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Monday, August 1, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons...

...you make chocolate tapioca pudding.

Beg pardon?

I was making yogurt last week.  Trying to make yogurt, that is.  Distractions bombarded me from every side.  (I know.  You find that hard to imagine.)

Usually, I set a timer to say, "Hey, You!  Check the milk temp...NOW!" 
No.  No.  For some insane reason, this time I thought I could rely on myself watching the clock.
Whatever was I thinking?  Really.  I do know better than that.

By the time I remembered the milk (after nursing and diapers and trips to the potty and sending W back to bed to finish his nap for the third time), I rushed over in a panic, stirred it up and read the thermometer.  192.  Not good.

It would work.  I could make yogurt with milk that has gotten up to 192.  I think I probably have.  However, I am picky about my yogurt texture and consistency.  Some might even call me snobbish on it, but I'm truly just picky.  Anyway, I have discovered that, if the milk temp is outside of the 170s range (doesn't get that high or goes higher), the texture and consistency are off.  It gets lumpy or runny or any myriad of other things that I just don't like for my yogurt.

So here were my "lemons."  There was no way I was going to dump out half a gallon of milk just because it got too hot, but I really didn't want to choke down a half gallon of yogurt just because I was too cheap to chuck it.  What's a girl to do?

Then I remembered a recent Heavenly Homemakers post -- Creamy Pudding...made into pudding pops.  Oh. My. Gravy.  I had forgotten about those delectable summer treats, and now it was to become my "lemonade." 


Usually, I get out all my ingredients and then put them away as I use them. 
But I was flustered,
...and frustrated,
... and in a hurry.
 Not a good combination.

I poured my milk into the pot, added the cocoa, sugar, salt, egg yolks...and discovered I had no cornstarch.  I had had cornstarch the week before..before Hubby decided it might be a good catalyst for exploding a coffee can.  There's a good explanation for that, but you're just going to have to use your imagination today.

So what do you do when you have no cornstarch?  You do a Google search for substitutions, of course!  I didn't want to use flour.  The taste of raw flour just doesn't fit with the flavor profile of pudding.  Quick cooking tapioca was another option as a thickener. 

I knew that I had two boxes...in our boxes from Texas...in the garage.  By this time, I was determined.  I tore through boxes, sometimes quite literally, as I hadn't taken any type of sharp edge out with me to open the boxes.  Finally, I located my tapioca.  Whew!

With the tapioca thrown in the pot, I whisked,
...and whisked,
...and whisked,
...and whisked some more.
And then I whisked a little bit more.  Just for good measure.

Add in luscious butter and some vanilla, and we were good to go.

After enjoying some pudding as pudding,  I also put some of it in the freezer for pudding pops.  Looking forward to trying that out with my munchkins -- yum, yum!

So the next time life hands you lemons...well, you know what to do!


  1. Anything chocolate always sounds good to me...

  2. Miss you guys! Hope all is well!
    Stacey (More MDO)