Nothing tops off a delicious home cooked meal any better than warm Southern tradition banana pudding for dessert.

2 3-ounce boxes vanilla pudding (not instant)

1 12-ounce box of vanilla wafers

4 - 6 very ripe bananas, sliced

For meringue:

4 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

6 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pudding according to package directions. The key is the layering. In an oblong glass baking dish, put a layer of vanilla wafers on the bottom, then bananas, then pudding; repeat with wafers, bananas, pudding.

For meringue: In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites till frothy, then add cream of tartar, and beat until peaks begin to form. Beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoons at a time until stiff, then add vanilla extract. Spread over the pudding, and bake just until brown, about 15 minutes.

Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Refrigerate uneaten portion. Serves 8-10.

~ Shirley Nicholson, Potpourri Extension and Community Association (ECA)