My mother, Lillie Ernestine Tittsworth Grimm, was born in Scott County, Virginia, in a house built by the railroad on the North Fork of the Holston River. She lived there nearly 15 years with her family before moving to a 100-acre farm in West Carters Valley, Tennessee.
When Mom and her family would celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, “Tittsworth’s Boiled Custard” would always be served, along with a favorite cake. The first Thanksgiving after our mom died, I told my sister she would have to carry on the tradition. It took her a little practice, but the custard tasted just like Mom’s.
In 1949, my mom won an award in Winchester, Virginia, for making the custard before a panel of judges. She would have been about 16 years old.
14 cups whole milk
28 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons vanilla
Mix milk, eggs, and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Place the pan over water (a double boiler). Heat the mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon over medium to medium high heat until mixture becomes velvety and coats the back of a metal spoon (30 to 45 minutes). Strain into a gallon pitcher. Add vanilla. Stir well. Pour into a clean milk jug and refrigerate. Custard will thicken as it cools.