Sunday, January 14, 2007

Puddles and Pudding

No sooner had I gone to bed last night than my phone rang. On the other end, a friend was reading my last blog entry and scoffing at my suggestion that she toss out the pudding cups in her fridge and make her own. "No, really," I insisted. "It's easy... and a hundred times better than whatever you have in there now."

"Prove it," she said.

I was going to email her the recipe, but thought maybe I should post it instead, just in case you're a skeptic, too.


(This recipe is a variation of one my Grandmother taught me. I use cream and milk because I like the richness, but she skips the cream and just uses 1 1/2 c. milk. The important thing is use quality ingredients; if you use skim milk and margarine and imitation vanilla, you won't like the results. Promise.)

1/2 c. sugar
2 T. flour
pinch salt
1 c. cream
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1 T. butter
1 t. vanilla (or 1/2 vanilla whole bean, seeded)

Stir together sugar and flour in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add cold cream and milk and whisk carefully to combine. Heat pudding over medium heat and stir frequently until it boils. Once it boils, stir for one minute. Next crack your egg into a cereal bowl. Ladle a bit of the hot pudding mixture into the bowl with the egg. Stir fast until it is well incorporated. (This keeps the egg from scrambling in your pudding.) Now scrape your bowl of egg and pudding mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat as soon as it gets bubbly.
Stir in butter and vanilla.

You're done! Wasn't that simple? You can now ladle your homemade pudding into cups and refrigerate, or if you have a soar throat like I do, dish it up, add some pretty fruit (or shaved chocolate) on top, and eat it warm from the pan. Do this once and you'll never buy pudding cups again.

You know, I think there are days made for pudding. Days like today, in fact. This recipe was made simple all-the-more by the fact that it hasn't stopped raining here in days and days. There are puddles everywhere. In fact, NOAA lists the forecast for Freeman House like this:

Yikes! I refuse to get out. Good thing I have clean socks and a huge stack of books to snuggle in with. Hmmm. Where should I start?
Speaking of books, just this week my friend Lacy asked me about the status of the library at Freeman House. Turns out, just this week the sheetrockers left. As it went, the plaster that I had so carefully applied and painted wasn't holding up to the home's moisture/settling issues, so the whole room... for the first time... got fresh new sheetrock walls. It's ready to finish again, but I've been in no hurry to start. To give you an idea of why, well, that fireplace... um... it's almost as tall as I am. (The scaffolding is taller than I am!) The room is huge.

Gosh. What am I doing sitting here? Better hurry off. So much to do, so little initiative. Sort of like so many puddles, and so little pudding.


Anonymous said...

Finally, here I am :-) Your blog is lovely. I especially love the way you made pudding in your beautiful chine. I'll adapt that!

Anonymous said...

My, what TALL ceilings you have!

Anonymous said...

Please tell me you arent painting that yourself! Thats why God made painters, my dear! - a