You may have noticed that I have been making many things tapioca lately. A while ago, I read a recipe for tapioca pudding – the ordinary vanilla and utterly yummy kind, and also the ultimate comfort food - on the always reliable 101 Cookbooks blog. I was itching to make it. Last week Ana came to watch Deanna Durbin movies with me and to help make dinner, (she always helps make whatever we are having) and I decided to give it a go. The recipe gave many dire warnings about not having the heat too high, cooking it slooooooowly so it would not burn and turn disgusting. Ana was working on the garlic (this was to go into our entrée, not the pudding) and I was stirring on the pudding. And stirring, and stirring, and stirring. Finally, the suggested time had long passed, and I felt weak from so much stirring. Ana said I maybe should work on the garlic and she would stir. She told me I was being way too wimpy with the heat, and boldly turned it up! And suddenly there was wonderful tapioca pudding – velvety, vanilla-y, and very, very tasty. I had planned to take a picture and tell you all about it, but a certain little person came home and found it, and felt that she too needed some comfort, and so ate it up. Just like Goldilocks!
I woke up this morning in dire need of comfort, so I made it again, this time being bold and turning the heat up right at the start. It was wonderful!
The pudding requires two egg yolks, so I made some cute little meringues with the leftover whites. Would you like the recipe for the meringues? So easy! Beat the two whites until they are very stiff, sprinkle in one cup of sifted powdered sugar slowly while the beater is still going, and continue to beat for ten minutes. (This is the sort of thing I probably would never do if I didn’t have a Kitchenaid to do all the work.) Add a little flavoring – vanilla, lemon extract, a bit of instant coffee, a sprinkle of cocoa – whatever! With a bigger batch, you can divide it and make several flavors. Then, either spoon blobs onto an oiled cookie sheet, or squirt them out of a …… well, what might it be called? a pastry bag with a biggish star tip. Very impressive and very easy. Actually, they are a little culinary miracle!