Food + Wine

Inside Out and some budino

I often find myself wishing I didn’t care so much.  Wishing I didn’t feel so much.  I care and feel so much it hurts sometimes.  I care about things great and small.  I feel things good and bad.  It’s constant.  My insides creek and moan from all the oscillation.

I care about and feel for you and I don’t even know you.

And sometimes it hurts.

It hurts when someone says something mean or does something cruel.  When I see people act without care or thought, I hurt.  I feel it deep inside.  I can’t shrug it off.  It stays within me for longer than I’d like.

So yeah- I wonder if I should change.  I do wish I could turn off my feelings and not care so much.

Wouldn’t that be grand?  Not caring.  Not letting people get to you.  Not feeling those things that make you hurt on the inside.  The things that make you think about things unpolished, unset.  I look at people who seem to not care about things and find myself envious.  How wonderful must that be- to just float about and not get bogged down with feelings.  What a simple life that would be.  Everything would just be fine, and good, and easy.

And doesn’t that sound lovely.

But here’s the thing about the bad.  It comes with the good.  Life has to have balance.  You have to earn those good moments because you struggled through the bad ones.  They aren’t just given to you for free.

And if they are, something is about to break.

Feeling sadness or anxiety or uneasiness is all part of the ride, because you’re also allowed to feel joy, and pride, and love.  And there is no greater feeling than that of love.  Real, true, intense love.

So at the end of the day I don’t think I want to change. Because I would rather be someone who cares about something, than that person who can’t feel.  The ironic part of it all, is often I’m caring for that very person –

The one who doesn’t know how.

You see, I now know that I care and feel so deeply about so many things because I have so much love inside of me.  And sometimes that love needs a place to escape.  And that escape route is often down a dark path.

For the sake of balance.

So if feeling some sadness is the price I have to pay to have so much love inside of me-

Then I’ll take it.

There is no better way to shake that familiar feeling of uneasiness, the internal worry about things that shouldn’t matter, than spending time with my babies.  I’ll find myself stressing about something and all I have to do is unplug for a minute, look up and see these two shiny, beautiful creatures that give me more love than I could ever wish for.  They love me no matter what I do and sometimes I need them to shake me out of my insides.

So yesterday we spent the day in the yard, playing in the sprinkler, drawing chalk figures on the driveway.  And we laid in the sun and talked, laughed, lived.  Then we came in and created a recipe together, bathing suits still on, until daddy walked in the door and made it even sweeter.

And it was perfect.

C O C O N U T   B R O W N   S U G A R   B U D I N O   

w/   S T R A W B E R R I E S

serves 4

What ta heck is a budino?  It’s an Italian dessert, like a pudding or custard.  It can be thickened with eggs/egg yolks or cornstarch, or both.  I chose to make our version entirely vegan by using coconut milk instead of heavy cream and thickening only with cornstarch.  I tend to go the healthier route when I’m cooking with my kids.  I like them to get lessons on deliciously and deceivingly healthy food whenever possible.

And this recipe is amazing.  The almost syrupy, round sweetness of the coconut really pairs well with the fresh, tart sweetness that the strawberries have.  It’s the perfect simple summer dessert and just a bit healthier than the average pudding 😉

(Note- change out the fruit to make something completely different!  Stone fruit, figs… even candied citrus in the winter would be lovely!)

-RECIPE-

In a medium, dry saucepan (no heat) whisk together the following…

3 TB cornstarch 

1/3 cup light brown sugar

Fat pinch kosher salt

Make sure all lumps are out before you add your liquid.

Slowly start to whisk in the contents of 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk, with the heat on medium. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking in between each addition to prevent the cornstarch from clumping.

Once all the milk has been added, keep whisking until it begins to bubble. It will thicken as it bubbles. Once it comes to a complete boil, it’s as thick as it will get and you’re done.

It should also coat the back of a spoon when it’s ready. This takes about 7 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add in a couple splashes of vanilla extract.

Quickly spoon into your serving dishes before it sets.  I chose to use various short water/whiskey glasses.


Cover with plastic wrap (touching the top of the pudding with the plastic to prevent ‘pudding skin’ from forming).  

Refrigerate for at least an hour until cooled and set. 

Garnish with fresh, chopped strawberries

Top with whipped coconut cream if desired (recipe below).  Or if you’re not dairy phobic, some straight up normal whipped cream!

Eat.  Love.  Repeat. 

XOXO

Whipped Coconut Cream

1 day before you want to make this, place 1 (13.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge.  Unopened, not shaken.  Place your mixing bowl and whisk/beater in the fridge as well.

The next day, remove from the fridge.  Open the can and scoop out the top, hardened white coconut cream, leaving the water/liquid in the can (keep this for something else…smoothie? cocktail? coconut rice?)

Whip using the chilled whisk/beater until fluffy.  It only takes about 30 seconds – 1 minute.

Flavor with a splash of vanilla extract if wanted.  I don’t find it necessary to sweeten it for this recipe but adding some powdered sugar for other purposes is welcomed if desired.

Chill again and serve straight from the fridge.  It softens very quickly as it comes up to room temp.

Either spoon on, or pipe with a piping bag if you’re feelin’ fancy.

Keeps in the fridge, covered for about a week!

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