Friday, September 2, 2011

Crockpot Tapioca and the Story Behind It.

The grumblings of the belly can do amazing things to a human being.

I have seen people who are normally very pleasant and tolerant
turn into unbearable creatures with wild eyed expressions
when the dinner hour passes and they are forced to endure
a wait.

Men generally seem to fall very heavily into this category.

But I have to tell you that when I got pregnant,
I understood a new meaning to the word
This reaction, this intolerance for being hungry
magnified by somewhere around 575%.

When denied the attributes of a punctual dinner time,
something went off in my brain
that turned me into a person I'd never been before...
at least, not to that intensity.

I do believe if denied certain foods at certain times during pregnancy,
after shedding a truckload of tears,
my journey by car, foot, bicycle, or donkey
would have, of necessity, followed.


It's that bad.

So you can imagine the thrill I experienced when visiting a friend
during my first pregnancy
when I was still the the midst of the quavering tides of morning sickness,
and I was told we'd be indulging at an elegant buffet restaurant
after the morning church service.

The options were said to be magnificent.

I don't need to tell you that from about 11:30 am on,
my mind began to wander to its future prospective,
and I'm afraid I left the service sadly uninformed about what was
exhorted during that last half hour.

I had food on my mind.

If you've experienced morning sickness
you will know that it seems to morph the sense of smell
to a higher plain.

Some things that are bad are unbearably bad.
Just the mention of onions made my whole insides prepare to revolt.

But there are other things that,
even the sight of them,
sent the body into a sort of melting in anticipation of it's
inevitable sweetness.

Tapioca pudding.

I spotted the tapioca pudding as we entered the large dining area.
It called to me, beckoned with an almost discernible smell.
It was as if those cartoons I'd seen in childhood
where the vapors arise and guide the nose of the affected creature
into a lilting, involuntary mesmerization,
was actually occurring to me.

 I numbly followed my group of diners,
hearing only bits and pieces of who was sitting where
and the general chatter about how hungry everyone was
while I only heard the painful strains of that tapioca pudding
calling to me.

I don't need to inform you that after the buffet dance of bobbing in and out,
plates carefully laden with heated piles,
had completed
and the eating commenced,
my little dessert bowl of tapioca sat smiling at me.

It was when I saw the necessity to refill my cup,
(not wanting to be the sissy-type wife who needs her husband to wait on her
hand and foot when in my "condition",)
that I stretched up, strode past and away from my fellow partakers,
and stupidly left my bowl of tapioca in the hands of those
with whom I thought it was safe.

As I came smiling back to my chair,
a moment of horror shook my being.

My tapioca pudding bowl was empty.


I looked around at the smiling faces in the group
as they watched my eyes dart from the empty bowl,
to them,
to my husband,
back to my bowl. 

Yes, it was really gone,
scraped clean with just a ball or two of tapioca
loudly pronouncing it's former occupancy.

But what?

The questions couldn't come fast enough before my husband said,
"Oh, I was just teasing you.
I knew how much  you wanted it and we wanted to see your reaction;
I'll go get you another."

The ire drained slowly
as he got up and disappeared into the buffet-mongers.

By the time I had seated myself and laughed with the rest of them,
I saw him quickly returning...

without a bowl of tapioca.

But, what was this?

"It's all gone,"
he said, and the remorse was in his eyes.

Fear and incredulity mingled.

Go ask the waiter for more. 
Certainly there is more in the kitchen,
the back storage room, 

"No, he said that was it.
I asked him.
It's all gone."

"This is not funny.  You better tell me you're joking."

The air suddenly became quiet at our table
and slightly uncomfortable.
Tears welled up in my eyes.
How could this man who I married because I thought he loved me
do this to me?

Was there another restaurant
or a grocery store nearby?

So you can see the magnitude of joy
when I was reading the Lancaster Farming Paper one day a few years later
and came upon this:

Having this recipe was wonderful during my last pregnancy,
but the story still comes to mind
every once in a while when I think about enjoying some
of this delicious pudding.

Let this be a lesson to you.

A hungry person's dessert
is not a wise subject for practical joking.
And a pregnant woman's dessert
carries with it years of scarred memories:
better it not be the husband who touches it.


  1. i do not like tapioca pudding, but i thoroughly enjoyed the recounting of your trauma! LOL! i would have bawled like a baby! and i've never been pregnant! :)

  2. I absolutely LOVE tapioca pudding.

    And this story.


  3. Sue, your comments are so like mine we must be kindred spirits

    Tonya, I feel your pain!!

  4. I can just imagine the look of horror on your face when you realized your pudding was gone and the same look of horror on your husband's face when he realized there was NO more pudding to be had. ;) I love love love tapioca pudding. Mine never gets a chance to cool before I'm dishing up a big bowl. I'm scooping it up as soon as it's not hot enough to scald my mouth. ;)

  5. Thanks for the comments. Tapioca seems to be a "love it" or "hate it" type of thing. Glad I'm not quite so sensitive about it post pregnancy though! :)


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