I just love that there live Thee-a-ter.
This past weekend CrabCake2 was involved in his high school's production of Fiddler on The Roof. CC2 was one of the pit musicians and played the Reed 1/Flute 1 position; a spot filled with numerous solos.
The "pit" is often overlooked in these productions even though the musicians and musical director put in hours and hours of work. They are there for the entirety of the final week of rehearsals. For CrabCake2 this meant 3 to 5 hours a day of playing and rehearsing after school.
The results were sensational. Fiddler is a classic play filled with funny jokes, dancing, touching moments and a seemingly endless list of songs you can hum after you've left the theater (unlike modern musicals, e.g. Rent).
What was great about Fiddler is that it's the same play that Crabby himself was Stage Manager for back when he was in high school. Decades later, the Crabby family has come full circle theatrically speaking.
Great shows never die, they just fall out of fashion. Eventually someone comes to his or her senses and brings a classic back to life. That's my plan for today's recipe. Chocolate pudding made from scratch.
Hey, hey, hey, I can hear you groaning out there. This is not a hard recipe. Yes, there is a fair amount of stirring, but trust me it's well worth it. You have the ability to control how thick the pudding is and you get to see exactly everything that goes into the production. So take a risk on an old standby and enjoy...
Homemade Chocolate Pudding
from The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker & Ethan Becker
1 3-cup bowl or 5 ramekins (four to five ounces)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups half-and-half, divided (OK to substitute whole milk)
3 TBSP cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Whipped Cream for serving
In a heavy saucepan, mix together the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Gradually stir in the warm water to form a smooth, runny paste.
While stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
Stir in 1 3/4 cups half-and-half.
In a small measuring cup, mix the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup half-and-half. Thoroughly incorporate the cornstarch slurry into the chocolate mixture.
Cook, while constantly stirring, over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to low; stirring briskly, bring to a simmer and cook for an additional minute.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla
Pour the pudding into the bowl or ramekins and press plastic wrap directly onto the pudding surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Serve with whipped cream.
You know, it's hard to beat chocolate pudding. Yes, there's a lot of stirring, but after you've tried this version, you'll never settle for that boxed instant crap again.
Well crablings, I'm off, until next time, remember, you can do it, you can cook.
"If I were a rich man, budda, budda, biddy, biddy, bum..."