Working in assisted living centers in the activity department has given me some fine insight and great hints for cooking, baking and entertaining. Think about it. We have many people who retired to these centers with a vast amount of range time. They have seen it all! From cooking on wood stoves to hauling every drop of water needed, managing kitchen duties in limited space plus having access to farm eggs, cream and more! They have also strolled the road of dishwashers, harvest gold and avocado appliances, many kitchen gadgets that were supposed to save time, and the rage of microwave cooking that could have possibly retired the range!
When these seasoned cooks and bakers come to an activity that focuses on food, they are not tepid in expressing lessons that they have learned while stirring, slicing and creating in the kitchen. Granted, cooking shows reveal many tips about preparing food. However, being in the company of souls who have stood in the front line with spatulas, strainers, pressure cookers and worked often without several kitchen convivences is a true insight to family style cooking — plus, it is altogether entertaining and educational. I can not begin to tell what a joy it is to be steeped in their vast knowledge.
Tapioca has long been a favorite dessert in our home. Upon preparing it for these veterans of the stove, it was back to the future as they dug out their tapioca recipes and knowledge. These wise mothers who understood the whims of their children’s appetites and how to intrigue them with dishes that are appealing, yet nourishing and healthful. They didn’t need to google the fact that growing children need plenty of carbohydrates to furnish sufficient energy for the active little bodies. The realized that carbohydrates in Minute Tapioca is an easily digested form. How ideal!
While in conversation with these crown jewels of the kitchen canisters, they expressed that since Minute Tapioca is partially cooked and ground before packaging, it requires no soaking (like pearl tapioca) and needs only brief cooking over hot water or other liquid to be ready for a number of uses. As you find in these recipes, tapioca combines well with milk and egg–plus, it is a time saver. As one of the ladies stated “Minute Tapioca was a time saver allowing me to do other household duties yet have attractive meals.”
Thank you to the Sunny Seniors who have delighted me and others with many great cooking tips and tricks. I have learned a great deal from you and I know that there is more to come. By the way, talk on tapioca is to be continued as I have much more to say and share about this cupboard delight.
Fluffy Tapioca Cream
This is an easy, delicious and attractive dessert that will tempt you to go adventuring and invent other creative toppings such as minted orange, fancy fig and even a top hat of chocolate! Oh, the possibilities!
As Lydia stated as she finished this featured dessert, “Dad, this is always so good!”
2 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with mixer on high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and gradually beat in 3 tablespoons of sugar until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Mix tapioca, milk, egg yolks that have been slightly beaten, and remaining sugar in medium saucepan. Let stand 5 min. before heating.
Bring to a full boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on a medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add egg white mixture, fold until blended but not totally smooth. Add vanilla.
Transfer to attractive dessert dishes. Serve warm or chilled. Keep refrigerated. Makes 6-8 servings.
2 cups of fresh raspberries
¼ cup fresh or prepared orange juice
¼ powered sugar
Teaspoon of grated orange rind
Blend together carefully and let set 30 minutes before serving.
Egg Salad Sandwich Filling
I received this recipe from Cecilia Howe after a presentation on tapioca dessert at an assisted living center. The beauty of this recipe is the fact that it uses less mayonnaise and the taste is delicious. It also sets up very nicely for open face sandwiches. If used for open face sandwiches, sprinkle with dill weed before serving.
3 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
4 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
4 tablespoons celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sweet pickles, chopped
2 tablespoons liquid from pickles
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
A dash of tabasco