I enlisted the help of a guest chef for today’s featured cooking. That would be Lola. For the record, Lola is actually a good cook. She has some really good recipes that she can always deliver on including spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant parmesan and on the sweeter side, banana cream pie. I do most of the cooking in our house and that is by choice. I like to cook. But Lola has the skills too and when put to the task, she always comes through. Today I asked her to make some vanilla pudding and she was ready for the challenge.
Today was my first day of work in my new office job, so I knew I wouldn’t be home during the day. I would have had time to make pudding later in the day, but I knew that pudding has to set up for a few hours before it is ready to eat, so as I was walking out the door, I asked Lola if she could make it. Lola was being especially sweet to me this morning too. She knew I had the first day jitters so she did whatever she could to make me feel ok. She made me coffee. She packed a bag of snacks for me. She even hid a special card in the car for me so that I would see it as I was departing giving me that final message of encouragement. It’s nice to be loved like that and to have someone by your side to calm your soul just when you need it the most. Lola also put the pudding worry to rest too and happily accepted my request.
In truth, pudding is about the easiest thing in the world to make, at least the instant variety is. Lola admitted this too when I got home. I didn’t mean to give Lola the easiest thing to make as her first recipe along this quest – it just turned out that way. But I’m glad she had the same reaction to the recipe as I did. I happened to make chocolate pudding a few weeks ago (for National Chocolate Parfait Day) and I was shocked how easy it was. You essentially just add in two cups of milk, whisk it together, then put it in the fridge and you are done. It probably took Lola less than five minutes to make it and clean up. When I came home, I peeked in the fridge and there was a big bowl of vanilla pudding just waiting for us.
I actually got home early today (around 4 pm). Work let me go a little early today because there wasn’t too much I could dive into today without the proper tools, permissions and understanding. All in all it was a pretty good first day. Traffic wasn’t too bad on the way there. The office was nice. I have my own little cubicle and should be set up on my own laptop in the next day or so. People seem nice and friendly. The work seems interesting too. I had those first day moments when there was nothing for me to do so I had to awkwardly sit and wait, but that’s what you do on your first day. Tomorrow will bring actual work, more understanding and more opportunity. I’ll stick with it for another day for sure. Meanwhile, we I got home, because it was such an early time, I had myself a little snack and that snack was fresh made vanilla pudding. I felt like I just came home from school and my mom gave me a pudding cup.
I never much cared for pudding as a youngster – I’d always prefer Jell-O gelatin instead. But as an adult when I learned to appreciate the texture of a good creamy pudding, I started to enjoy them more. When I was growing up, pudding cups were not as easily accessible as they are nowadays. If you were having pudding, it would have been made in the same way Lola made hers today – in a big bowl. I think the generation that came after me had pudding cups ready to go in the fridge and that made them more popular. There was a time when I would buy pudding cups as an adult as a sweet snack to have at the ready and you can’t deny the convenience and good taste of having a pudding cup when you are hungry. I guess I became a later in life pudding fan. Vanilla is actually a pretty good flavor for pudding too. It delivers on that sweetness which when mixed with the cool, creaminess of the custard is spot on. It’s the perfect little treat for after school (or after work as the case may be). Plus it was nice to have it all ready for me in the fridge so I just had to scoop it out and enjoy.
In the end, I think I gave National Vanilla Pudding day the celebration it deserved. I honored it’s ease of making (or rather Lola did) and by just having the box in house and ready to go, it made for a convenient and easy homemade snack. I think that’s how the pudding world wants you to view their special treat: quick, easy and homemade. I also enjoyed it as an afternoon snack which seems to be the perfect time of day to enjoy pudding. In the lull of the afternoon when you are hungry, hankering for something sweet and still a few hours away from dinner. Pudding fills that need in a most delicious way. I enjoyed mine after coming home early from work, but it certainly felt like an after school snack. I should have curled up on our couch with it and watched an After School Special. No matter your age, your situation or the state of your day, pudding makes a great little treat, so that’s what I celebrated today. Plus, I had someone in my kitchen making it for me. I am not sure if pudding is really about making someone feel loved (that would be a bad comparison with the whole former Jell-O spokesman’s current court trial), but today by making a bowl of vanilla pudding, Lola made me feel loved. She always delivers. Thanks puddin’.
Sea Monkey update: Today was the day I was supposed to begin feeding them. So far, I think all is ok. There are little specs in the water that could be actual life (or they could just be debris). I gave them the appropriate amount of food and we’ll see if they take off from here. Why do I feel like this is how Alien Covenant starts?
Next up: National Taffy Day