I woke up last Sunday morning feeling great.
Seriously. When I got out of bed, I had a spring in my step and a song in my heart. I did my exercises and stretches and showered and made a huge pot of marinara sauce. I put some semolina bread dough together to rise and cast on for a new afghan. I started feeling a little weary around the middle of the afternoon, but no matter. Dinner was going to be a big pan of baked penne and it was going to be good.
I felt a bit more tired right before I took the casserole out of the oven, but that’s okay. We were going to have a really nice dinner and then I was going to get some writing done. And maybe, just maybe, I was going to stay up really late. Like, 10 o’clock or something crazy.
I ended up falling asleep on the couch at 7 and I was in bed by 9. Pfft.
What happened? What always happens, of course. I did the exact same thing last year when I was recovering from my cancer treatments. I rest up for a bit and then I feel better. Then I do a whole bunch of stuff and wonder why I’m all wiped out for the next couple of days. You know, one step forward, three steps sideways. Or something like that.
This isn’t a great time to be on the DL. I have Things To Do. The spring term starts next week. I have to update my resume so it’s ready to go at the end of the month. I need to figure out what projects I’ll be teaching in my spring crochet classes. It’s not the best time in the world to need a nap.
Then I smack myself upside the head a couple of times to bring myself back to reality. I have the most wonderful guy in the world taking care of me. I’m lucky and fortunate enough to have family and friends who love me and are getting me through all this crap. My health insurance rocks. And despite all of my challenges over the past year, I had a great contract position where I worked with terrific people and took on all kinds of new responsibilities. I went back to school. I have nothing, and I mean nothing, to complain about.
All I have to do is remember is that I have to rest in order to heal well, even though I don’t like doing that very much at all. And to stop bitching so much about it.
My late stepfather loved chocolate pudding, so I made (and ate) a lot of it as a little kid. It was usually My-T-Fine or Royal or some other brand that came in a little box. It was easy to make and it went down a treat. It was even better with a squirt of Reddi Whip on top.
When I moved out on my own I stopped making and eating it for some reason. And it wasn’t until a few years back that I started making it again. At first I tried Ina Garten’s recipe for it and oh, it’s wonderful. I love Ina to bits, but let’s be honest; her recipe is a real PITA. And it’s really rich and fatty. I know, it’s chocolate pudding and what’s the point if it’s not? It’s delicious.
This recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites is fabulous. I’ve made it the way I’ve written it below many, many times. It’s nice and creamy and chocolatey. What’s really great about it is that you can use regular milk or even use a combo of milk and half and half if you want it really silky. I often throw a small handful of chocolate chips at the end just to make it that much better. Ina also suggests putting in a tiny pinch of salt (yes, you read that right) into the pudding to point up the chocolate flavor. And she’s right.
Don’t forget the Reddi Whip.
- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk the powders together well and make sure it’s lump free.
- Add the milk and whisk together to combine well.
- Over a low heat and stirring constantly, bring the pudding mixture up to a low boil. Still stirring, let it bubble away for about 2 minutes or so.
- Take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour into a serving bowl or individual dishes. Serve warm or chill. Don’t forget to eat the pudding that doesn’t make it into the serving bowl.