Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Breaking Up

Ok, I am breaking up with tapioca. We have been together for a long time, this is no small thing. As a squeak I would sometimes spend time at my Granny’s for the summer. Probably mostly driving her crazy, probably mostly about when exactly we were going to do the Making of Tapioca. Because my Gran makes the best damn tapioca around, rich and creamy and seemingly always served with bright orange slices of home canned peaches. I can remember the long-handled spoon we used to stir it as clear as day. And here’s where my memory must have failed me: I in no way remembered that you have to stir this shit for an eternity. Jesus.

Ok, wait, I am getting ahead of myself. I tried to make tapioca about a year ago, and failed miserably by curdling the eggs. Any sane person would have walked it out to the compost right then. But no, I had to let it sit on the stove for a few days, tentatively taking a few bites the first two days (something very Homer Simpson about trying curdled tapioca daily to see if it might have magically uncurdled) and then sort of stoically ignoring the whole pot until one morning my nose informed me in no uncertain terms that the tapioca must be dealt with. I was just so damn heartbroken about wasting the ingredients! All that milk! Eggs! Sugar! Denial! Gah. So I wrote to my Granny and she sent me handwritten instructions and I put them someplace safe and thoughtful and, er… You see.

Anyway, this weekend I decided to give it another shot. Not with my Granny’s careful instructions, what with losing her card and everything, but with some recipe I’d cut out from somewhere because it had a lot of orange zest and orange juice and cream. I honestly really only thought to do this because we’ve been getting this lovely raw milk but sometimes we have a bit too much on hand and it being raw and everything means that it doesn’t last forever so LONG STORY SHORT: in an effort to use up the milk I once again made the worst tapioca ever (no curdling this time, just general The Fucking Tapioca Balls Will Not Cook Through Syndrome). But before it was evident that I was making the worst tapioca ever, there was the stirring. And the stirring. Christ there was stirring. I am 100% sure that it was only because I was generally not permitted to eat sugar as a child that I did not even notice that this magical pudding practically required one to stir one’s own arm off. Goodnight, there is just no need for such stirring – and this from a woman who will whip up chocolate pudding or pot de crème without complaint.

So tapioca, it’s over.

As a total aside, something ate all the tapioca out of the compost. Which, I must confess, at first I found irritating. I mean, at least all those ingredients could add to my compost riches, right?! But then I kept thinking about a bunch of squirrels eating tapioca and I think this is funny enough and probably a very good end to a harrowing adventure. You may now all climb back off the edges of your seats.


rachel said...

One word, okay, two words...
Cozy Shack!

Reminds me of how when I was so very sick, all I wanted was tapioca pudding and grilled cheese and you brought over both!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

hehe, squirel tapioca party.

themanicgardener said...

Well, I can see why you'd call it quits. What'll happen, though, if/when you find that card . . .

I don't remember all that stirring either, but I wouldn't have been doing it. Makes me curious.

The bit about leaving out the pot and tasting, and then leaving it out and not tasting? FOFL. So familiar. At first it's sort of, It can't possibly be as bad as I thought it was, can it? and then it's, If I ignore it long enough, maybe it'll disappear. I hope.

Good thing you've got other puddings.

Heather said...

Rachy, you nut, the Cozy Shack is for Rice Pudding ONLY. Their tapioca is so lame, don't do it!

rachel said...

is that a dare?

queenbeehoney said...

Every single time I have ever bought Cozy Shack rice pudding, I have vowed I will never do it again (why do they put that stuff on sale every other week?). Rach, I can't believe that Heather brought you Cozy Shack AND grilled cheese when you were sick. Good heavens, that combo could total you if you were WELL.

So the problem is the BIG BALLS, which are responsible for most of the problems in the world. You need small balls (the tapioca of my childhood), or, gasp, granulated tapioca. However, it could be genetic, as I have never made an edible batch of tapioca either.

Also, I have read that you're not supposed to put things like eggs, milk and meat in compost or you will soon draw critters that you don't want. Some purists do not even put in grains or egg shells.