Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pudding is good to make when you're stressed.

I'm a terrible food blogger. You know how I said I was going to make pictures this time when I made that sweet potato ravioli? Well ... I was in a hurry, trying to get it done fast cause we were all hungry (and it isn't something that gets done very fast ... I started the process at 5:30, and we ate at 8 I think.) When I'm stressed about food, taking pictures of it is the last thing on my mind. So I apologize.

So instead of sweet potato ravioli, I'm doing pudding today.

Mark had his wisdom teeth removed (and some other seriously major and expensive dental work) on Wednesday. I've been trying to come up with yummy and creative but cheap ways to make soft but not boring foods. Cha-ching - homemade vanilla pudding! This is Mark's mom's recipe (and probably originally HER mom's recipe) that went in banana pudding that we had several months ago at our last visit to Griffin. I hate bananas, but even I liked this stuff. So I figured that the pudding would be a winner.

Yesterday (when I made it) also happened to be one of the most stressful days I've had in a long time. I was TOTALLY stressed out when I started the pudding. I don't know if any of you have ever made pudding, but it takes time. But not only that - it takes attention. It DEMANDS attention. You have to stir. And stir. And stir. It isn't a difficult thing to make - you just have to stand there the whole time. And stir. And somewhere in all that stirring and standing, I remembered to breathe. I remembered that things have a way of working out. I remembered that I have family that loves me and friends who love me and Mark and I are not alone in this big, sometimes mean world. And I remembered that I have cooking. It is a good hobby to have - it can be cheap, it can take a lot of concentration and take your mind off of other things, and it (almost) always produces good results. And after stirring and stirring and calming down and thinking of all those things, and then sitting and waiting and cuddling with my puppy while the pudding got cold, we got to eat the result. And it was really, really good.

Creamy Vanilla Pudding

1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 c. milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla (I always tend to "spill" the vanilla and add more than the recipe calls for....)

Slightly beat egg yolks in small to med. bowl, set aside.
Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 2-qt. saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over med. heat, stirring constantly, until thickens and boils. (This honestly takes forever.)

Boil and stir for 1 minute.
Stir in at least half of the hot mixture gradually into egg yolks. (Key words: STIR and GRADUALLY, or else you'll have scrambled eggs in your pudding.) Pour back into saucepan with rest of milk/sugar mixture, and blend well. Boil and stir for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla, stir well. (I mean, really. Butter. Vanilla. Milk. Eggs. What could be better than this??)
Pour into dessert bowls, cool slightly, and refrigerate.

(My recipe says it makes 4 servings ... I only got 3 out of it. I guess my serving sizes are too big...)

(Also, you can make butterscotch pudding by substituting 2/3 c. packed brown sugar for granulated sugar, and decreasing the vanilla to 1 tsp. I might not do that last part though...)

I didn't take many pictures of this, either. Sorry, friends. I'll try harder next time I cook...

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