Grace's Mosaic Moments

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Diving, Recipes & Face Shields

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.

Tapioca Pudding

1 egg
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.


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.

~ * ~
a Regency Gothic

For Blair's website, click here.
For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.

For a link to Blair's Facebook Author Page, click here.

Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (aka Blair Bancroft)


  1. Even though I think I make very good fruit pies without tapioca, I consider your tapioca story to be an example of a Great American Problem. Either (1) our predilection for lawsuits is destroying our quality of life, or (2) we have a dangerously unsafe food chain. Me? I lean toward the first.

    I've never given in to the fear of raw eggs. My only concession is that I rarely buy the cheapest eggs, and then only if I know I'm going to cook them. I like to think that buying eggs from smaller farms makes a difference in more ways than one.

    I grew up licking cake batter bowls and eating raw cookie dough. So did my kids. So are my grandkids. But then, we always lived dangerously, enjoying such risky activities as walking to school, playing unsupervised in our yards (and all over the neighborhood) and carrying jackknives.

    During this pandemic, I was for a while forced to buy something other than my favorite King Arthur flour, and was appalled to see a warning on the package that one must never eat raw flour. I mean, I at least understand about eggs. I've always been fanatical about cleaning after cutting chicken, and making sure my chicken is thoroughly cooked. But FLOUR? Then, horror of horrors, I found the same warning on the King Arthur package.

    Come on, folks. If our food is being so polluted in the supply chain, the problem is not with the food but with the chain. Yet consumers are meekly giving in.

    Maybe loss of the pleasure of eating raw cookie dough doesn't bother you, but there have been greater losses. Now that they are all pasteurized, milk, citrus juice, and apple cider are almost unrecognizable as what they used to be.

    Maybe you don't even think this is important. But I'm more and more convinced that the loss of FLAVOR in American diets is a direct cause of our obesity epidemic, and no one makes light of that.

    (Guess I should have written my own post. Tim's right: I can't do anything short.)

    1. Flour? I had no idea. And I always let the grandchildren lick the bowl back in our cookie-making days! A rite of passage. (I'm not good at short either - can't write a short story for the life of me.)