Monday, February 18, 2013

Childhood Memories

I have a fondness for sense memories that involve food.  As I strolled through the market doing my grocery shopping yesterday I had a sudden craving for tapioca pudding. This creamy snack reminds me of afternoons at my Grandma's house. It's a total comfort food. I had to get some. I like the combination of creamy custard and the little snap of the tapioca pearls (I know people hate this for the same reason!).  I wandered to the Jell-O aisle (have you been there?! It's CRAZY!) and bought a box of Island Brand small tapioca pearls.  

I decided to put my own spin on the flavor by adding some warm spices.

Here are the directions according to the package.    

1/2 cup Tapioca
3 cups Milk
2 Eggs
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla. 

Combine Tapioca, milk and salt in a 1 1/2 quart pan. Stir until boiling. Simmer 5 minutes, uncovered, over lowest possible heat, add sugar gradually. Beat eggs, mix in some of the hot Tapioca mixture very slowly to equalize the temperature of the two mixtures (to avoid curdling). Return all to pan. Bring to a boil, stir 3 minutes more over lowest possible heat (or longer to achieve pudding consistency). Stir constantly. Cool 15 minutes then add vanilla. Serve warm or chilled.

Instead of adding the vanilla after the pudding cooled, I added in the final stirring/cooking stage.  I also added: 1 tsp each of cinnamon, cardamom, freshly grated nutmeg.  topped each serving with a few chopped almonds

I let the pudding sit and cool a little to firm up.  But, I like to eat it warm.  It's almost a good substitute for ice cream in the winter!  

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