Saturday, June 30, 2012

100-yard pudding (almost)


You've heard of the 100-mile diet where people eat only things that were grown within 100 miles. Well, I make a 100-yard ice cream that contains only ingredients that were made from within 100 yards of our kitchen -- goat milk, eggs, and maple syrup. That's it! And I decided recently to try to do something similar with pudding. And I got close! In addition to those three ingredients, it also has a bit of salt and some organic cornstarch for thickening. I buy organic cornstarch because about 90% of the corn grown in this country is GMO, which means it is in everything that has corn (cornstarch, corn syrup, corn oil, etc) on the ingredient list. So the only way to avoid GMO corn is to buy organic.

Homemade pudding is so yummy, and it only takes about ten to fifteen minutes to make. Put these ingredients into a blender:

4 cups milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 eggs
dash of salt

Blend for about 15 to 30 seconds on low until everything looks well blended. Pour the ingredients into a medium pot on medium heat and stir with a whisk until it starts to bubble around the edges and thicken. Keep stirring for about another 30 seconds to be sure it really is bubbling and thickening, and then turn off the heat. Pour into individual serving dishes. Grab a spoon and scrape the pan clean, eating what you scrape off. :) I love warm pudding! But most people like it chilled, so put the dishes in the frig to chill for a few hours before devouring.

I realize that not everyone has maple trees in their yard for boiling down their own syrup, so you can substitute an equal amount of honey or 2/3 cup sugar if you don't have maple syrup. And add 2 teaspoons of vanilla after the mixture comes to a boil. The maple syrup acts as both a sweetener and a flavor, but don't expect the overpowering flavor of things that have been artificially flavored and called "maple" because real maple syrup has a more subtle flavor than the fake stuff.

You really do need to use the blender rather than just whisking everything together in the pot because eggs have this little piece of white thingy on the yolk that will not break up if you don't use a blender. So, someone will wind up with this tough little thing in a bite of their pudding, and it's rather unnerving to feel something in your mouth when you're expecting the smooth sweetness of pudding. You especially don't want your guests to wonder what foreign object is in their pudding!

Most recipes call for only egg yolk, and you can use 4 egg yolks in this recipe if you have plans for 4 egg whites. I started using whole eggs because I got tired of finding two-week-old egg whites in the frig and tossing them. So I put them in the pudding now, and it adds a little extra protein. It also makes the pudding thicker!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's still me!

You may have noticed the title of the blog has changed from homegrown & handmade to The Thrifty Homesteader. There is one simple reason for that -- my second book, EcoThrifty, is coming out this fall, and I really, really do not want another blog in my life, so I tried to come up with a name that would encompass the ideas in both books.

I really love blogging, but I love staying in touch with my readers, and it's been killing me to know that I have not been blogging on here regularly. Add another blog to the picture, and I'd be MIA far too often. I've had my blog at Antiquity Oaks since 2006, writing about our homesteading adventures, which I still want to do. And I've started a writers blog, which isn't exactly the best thing I've ever written, but I really want to write about writing and hopefully help a few other writers along the way. Besides, I doubt the majority of people reading either this blog or my farm blog would be interested in the writing life.

I do think that readers of this blog will enjoy the EcoThrifty topics I'll start writing about in September when the book is released. Homesteading is, by definition, ecothrifty. The book includes recipes that will save you lots of time and money, as well as original tips on making your own cleaning supplies, skin care products, and more.

Now that I've read the electronic galley of EcoThrifty and submitted corrections, my role in the process is winding down. That means I'll have more time for blogging! yay!

And I have to thank all my Facebook friends for helping me through the complicated process of trying to come up with a new name for the website. It was really tough! Thanks for not letting me go with one of those "green" names, and many thanks to Shel Gooch for coming up with The Thrifty Homesteader!

Over the next few weeks, I'm looking forward to sharing recipes and more homesteading how-to posts before life again gets crazy in September with my husband going back to teaching and EcoThrifty being published.
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