I suppose pudding is the ideal treat for a Monday. It’s simple. It’s sweet. It’s easy. That’s what you need on a Monday, or at least I do. I was having a particularly rough case of the Mondays today, so I am glad the holiday gods made it easy for me. Not that my day was so taxing, it just wasn’t a day that was particularly fun. It started with traffic. It moved into a day of work that dragged along followed by more traffic home. It was bills in the mail. It was politics. It was healthcare. It was leaky ceilings. It was a little bit of everything. It just made me feel not very celebratory. That made chocolate pudding a mixed blessing.
I had purchased the pudding on Sunday looking ahead to today. I was going to make my own but after looking at the label on a box of Jell-O chocolate instant pudding, I realized how simple it is to make. You just add milk. I didn’t think that had much of a wow factor. I wasn’t going to impress anyone with my pudding, so I decided to go pudding cups which are actually a classic way to enjoy pudding. I went with Kozy Shack brand. That’s a brand based out of New York. I knew of this brand because they make a really good rice pudding (at least one my Mom and Dad liked), so I would see the tub in my fridge at home growing up. Naturally because people from the Greatest Generation never throw out a perfectly good container, I would see the tub reused throughout the years for other things. I was never a rice pudding fan, but sometimes if you peeked inside you would find other things that more tickled my fancy. I do remember someone saying that Kozy Shack was the best and that random bit of information stuck in my mind. That’s why I grabbed their chocolate pudding cups today.
I was not part of the pudding cup generation. That came just after me. The pudding cups that we had growing up were metal and you would have to pull off the lid by grabbing the loop on top of the can. I was never a pudding guy so it wasn’t a treat I ever messed around with, but when I saw someone eating one, I’d naturally be intrigued. But I don’t think they became standard lunchbox fare until the new generation of pudding cups came around. I think they upped their quality and their advertising dollars because that’s when pudding cups became a school kid staple. They even angled themselves as the healthy snack and adults were even reaching for a pudding cup for instant energy. But like I said, I missed that chapter.
I was going to have a pudding cup as my after-work snack as a small tribute to the emergence of the pudding cup as the after school snack of choice, but when I got home it was late and I was still suffering from the Mondays. We actually had ours at night as our evening dessert. I grabbed two cups from the fridge, a couple of spoons and we were ready to indulge. That’s the simple and easy pleasure of a pudding cup.
When Lola picked up hers, she kind of turned up her nose at the Kozy Shack brand. She wondered if the store was out of Jell-O brand. She thought I went bargain bin shopping. I tried my best to argue the merits of Kozy Shack saying they are regarded as one of the best. She had doubts. She had not heard of them. I tried to convince her that her mom used to buy it, and she categorically denied that her mom had anything to do with Kozy Shack. All that could save me now was the taste test, so after she peeled off the lid and licked the remnants off of it, she scooped out her first bite. A slow smile came to her face. It passed the Lola quality test. I kind of knew it would. It’s got good chocolate flavor and the texture is perfect. It’s everything you want in a pudding and it’s all contained within a neat little cup that’s easily disposed of. She was happy with her pudding snack and so was I.
This all led us into a pudding discussion and Lola told me that there was a time that she used to love pudding cups. I assume this is where she acquired her preference for Jell-O brand. She is also a diehard fan of Jell-O Pudding Pops which unfortunately are no longer in production – a fact she has lamented for years. Lola feasting on pudding cups was an image that didn’t fit into what I knew of her youth. Her parents weren’t ones to have a lot of sugary snacks around. I also didn’t picture her packing a lunch with pudding cups tucked inside. Lola wasn’t too clear on this either and the best we could surmise was that her mom would have pudding cups around for quick snacks, especially when they were being touted as a good snack. Lola recalled having a collection of spoons either in her backpack or desk or locker. That seemed like Lola. Grabbing a pudding cup and a spoon for a quick snack on the go, and then stashing the spoon in her bag to bring it home. Her bags and purses have shown me insight into her mild hoarder tendencies, but that’s one of the million reasons why I love her. I learned a little but more about her today.
A case of the Mondays is never a very cheery thing and today Monday came at me like a charging moose. Somedays just knock you down. That will happen. You just have to pick yourself up, wipe off the dust and stand your ground. Oddly enough, having a little pudding at the end of the day made today a little brighter. Just a pinch of sweetness to help me take a deep breath and ready for the next day. Going to bed helps too and I think we were in bed by 9:30. Still, don’t overlook the joy of chocolate pudding. It gave me the sweet relief I wanted. It helped me learn a little bit more about the one I love and it gave us a smile in a day that was working fairly hard at trying to prevent any smiles from coming. These days will happen and when they do, that’s when it is becomes even more important to look around and celebrate what you have. Today that was pudding and that was good enough for me.
Next up: National Orange Blossom Day