No Trifling Matter

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“No Trifling Matter,” Ensign, Jan. 1976, 70

No Trifling Matter

Sister Lucy Carr, Relief Society president in the Johannesburg South Africa Stake, is an outstanding example of the Afrikaans sisters described in February’s cultural refinement lesson. Her lineage is Dutch and French, and she grew up speaking Afrikaans at home. Later, in a bilingual school, she also learned English.

For the early part of her life Sister Carr attended the Dutch Reformed Church, to which the largest percentage of Afrikaans people belong. “Through this association and through the religious instruction I received at school, I gained a very sound knowledge of the Bible,” says Sister Carr. “Due to this and the love of an angel mother who taught me at a very tender age that there is a Father in heaven who has a son Jesus Christ, and how to approach them in prayer, I recognized the truthfulness of the gospel when it was presented to me. I have a great love, appreciation, and respect for the Relief Society program. In particular, I have seen the way in which Relief Society has helped not only me, but so many wonderful women with whom I associate.”

Sister Carr shares this recipe for trifle, a traditional South African dessert that emigrated there with the British.


Sliced sponge cake or lady finger biscuits (cookies) sufficient to line glass serving bowl

fruit juice

1 tin (can) condensed milk (13-ounce)

salt to taste (a teaspoon or less)

sugar to taste (2–3 tablespoons)

4 cups boiling water (3 1/2 8-ounce cups)

3 rounded tablespoons custard powder

(also called dessert mix)

vanilla essence (flavoring)

1 egg

1/4 liter (1/2 pint) whipping cream

2 packages gelatin (3 ounces each; may be different flavors)

Line a large glass serving bowl with cake or biscuits, pour fruit juice over it. (If using canned fruit with gelatin, soak the cake in juice from that fruit.)

Combine canned milk, salt, sugar, and hot water in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat. While it is heating, make a thin paste of the custard powder, vanilla, and egg. When the milk is almost boiling, add the custard paste, and stir and cook until the custard is thick and smooth. Cool custard slightly and pour half of it over the cake. Cool.

Prepare one package of gelatin according to directions on the package. When the custard in the bowl has set, pour the gelatin over it. Allow it to set. Pour remainder of custard over the gelatin. Finish it off with the second package of gelatin, also prepared according to directions. Allow it to set. Top with whipped cream and decorate with fruit.

Trifle can be varied in many ways, adding fruits and nuts to the different layers, spreading jam on the cake, and combining flavors. Packaged puddings or custards also work well.