Writing this column ahead, trying to project my thoughts from our snowbound landscape to one of early spring is quite a stretch.
I just thumbed through last year's journal and found there are some markers along the way.
On March 26, the peepers aroused from their icy winter's nap and filled the swamp with their long-awaited spring song. Believe me, that is music to my ears.
Spring wasn't ushered in by peepers where I grew up. There everyone was out planting their peas on Good Friday. That was their spring ritual, but I wonder this year, since it is so early. I'll have to check with my nephew, who gardens there.
My thoughts are turning to Earth Day on April 22, and I'm hoping yours are too, especially if you have children in your home.
I like the term "Mother Earth" because it suggests her ability to sustain and nurture all of her children. But as is often the case, mothers can be mistreated and ignored.
The scientists of our day are saying we are not just wounding her, but going for the jugular. The good news is we all have the ability to reverse some of the damage and help in the healing process.
Since geographically we Michiganians are all water babies, maybe that is a good starting point. For too long we have believed that water is a never-ending resource, and this is now being called into question.
Aside from dealing with diminishing water supplies, we are dealing with the production of 2.7 million tons of plastic globally per year for the industry. In the U.S., this requires 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce, enough to run 100,000 cars for the year. We have to ask ourselves if our convenience is worth this environmental impact. What will be the result of this 10 years from now?
My daughter Molly was telling me about the Tapioca pudding she makes for her grandson Gus, with coconut milk. I daydream about it and plan to get the coconut milk tomorrow to make it, and thought you might like it too. This is Martha Stewart's recipe. I couldn't get Molly's.
Coconut Tapioca Pudding
1 large egg
1 can (13 1/2 oz.) coconut milk
1&1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. quick- cooking tapioca
1 t. vanilla
1 small can pineapple chunks, drained
1/3 c. sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
In a small saucepan, lightly beat egg. Add coconut milk, milk, sugar and tapioca: whisk to combine. Set aside for at least five minutes for the tapioca to soften.
Stirring constantly over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stir in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and cover. Allow to cool completely, around 30 minutes. Refrigerate from two hours up to three days.
To toast coconut: place in a thin layer on a rimmed cookie sheet. Place in a preheated oven (350 degrees) and toast, turning once or twice for about 10 to 15 minutes. Watch closely. Let cool.
To serve: Whisk pudding to loosen, spoon into four serving dishes and top with pineapple and coconut if using, or serve plain. Makes four six-ounce servings.
Edna Shaffer is a local mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who writes about cooking from the perspective of an older adult. She can be reached via the Record-Eagle at 120 W. Front, Traverse City, Mi 49685; or by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org