Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chocolate Pudding Limbo

A disjointed, little chocolate pudding narrative that I had been writing got me to realize that I am in dire need of a worthy accomplishment.

Here's what I mean:

Finding myself craving chocolate pudding about a week ago, I decided I would accept no imitation, store bought pudding wasn't going to cut it, and so I ran out to the convenience store across the street for some Jell-O instant pudding mix which I then made with soy milk. I ended up with cold, chocolate goo. It tasted awful and in the trash it went. Very sad.

A week later, still on the pudding kick, I found a box of organic pudding mix and had high aspirations that this just had to be better than the icky Jell-O. Well, it wasn't. The result was more pudding-like, less like goo, but it never got that skin on the top and it kinda tasted like carob, like healthy pudding. I ate it. All of it. Albeit begrudgingly.

Then after a few mediocre pudding cup experiences, I decided that if this whole pudding thing was going to be put to rest, then goddamnit I was going to have to make it from scratch. I flipped through my much beloved copy of "The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook," the first cookbook I bought when I started cooking. If you don't know about it, it's pretty fantastic. It's from 1975 and was a cookbook that came out of a commune in upstate New York. It's not too culty, but actually just a little, and complete with grainy black and white photos of hippies picking cabbage and stirring huge vats of tofu curds and whey.

Regardless, the recipes are incredibly easy, simple and delicious. The pudding did not fail to impress, in fact is was great and pudding-like, not like cold goo, and even had that skin on top. At last...

And with that, I ended the Chocolate Pudding Narrative and thought to myself, "Umm, so what?" I couldn't figure out the point of the story.

I think I could probably have created an analogy here that relates dating to making pudding; you might have unsatisfying attempts before you find the right combination. But I think the moral is a little more straight-forward than that. I was absolutely beaming after I tasted this pudding and considered it an accomplishment and it made me realize that what I've really been craving, besides pudding, is a true accomplishment, not pudding-related.

At this point, I'm feeling slightly like I'm in limbo. The breakup is over, its been nearly a year, and although I've blogged about closure and letting go recently and how that's been difficult to come to terms with, I've been feeling more and more confident that I am letting go and that I'm very close to getting past this.

So that leaves me feeling like, well... now what? I spent a whole year blogging about a breakup, getting through it and starting over, and for a long time I felt like it was the only focus in my life. But now, it's over and that feels a little strange. I'm somewhere in the middle of being in it and getting over it. I bounce from place to place and in the middle I'm finding that I'm not really accomplishing much.

I have a great job which I don't totally love, but it pays the bills and leaves me the time to do things like travel and is flexible enough to allow me to cultivate a wide range of obsessions and make ridiculous amounts of chocolate pudding for one person. But I'm not really moving on at the speed I'd hoped to move.

I wanted to move out of Chicago last year and pursue a job in the field I went to school in, but the rebuilding of my life sucked up a lot of my time and energy and now that my life is well underway, it's time for the next thing. It's time for a change, it's time for some new accomplishments, and going forward means that my future accomplishments really can't continue to be pudding-related.

Dear Followers, if you are feeling a pudding craving coming on, try out New Farm's, its delish. And by the way, I'm a big fan of celebrating accomplishments, no matter how small or pudding-related, because even if they are small, I bet that each little one is going to get you closer to something bigger. Or at least that's how I like to see it.

New Farm Vegetarian Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Mix together:
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cornstarch

Then add 3 cups soymilk, mixing constantly. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat, still whipping constantly until the mixture thickens, then lower the heat and cover. Let boil gently for 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and whip in:
3 Tbsp. soy margarine (I use Earth Balance, it's the best.)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pour into individual dishes and cool in the refrigerator.


  1. Soymilk? Soymilk?!?

    No. That's not pudding. That's... pudding lite. That's Pop Warner to the NFL. It's Oasis to the Beatles.

    Perhaps your new accomplishments will involve a new venue... like Seattle. The weather is more pleasant than Chicago, and there's somebody here who has learned how to make the most chocolatey pudding you've ever dreamed of....


  2. Yes, soymilk! Its delicious. You know whats even better? Rice milk. I definitely think I need a new town. I'm working on figuring out where that might be. Never been to Seattle. I hear it never rains.



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