“What should we have for dessert?” I asked Twin B. His teacher is coming over for dinner tonight, and we were getting ready yesterday afternoon.
“I don’t know,” he said.
I looked in the fridge and saw three baskets of strawberries. “What can we do with these strawberries?”
Then I remembered the pound cake in my freezer downstairs. (Leftover from a 3-pack from Costco’s bakery—delicious and a great deal!)
“Let’s make a trifle!” I said, running down the stairs to get the pound cake. Then I reached into my pantry to grab some vanilla pudding, but couldn’t find any. I checked my overflow pantry in the basement. Nope. I really didn’t want to go to the store, but I also really wanted to make this trifle. I considered going door-to-door, asking neighbors for vanilla pudding when it dawned on me: I can probably just make it.
I googled “homemade vanilla pudding,” and sure enough, dozens of simple recipes popped up.
I quickly gathered the ingredients and got to work. Five minutes later, I was tasting the most amazing vanilla pudding I’ve ever eaten. Seriously. So creamy and delicious, I don’t think I’ll ever buy a little box of pudding again. It was that good, and I swear, so easy to make.
In an age of convenience, I tend to forget that some of the “ready made” products I use are really convenience foods. Truly, I thought of boxed pudding as a “staple” not a “convenience.” But homemade is so much better, less expensive, and uses ingredients I almost always have on hand.
And our trifle? I’m guessing it will be the best we’ve ever had. And I pray Twin B.’s teacher will feel honored and appreciated for all of her hard work last year.
Simple Vanilla Pudding
2/3 cup sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add the milk and egg yolks. Stir it until blended and them cook on medium heat stirring constantly until mixture boils. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it right to the top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
(To make a simple summer trifle, layer pound cake, vanilla pudding, and sliced fruit in a clear bowl. Top with whipped cream, if desired.)