Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Alchemy in the Kitchen.

So it came to me a couple of days ago,   I have not done a blog posting about Tapioca Pudding lately.  I know, I know.   How is that even possible?  I mean,  everyone wants to write and read about Tapioca, right?   Just,  Out of the Blue....Tapioca. 

Milk, egg, tapioca..Bring to boil
When I think back to the last time I enjoyed Tapioca Pudding,  it was at my Dad's.   I went up on a Thursday for a visit, and he had Tapioca pudding. 
Milk thickens, tapioca translucent
Now add nutmeg and vanilla
Now,  that may not sound very strange...unless you knew my father.   Any sweet dessert or pudding dish seemed  WAY out of his realm in the cooking department.   So you can imagine my surprise ( And SHOCK!)  when he offered me this stuff.    AND..( Drum Roll....)     It did not suck!    I should say, it was delicious,  but then  it would make it seem less home made.    Let's just say I ate three bowls of the stuff  and that was NOT because I was trying to be nice.  

20 minute on low heat...transfer
Let cool...or not.
With Mom gone,   Dad must have discovered some left over Tapioca in the cupboard ( Possibly there for years!)  and decided to take a stab at making  it.   And when it turned out,  I was certainly impressed.    So...with that irrelevant background information...I found some Small Pearl Tapioca in one of the many Asian Stores around here...and decided to give it a go.  I mean...If even my Old Man can do it....Why can't I?

Be sure to Quality Control...
Surprisingly ( or not surprisingly)   it is fairly simple.   So simple even dear old Dad could have done it ( and DID!)   2.5 cups of whole milk,   one egg,   some Tapioca ( about 3 Tbsp...or more if you like)  and sugar to taste...( Or more if you like)   Add some vanilla and nutmeg  ( to taste)  And it is done in 10 minutes!   It kind of took the mystique out of Dad's accomplishment.  Like when a magician reveals his secret...  All you are really doing is thickening up the milk and stiring it so the flavors blend.  Easy!

A Better cook?   Is it the Hat?
So...the first batch for me... was bad.   Yep!....I could not do something this simple...A trained monkey with a spoon  ( or an old man with ancient tapioca) could do this...but I,  with two college degrees....failure!   I did not reduce the milk enough the first time.   ( Following the YouTube and recipe tips to the LETTER!   Those Idiots!)  Thanks for making me look bad....
Add Cheryl's Raspberries for Extra Sweetness

 Couple of things to note.   Add egg, tapioca and milk....let stand 5 Minutes!     Second step...Bring to Boil...then REDUCE heat...but do not remove it.  Third tip:   Even though they say it can be removed from heat and is ready in five-10 minutes.   I had the best luck cooking it over low heat for the entire 20 minutes instead of simply allowing it to cool.   Basically, I waited until I visually saw the thickness I desired. 

Are you kidding? 
Ok...I see the resemblance..a little
Doesn't matter! Right?  As long as it's Edible.    I'm the only one who eats it after all.   Cheryl says it reminds her of fish eyes.   Really?   At least be accurate with your comparison.    I would prefer to think of them as Frog Eggs in Crème brûlée sauce.   That sounds WAY more appetizing.  

Created from the cassava root,  Pure starch
If you have never tried Tapioca Pudding....It's good.   Trust me.    Don't let Cheryl and her Phobias of unknown puddings  influence you.   The tapioca becomes translucent and softens to a chewy texture while the milk, egg and nutmeg give the Crème brûlée     ( or custard...but Crème brûlée sounds so much cooler...)  flavor everyone loves.   It's good stuff!   And I will end up eating it all by myself... 

Large Pearl Tapioca
Other than that,  I'm approaching 70,000  words.   The book seems to be wrapping up now as I struggle to continue the 1,000 words a day standard.  I actually wrote almost 2,000 yesterday.     But It averaged out with only 600 today.   Kind of disappointing....Ah well.   At least I find time to blog a little.   

Hope everyone is having a great week so far.    The weather  is threatening to pour on us for the next several days,  but it held off this morning.   Good conditions for running.  And biking!  Because eating an entire batch of Tapioca myself Requires I work a little bit harder. 

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