water
1 ½ cup vinegar
3 cups molasses (Brer Rabbit mild)
1 cup pineapple juice
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seed
4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/4 cup paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
Cook this mixture slowly for one hour on a low flame, watching
continually so as not to scorch.
With a dipper, ladle the mixture into the jars, and seal. As soon as the
lids pop and the jars cool they are ready to go on a shelf. I have
shelves in the kitchen where I put this canned produce which makes a
To use the mixture, one simply has to pour generously over meat, beef or
fowl and bake. It makes a delicious sauce and flavors the meat also.
Since there are no chile peppers in the recipe and it is sweet, my
grandchildren love it.