Monday, March 29, 2010

Floating Islands

Oh, I can't believe it's been over a week since I last wrote. I had the worst cold ever, but thanks to Cold-Eeze, I'm on the mend. On the first day my nose and eyes dripped like leaky faucets. Of course, I had to take care of the princess and my little prince (my grandchildren) anyway. The princess, almost three, told me her eyes were black. I told her they were actually dark brown with a little green in them. She was playing with stack cubes and responded, "Grandma, your eyes are red and crooked like this," as she demonstrated with two red cubes, one slightly tilted. Now, not only did my eyes hurt, but so did my ego. One thing you must know, children tell it like it is.

Comfort food is something you need when you're sick, not just medicine. I really didn't have much of an appetite, but memories of "Floating Islands" made me think I'd feel better if I could only have some warm nourishing pudding from the oven. Now check this out and see if this makes you feel better even if you aren't sick. It's the ultimate comfort food.

Floating Islands

In a medium heavy saucepan mix:
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
Gradually add: 3 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir and cook at medium heat until thick, and continue cooking for about two more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Now separate 4 room-temperature eggs. Put the whites in a large bowl and set aside. Next put the yolks into a small bowl and whip until it is smooth. Then gradually add 1 cup of the warm milk mixture to the yolks. Return the yolk mixture to the saucepan and move the pan to medium heat. Stir and continue to cook until it begins to boil. Cook for about two minutes and remove from the burner. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 teaspoon vanilla. Pour the pudding into a medium size shallow baking dish. Cover the pudding with a lid or plastic wrap while you are making the meringue.

Whip or beat with a mixer: 4 egg whites with 1/4 teaspoon salt until the meringue forms soft peaks. Gradually add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and Drop by heaping tablespoons on top of the pudding. Set oven to broil, and place baking dish a few inches from the heat source. Watch it carefully until it is light brown! My first time to use the broiler ended up with burned food. Don't let that happen to you. Remove this delectable nutritious dessert and eat it warm or cold. What a comfort!

Hint: You can substitute pudding mix that must be cooked.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Porridge for the Three Bears Plus One

This is the first entry to my blog. Yeah, me!

This morning my daughter called and asked if she and the kids could come to breakfast. Of course the answer was, yes. Grandpa hadn't gotten to see the grand kids yesterday so Grand Papa Bear was looking forward to it. I looked in the refrigerator and discovered there weren't any eggs. I never let a little thing like an 'egg' get in the way, so my imagination sprung into action. Cheerios, or granola wouldn't do--not for the princess. Princess Lana is a precious, picky, imaginative child of almost three and I knew she would expect something more. I (Grandma Bear) set out three bowls of varying sizes plus one. I took out the pot and the Irish steel cut oatmeal, aka porridge. Following the package directions I made enough for all contenders in about 30 minutes. None of that instant stuff for my baby bear. I placed several cups with toppings on the table--blueberries, raisins, brown sugar, butter, honey, and cinnamon. I made a smoothie of frozen bananas, frozen mixed berries, orange juice, and milk. When the princess (today baby bear) arrived she was impressed with the porridge and so were Mama Bear and Grandpa bear. Of course she had to add some rainbow sprinkles, honey, and butter. She didn't want any fruit, but (tee, hee!) she had a large smoothie. Now you are thinking Grandma Bear.