Some people drink when they’re frustrated, I cook. It was one of those days where everything took me three times as long to get done, if things got done at all. Then after my day job, I misplaced my keys, slipped in the mud while walking the dog, and forgot an appointment at the bank. All minor annoyances I know, but “enough already.” When I’m irritated, I need to cook. The meditative act of kneading bread dough, rolling out a pie crust or stirring a custard shifts my over active yet unproductive brain from seamless to smooth, calm, and content.
I cook what I need at that moment, usually its something delicate and soothing. I have a thing for puddings and custards, nursery food. Exactly the kind of food that my Mother could not stand (I appreciate the irony.) Also, puddings are quick and when I’ve had a stupid and lousy day, being able to make something delicious without messing it up in under ten minutes is a gift to myself.
It was one of those days, therefore, it was a perfect day for Mother’s Vanilla Pudding, submitted to the Favorite Recipes of the Fairview Mennonite Home Cook Book, 1975.
Mother’s Vanilla Pudding
2 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Scald 2 cups milk in the top of a double boiler.
Mix beaten egg, sugar, salt and the cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 cup milk to make a soft paste.
Pour this mixture in to the scalded mixture, stirring constantly.
Stir until thickened.
Remove from heat.
When slightly cooled, add one tsp. vanilla.
Makes 4-5 servings.
Variations: Sliced bananas, oranges or strawberries may be folded into chilled pudding to vary the flavour.