“You’d yell at me if I did that.”
So true. My offense this time was to bring home a gallon of whole milk. My husband has been scolded in the past for bringing home 2%. But whole milk? That’s positively decadent–like pouring half-and-half on cereal.
The irony of this situation is that I grew up a product of the Wilson Dairy Company in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Literally. It was the family dairy. And I grew up on Wilson milk. Whole milk. Unlimited quantities of whole milk. I don’t think 2% passed my lips until I was a teenager. By 1970, Wilson Dairy was no more and, with the seven Wilson teenagers in my family still drinking unlimited quantities of milk, I’m guessing my mother cut the fat to save a couple of cents a gallon. (She also cut out the milk delivery which resulted in the milkman–desperate not to lose the business of our large family– bribing her with a case of Cap’n Crunch cereal. We went through a lot of milk eating up that cereal. It did not turn out to be an effective strategy on his part.)
At any rate, 2% became the new norm with 1% appearing by the time my own girls were teens. Skim milk had a short lived run with a Weight Watchers Points Calculator–and protests from the family, including my own dairy-girl conscience. Almond milk even showed up in the fridge when our middle daughter was on her high health kick and not constrained by an actual budget.
Sometimes, however, you just have to have whole milk.
Saturday, I decided to make some of my grandmother’s Cornstarch Pudding. My motivation was my mother, whose tummy was not feeling well. In a weak, pathetic voice, she had said, “I need a mother.” Well, nothing comforts a sad little tummy like Cornstarch Pudding.
The original recipe called for “milk.” For my grandmother, that was, of course, whole milk. By the time I last made it, I was using 1%. Now, this recipe has always made a thin pudding. Whipped egg whites are folded in to fluff it up. But over the years I was finding that the pudding was too thin and I needed much more cornstarch than the original recipe called for.
Saturday, I chose to use whole milk in the pudding. First of all, Mom needed a yummy treat. And secondly, I had a sinister plan to fatten her up. She hasn’t eaten well in a couple of weeks, she’s “hiding” in her cute little sweat suit, and she hasn’t given me a weight report. That says to me that she has lost weight. Whole milk was my plan to keep her from blowing away.
Well, this was the best batch of cornstarch pudding I have made in years. The consistency was perfect. Not thick. Creamy. Oh duh…this cook who has been making turkey gravy for years and knows all about the ratio of fat to flour in a good gravy completely forgot that the same principle applies to puddings.
So, a double batch of pudding used half a gallon of milk. What about the other half? Some went into creamy mashed potatoes. Some will surely soothe me with a bedtime hot cocoa. My morning coffee is going to taste great this week. The rest is for my hubby to chug.
But don’t get any grand ideas, John. Next gallon, we’re back to low-fat. Or you’ll get yelled at.
Here’s the recipe…I recommend using whole milk!
Dooda’s Cornstarch Pudding
- 1 qt. milk, divided
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- vanilla to taste (1 teaspoon)
In double boiler, heat 3 cups of the milk until scalded (steaming hot, but not boiling).
In another bowl, mix 2 egg yolks, beaten. Then add sugar, cornstarch, salt, 1 cup cold milk. Mix well and stir into hot milk. Stir constantly, about 15 minutes, until pudding has thickened. Add vanilla.
Save egg whites for meringue. (When pudding has cooled, whip egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar til stiff. Fold into pudding.)