It’s hard being a senior. After all the colleges are applied to: then what? After you get your FAFSA back, and it tells you that you’re expected to pay about 5,000 dollars more than you can, what do you do?
More importantly, how do you get scholarships when you’re just a middle class white girl with married parents who just wants to be an English major? Because believe it or not, in a book with over 1,000 pages of scholarships listed there are only four for English majors, and only one that is open to people who aren’t black or Latina.
It is, of course, the Jane Austen Foundation scholarship. For $500 that can be used to go to a Jane Austen conference. I think I’ll just go to Paris.
There are so many reasons for Paris: I’m not being especially clever these days, and when I get home all I want to do is read, not cook. Besides, I just finished my dress for the fashion show. Now I get to start working on three more dresses, and two suits. I would call this nervewracking, but holy senioritis, I just can’t quite care.
And that’s sort of how I feel about everything. Clean my room? Meh. I’ll just do it halfway and then forget about it. Do my homework? Well… I could if I really wanted to. Update? Why bother… I’m too lazy. So I made pudding. Pudding is like real dessert, only easier. And pudding, above all else, is my absolute favorite comfort food.
Unfortunately, when I set out to make chocolate pudding, I realized that I had used all of my cocoa powder the last time I made brownie pudding (actually, quite possibly, the best food in the world) and so I had to find a recipe that had no cocoa powder. Luckily, we had enough of our Trader Joe’s chocolate bar (you guys, it’s not just a pound, it’s a pound plus!) left to make this.
The night I was waiting to hear back from the school that I so desperately wanted to go to, I had a milkshake, and I made pudding. And while that pudding was cooling, while “You Belong with Me” was playing on my iPod, I checked my email and got the most chill acceptance letter ever. But that’s okay, I was excited enough to make up for the fact that the admission office “liked my application.” Besides, there was confetti in the letter, even though I got it a week later… But while I was freaking out about that email, and washing my dishes, I was also eating pudding.
I was eating warm pudding, because it was so delicious I couldn’t even wait for it to cool down. And nothing (other than an acceptance letter filled with a huge financial aid package–actually, I’m just guessing about that, I definitely wouldn’t know from personal experience) will make you feel as good, as fast, as pudding. I’ll ignore the fact that I still have all the problems I mentioned above, but when I am eating this pudding I am thinking of no problems except one: I might get fat from all this pudding.
This pudding is especially good with strawberries.
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk (I used skim milk and butter for the extra fat. It made it separate at first)
6 ounces 62% semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used chunks of a Trader Joe’s Pound Plus chocolate bar, because that was, I’m not kidding, the only chocolate in our house. The point is, I may have used more like 6.6 or 7.2 ounces of chocolate. But that that I say bah.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate extract if you want it (I always do)
1. Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer (or don’t–because if there is a lump in your pudding, it is a lump of chocolate, and it is delicious) into a serving bowl or into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour into individual serving dishes.
3. If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish(es) before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days (ahem, good luck with that).