When I was growing up in a large family, Mama was often busy with the little ones’ bedtime routines in the evenings, so Daddy would cook for us older ones if we wanted a meal or snack late at night. One of his favorite projects was tapioca pudding.
Sometimes he cooked tapioca after church on Sunday night. It is now a food I crave when I am homesick or when the weather is nasty and miserable. I love to eat it hot with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon on top. It reminds of my sweet daddy and so it comforts my soul.
Many of you have experienced tapioca as a school cafeteria or restaurant food. That form of pudding may have been gooey and cold and practically inedible. You probably have never tasted any cooked at home from fresh ingredients.If you have tasted the real thing, you likely love it like I do.
Daddy used Minute Tapioca, which is ground so it doesn’t need to be soaked overnight before cooking. In the pan you combine eggs, a few tablespoons of tapioca, salt, milk, and sugar. Let it sit for about ten minutes then cook over medium heat like any pudding. When it begins to boil, take it off the heat and let it set. The pudding will thicken. While it is still warm, ladle it into bowls and sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg.
Tapioca keeps well in the refrigerator and is delicious cold, or reheated in the microwave.I make a double batch. My children love it as much as I do and so often there is none to keep. It makes a perfect winter dessert.