Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fool!

Last week I did a little research on funny food gags I could pull for April Fool's Day. Well, they all looked pretty complicated and time consuming to prepare, so I fell back on an oldie but goodie that my mom had done to us kids when we were little. She changed our milk into pudding by adding rennet and sugar. It still looked like milk, though. I remember that for some reason I decided to sample my milk with a spoon that night, and my mom jumped at me yelling, "NO!" I was pretty taken aback until I realized that I had almost ruined her joke.

Since rennet is pretty gross when you think about it (it is derived from the stomach lining of cows — yum!), I decided to thicken the milk with cornstarch. Here you see the "milk" just after I poured it into the cups. Note the clever addition of straws to further disguise it!

I served the "milk" with great flourish, expecting everyone to gasp with amazement at my joke preparation and the irony of solid milk. Instead, I got a wry chuckle from my husband and no yuks at all from the kids. Henry did manage to drink it up through the straw, though.

Here's the recipe for the pudding. If you want to make it chocolate milk, add 1/4 c. cocoa powder. I don't think it would be as convincing, though.

Vanilla Pudding
1/2 c. white sugar
3 1/2 T. cornstarch
2 1/2 c. milk
2 t. vanilla

Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a microwave-safe bowl. Add enough of the milk to make a paste and stir until all the lumps are gone. Add the remaining milk.

Place the bowl in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on HIGH. Take the bowl out of the microwave and mix the contents. Continue to cook on HIGH in one-minute intervals, stirring after each heating, until the mixture becomes thick and glossy (about 3-4 minutes).

Stir the vanilla into the mixture, then pour it into cups. Put these in the fridge to set.