Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Five: Puddinhead Edition

I love it when the RevGalBlogPals get their foodie on! This week's Friday Five is all about...pudding.

1)First of all, thumbs up? or thumbs down? Do you like pudding?
Jello Instant Pudding: Thumbs up.
Jello Cooked Pudding: In adulthood, thumbs up; in childhood, thumbs down...the pudding skin, beloved of some children, made me gag.
Canned/institutional pudding: Thumbs way down; nasty stuff.
Tapioca pudding: Thumbs up.
Rice pudding: Thumbs up if it is baked and if it does not contain raisins. (For any readers traveling through Cadillac, Michigan -- Herrmann's Deli and Bakery has the best baked rice pudding in the world -- it's solid enough to cut into squares, yet creates its own pool of creamy golden vanilla-cinnamon goodness as it sits on your plate. And no raisins.
Steamed puddings: Not so much...especially if they contain suet and/or dried fruit.
Indian pudding: Thumbs Up. (For those of you unfamiliar with this -- it's a Colonial-era baked pudding made with cornmeal, milk, eggs, molasses and spices, with a taste akin to pumpkin pie.
Bread Pudding: It depends on the recipe. Again, Herrmann's Deli makes some of the greatest bread pudding around -- it contains bits and pieces of all manner of their sweet baked goods as well as their breads, so with each bite you might be enjoying recycled croissant or muffin or cinnamon roll.
Long-extinct 1960's-era chemically laden packaged puddinglike substances, ranging from Shake-a-Puddin -- you poured water or milk in a cup of powder and literally shook the mess into pudding -- to Whip-n-Chill, to the magical Jello 1-2-3 layered dessert mix: Thumbs up, in memoriam.

2) Instant or cooked? (Does anyone make pudding from scratch?)
See above. Yes, I've made pudding from scratch -- I believe from the recipe in the old Laurel's Kitchen cookbook, back when I was young granola-crunching lass. As I recall it turned out pretty well, although my bemused, un-crunchy mother wondered aloud, "Why would you go through all that Klarrei when you can just buy a box of pudding?"

3) If you had to choose, would you prefer corn pudding or figgy pudding?
Corn pudding, hands (or spoon) down.

4) Have you ever finger painted with pudding? do you ask?

5) Finally, what is the matter with Mary Jane?
Obviously she has been served rice pudding with raisins in it.

Bonus: Share a favorite recipe that includes pudding!
I will share not one but two. I can personally vouch for the yumminess of the tapioca pudding recipe, which is also tasty with chocolate added (amp up the sugar to taste if you add melted unsweetened chocolate). I myself prefer the separated-egg version of the recipe, where you make the actual base of the pudding with the egg yolks, then add the whipped egg whites to the mixture at the end to fluff things up. Now, I have never made the second recipe, kheer, but I enjoyed it many times at the now-defunct Indian restaurant where I used to go with my mom, and later with Fellow Traveler. Yes, there are raisins in the recipe; but they're golden. And the liquid nature of the pudding tends to send them to the bottom of the bowl, so those of us with equivocal feelings toward raisins can leave them there. You can find food-grade rosewater in the Middle Eastern section of large supermarkets or specialty food stores, or in either the food or health/beauty section of food cooperatives. It's a venerable food flavoring in both Eastern and Western cultures; it's what our great+ grannies used to put in cakes and puddings before vanilla became a pantry staple. And you can also do girlie health and beauty stuff with rosewater. Anyway:

Classic Tapioca Pudding



Purple said...

Whoa...I am impressed with your pudding knowledge. Fun play.

Joolie said...

Oh, I am so with you on the raisins. Love your explanation of Mary Jane!

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

No raisins in rice pudding...just pick them out, give them to me. I also love bread pudding if it doesn't have too much egg in it. Homemade vanilla pudding with real vanilla, fold in banana slices, and put into an already baked homemade pie crust. The best!

RevAnne said...

Great and comprehensive play! Thanks for satisfyingmy inner to read this stuff.

Songbird said...

And how I wish I still had my copy of Laurel's Kitchen. (Also Diet for a Small Planet. I guess I moved too many times.)

Beth said...

Also recommended: angel food cake with lemon pudding (istant) instead of frosting.

Shawna Renee said...

You are the RevGals pudding expert! Great play.

Verdugo said...

So happy to have someone who understands the utter evil that is raisins. I once spent an eternity (or 3 yrs) living in the Dreaded Raisin Capitol of the World-- where they put raisins in everything. It was horrid-- perfectly good muffins and cookies and salads, and yes, puddings, utterly destroyed by the ravages or raisinology. (shudders)

And PS, no-- picking them out will not do. They leave the residue of their noxious selves behind.

Processing Counselor said...

What a great FF. Thanks especially for the the recipe for kheer. I love all kinds of Indian puddings!