While Helen struggles to whistle, Ethel whistles-up some chocolate pudding. Ethel’s Southern Favorite chocolate pudding recipe follows the story.
“Whatta you up to little miss?” Ethel asked when Helen slumped down at the kitchen table fiddling with her hand in her mouth. “You a little old to be sucking on yo’ hands ain’t you?”
First, she tried answer with her mouth stuffed with fingers then giving up Helen took her hands out of her mouth, “I’m trying to whistle.” She put her elbow down on the table and cradled her forehead in her hand. “It makes me dizzy. Gordy wrote a report the other day on how to whistle. Since I can’t whistle, I thought I’d read it.” She lay her arm over on the table and placed her head on top of it. “So far all I have been able to do is cover myself with spit, make my jaw hurt, and get dizzy.”
“Sounds to me like you is tryin’ too hard. How ’bout you give ‘er rest an’ help me make some chocolate puddin’.”
“Oh goody! It must be Fall.” Helen brightened up.
“Why you say dat?” Ethel asked head tilted in interest.
“Cuz you never make pudding in the summer. I don’t know why either, cuz it’s yummy cold.”
“Hmmm,” Ethel considered, “I reckon it’s cuz when I was a chil’ you had t’ fire up de cookstove t’ make it.” She smiled remembering, ” Lord knows, you avoided doin’ dat in de summer if you could possibly help it.” She placed a bowl in front of Helen, Let’s try blowing on some nice hot puddin.'”
Chocolate Pudding Recipe
2 Large egg yolks
2 c. whole milk
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks ’til light yellow and increased in volume, then add in the cornstarch and a little of the milk.
Put the sugar, cocoa, salt, and rest of the milk in a saucepan, and scald over medium-high heat. That doesn’t mean burn it. It’s when little bubbles appear on the side of the pan before it comes to a boil. Take the pan off the heat and, beat constantly while gradually adding the hot cocoa into the egg-cornstarch mixture. Put a double boiler and cook stirring occasionally until the pudding is thickened. When thick take it off the heat, stir in the vanilla, pour into serving bowl. Serve warm or chilled.