Our conversations are worn-out and lackluster, like long-forgotten playthings from a dusty toy box pushed far in the corner. We’ve outgrown them and I’m weary of picking them up yet again. Always the same questions, always the same answers. I can mark off the standard topics in my head. Must we revisit that brief liaison from 10 years ago once more? Autopsied and buried a long time ago, why must we still chatter about these dead things? We can blame it on inertia. Last night, I was re-reading Natalie Goldberg’s book, Writing Down the Bones. In it, she discusses hosting story-telling circles in Taos. During the circles, she would ask a question, such as, “Tell us a story you love to tell,” and then each friend in attendance would recount their colorful, detailed story to the delight of the other participants. Can we try something similar to break through this repetition of a played-out history? The next time we meet for dessert, let’s pretend we’re new acquaintances and begin with those questions asked by newfound friends over our dishes of chocolate pudding. If we ask fresh questions, I think we’d be amazed by the answers.
Rich Chocolate Pudding for Two
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 oz. dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa), broken into small pieces
- Sweetened whipped cream and Flaky sea salt for garnish
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk.
- Bring mixture to boil and then continue whisking for 1 minute until thickened. Remove from heat. Add butter, vanilla and chocolate and whisk until smooth.
- If you want to eat immediately, cool pudding in an ice bath until room temperature. If you have patience, pour pudding into a bowl, cover surface with buttered plastic wrap (to avoid a skin on the pudding), and refrigerate until cold, about an hour. Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle with salt.