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.