As a researcher, I am not only interested in people’s history. I like researching buildings and neighborhoods as well. A while back, I was doing some research on the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, and fell down a rabbit hole researching Shel Silverstein, the author known for classics such as Where the Sidewalk Ends. I found out several fascinating things: He lived in Logan Square as a child; he attended my alma mater for a while; and, in addition to writing books, he wrote songs. One of his songs was “Put Another Log on the Fire,” a tongue-in-cheek, chauvinistic country song that I used to listen to at my grandmother’s house. He also wrote Johnny Cash’s famous “A Boy Named Sue.” Who knew?! Also, his father was a baker, and his favorite food was junket. I had no idea what that was. A quick Google search showed me that it’s a pudding-like dessert that was popular in the 1960’s.
Researching junket made me think of when my mom used to make warm chocolate pudding for dessert.
In my family, when I was little, my mom worked, my dad cooked, up was down, down was up. My mom, though, was the queen of dessert. She did a lot of things well, but I had two favorites: my grandma’s cream puffs and warm Hershey’s* chocolate pudding.
There was no rhyme or reason to when she would make it. I do remember that I would notice her standing at the stove, slowly stirring something in a pot, but I was too short to know what it was. But then came the smell. As the chocolate began to heat up, the smell would fill up our small house. Just before it was ready, my mom would get down her (as they seemed to me at the time) fancy dessert dishes from the tip-top shelf in the cabinet and I knew for sure it was pudding night. Finally, there were the last agonizing
hours minutes waiting as it cooled from hot to warm.
Mom’s (Hershey’s) Chocolate Pudding
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipped cream (optional)
Chocolate sprinkles or dark chocolate shavings (optional)
Combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Begin stirring in milk and turn on stove to medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil for one minute. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
Once the pudding has cooled slightly, but is still warm, you can scoop it into individual serving dishes.
Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, after the pudding has cooled a little more. You can also cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge to enjoy later, chilled. I highly suggest trying it warm, though. You won’t be disappointed.
That’s it! It takes only minutes and it couldn’t be easier.
In my years of eating warm pudding, I’ve found that the best way is to put a small pat of butter on top, let it melt down into puddles and scoop it up. Or, do as I did as a kid, let it melt, eat off the top layer, then add whipped cream and continue eating. Who was supervising me as a child? I always wonder.
These are even the cups that I ate it out of as a kid. I have reached the point in my life where every time I visit my mom, I return home with loads of stuff that she no longer wants in her house. Lucky me!
*This is not a sponsored post. This is just the recipe that my mom always used. Any cocoa would probably be just fine.