The challenge: To cook all 115 recipes from the first Thug Kitchen cookbook within 365 days. 8 recipes left and only 6 days to go.
Peachy Almond Tapioca Pudding
The challenge with this fucking recipe was to open my god damn vanilla extract. My arm was still in a sling when I made this a couple of weeks ago, and trying to do everything left handed was a fucking nightmare. I couldn’t unscrew the lid of the bottle of vanilla extract and by the time desperation drove me to use my teeth, I went in a bit too strong. The tiny bottle exploded open and there was vanilla extract EVERYWHERE. The wall, the countertop, my face, my clothes…
Silver linings: the kitchen smelled amazing.
Anyway I’d never heard of tapioca pudding before so I was thrilled when I managed to find tapioca pearls. Turns out they’re tiny little white starchy balls. I left them to soak overnight as instructed.
I drained those little weird looking bastards and set to work, cooking them in the saucepan with the peach-apple juice and motherlessmilk. I used rice this time because it’s my favourite and that’s what I had in the fridge at the time. This might seem a bit blasphemic to you Fanatic Thug Kitchen Followers because technically this changes the recipe from “Peachy Almond Tapioca Pudding” to “Peach-Appley Rice Tapioca Pudding”, which I guess just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But I’m a normal fucking person, in a normal fucking kitchen, with a normal life to lead. If you’re not into that, then move the fuck along.
I warmed up the pudding, stirring constantly. Well semi-constantly. I was one-armed at the time after all, and this was morning and I had coffee that wasn’t going to drink itself. Priorities people, priorities.
Okay, so I know it says in the recipe to use low heat for 8-10 minutes and the tapioca pearls will start to look clear and everything will start to thicken up. Well, everything thickened up, but the pearls never went totally clear. Even after 30 minutes. Eventually 40 minutes from when I started I gave up and decided to throw in the towel on the tapioca transparency – this pudding just wasn’t getting any clearer. Maybe these are the ways of the tapiocas, maybe not, who knows. I was popping my tapioca cherry that day, and you could’ve told me anything and I’d have believed you. “Oh, are all balls that small?” (tapioca balls obviously….ahem.)
This is the transparency it had before it went in the fridge. It had the consistency of goopy gravy. I let it sit in there for about 5 hours before I allowed it out again. I figured this would give it long enough to do some serious soul-searching.
This dessert is sneaky. Maybe it’s all the time it had on its own in the fridge, maybe it gave it time to plot and scheme. After all, the devil is said to make work for idle hands. The Thugs say it might sound like an old lady dessert, but that the old ladies aren’t going to waste ‘their golden years on some bush-league bullshit.’ With a name like peachy almond tapioca pudding I can see what they’re saying. I mean just look at that picture. It’s not exactly screaming is it? And yet…this dessert; it’s very sweet. Once you taste it, you need more. It’s very alluring. It’s the combination of the pudding and the blueberries. It sorta seduces you into eating several bowls without even realising you’re doing it.
So tapioca virgins beware! This pudding is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s the devil in disguise. It makes me think of innocent Little Red Riding Hood thinking she’s just off to spend the afternoon with her grandmother. But as we all know, that’s not how her day plays out. She spends it fighting off a cross-dressing wolf who eventually eats her.* Slowly. Who knows what those two got up to that afternoon before the lumberjack came and discovered them under the bed covers. Maybe he interrupted their fun. Maybe Mr. Wolf was teaching Miss Riding Hood the ways of the tapioca pearl necklace. Who knows?
All I know is don’t trust tapioca pudding.
And that now I only have 8 recipes to go.
* Did I mention he’d already undressed her granny and then eaten her too? What kind of stories are you reading to your kids?!?