|About to dive 27' down in the Gulf of Mexico|
|She did it! Found a big shark's tooth on the first try.|
And a remarkable amount of other stuff. Guess the diving lessons were worth it.
|On the way to Suwanee|
Off on mini vacation plus work trip - fixing up the Suwanee house for sale
(To think, Kylo was a little pup just 7 months ago.)
I suspect many of us have taken refuge in "comfort foods," old favorites we might have turned our backs on in the rush toward the Mediterranean, Keto, and other "healthy choices" of the moment. In my case, I developed a yen for Tapioca. No, not that stuff they sell in the dairy department but made-from-scratch Tapioca Pudding, which can be a real treat.
But what did I discover? Oh no! Kraft was no longer making the Minute Tapioca I had known all my life. After considerable thought - and being shocked by the prices placed on the last boxes on Amazon - I decided that perhaps it was the classic recipe for Fluffy Tapioca that caused the Kraft Tapioca demise. For their Fluffy Tapioca recipe contains egg white meringue (uncooked), and Kraft likely had a whole host of lawyers advising against putting out a product that used raw egg white. Thus putting paid to one of the great taste treats of the world. Sigh.
So I saved my last empty box and typed up both the "Tapioca Pudding" and the "Fluffy Tapioca Cream" recipes, and saved them to my Recipes file. I also recorded for posterity Kraft's classic Fruit Pie recipes, for how can you possibly make a good fruit pie with tapioca???
And then I was faced with What Next? I turned up my nose at the alleged tapioca granules now offered by Publix. (I mean, they were in a plastic bag!) After searching Amazon, I ordered a 5-pack (at least the tapioca was in proper cardboard). Giving the new supplier the benefit of the doubt, I followed the instructions to the letter. The tapioca had the texture of rubber, and tasted only slightly better.
So it was back to the Kraft recipes I had so carefully saved. I had always used the Fluffy Tapioca recipe, but this time - for a better comparison to the "rubber" recipe - I made the simpler recipe - plain old "Tapioca Pudding." And guess what, the new tapioca was suddenly palatable. More than palatable, it was maybe 75-80% as good as Fluffy Tapioca. Thank goodness! I was not to be deprived of my tapioca fix. (And in Kraft's "Tapioca Pudding" recipe, both egg yolk and egg white are cooked.)
Frankly, fear of Salmonella aside, when I have time to get out the electric beater and turn egg white into meringue, the Fluffy Tapioca is by far the tastiest recipe. It can compete with ice cream any day. I make sure I buy high quality eggs and have never had a problem.
Below are all three recipes from the now defunct Kraft Minute Tapioca Pudding box: Regular, Fluffy, and Fruit Pie.
2-3/4 cups milk*
1/3 cup sugar
3 TBsp Minute tapioca
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk egg & milk in medium saucepan until blended. Stir in sugar & tapioca. Let stand 5 minutes.
Bring to full boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred), on medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
Cool 20 min. Stir. Serve warm or cold. Keep refrigerated. Makes 6 ½-cup servings.
*It's okay to use Lactaid.
Fluffy Tapioca Pudding
1 egg, separated
6 TBsp sugar, divided**
3 TBsp Minute tapioca
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
Mix tapioca, milk, egg yolk & 3 TBspn sugar in medium sauce. Let stand 5 minutes.
Beat egg white on high speed in small bowl until foamy. Gradually add 3 TBsp sugar ** continue beating until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Bring tapioca mix to full boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add egg white mix; stir until blended. Stir in vanilla.
Cool 20 min. Stir. Serve warm or cold. Keep refrigerated. Makes 6 servings.
**I reduce the sugar to 2 tablespoons in the tapioca mix, two in the egg white.
Grace note: Taste can be varied by using ½ tsp. almond (or other) flavoring. By swirling jam or chocolate sauce into the still-warm tapioca. Or simply be creative.
Tapioca is an essential ingredient in any fruit pie, as it helps absorb the berry juices and keeps the pie from being a soggy mess. Below are the suggestions from the Kraft Tapioca box, but they are adaptable to any variety of fruit.
6 cups sliced apples, 2 TBspns tapioca, 3/4 cup sugar. Flavor with ½ tspn ground cinnamon &/or ground nutmeg
4 cups blueberries, ¼ cup tapioca, 1 cup sugar. Flavor with 1 TBspn lemon juice, 1/8 tspn cinnamon
Grace note: You can also use frozen berries. Just be sure they are well thawed & drained.
IMPORTANT ADDENDUM - FACE SHIELDS
Although I've made somewhere around 250 masks over the last few months, I find it difficult to wear one. (I do, of course, but I suffer.) Therefore, I was delighted to see an ad on Facebook for an inexpensive Face Shield. Even for a package of 5, the cost is reasonable (because the product attaches to a ball cap). So I'm recommending InstaShield, a product out of Missouri. For more information, click here.
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Coming Soon: THE VICAR'S DAUGHTER,
a Regency Gothic