Today turned out to be a little bit of a day, people. The Emperor is still feeling quite poorly, though we have no idea what's wrong with him. He has a fever and is obviously totally off personalitywise and is breathing extra quickly and audibly, but other than that, no symptoms that we can ascertain. He is DELIGHTING in having his ear temperature taken... we have now taken it approximately seven thousand times in the past 24 hours, because he keeps asking us to do it again... so I don't think it's an ear infection. Who knows. He probably caught the plague at preschool or something.
Anyway, I'd been planning on today being a fairly lazy day MoFo-wise anyhow but it ended up being even lazier than I expected. There are only two options I could think of for V that were within my laziness perimeters: vinegar and vanilla. Vinegar has so many interesting possibilities, buuuut I couldn't think of any that didn't also require uh, work on my part. So instead, the vanilla.
Originally we were planning on attending the baby shower of two of our local friends, and I was going to make a total vanilla delight to take that: shortbread crust, then a layer of vanilla mousse, then a thin layer of strawberry jam, then a layer of strawberries. Jeez, doesn't that sound good?! It sounds good to me! But... throughout the night and into the early morning, it became clear that the Emperor was just not going to be better for today and I decided that I really ought to stay home with him. So, no party, no pie. :(
On the upside, we got to spend a lot of time snuggling together, reading books in bed and just talking about random things. So that was pretty good too. Then we fell asleep together at nap time, and I proceeded to sleep for three and a half hours. You can tell he's sick because he didn't stand next to the bed going MOMMY GET UP over and over and over.
I needed to pull something vanilla-y together quickly, so I decided to try... vanilla pudding!
Vanilla Bean Pudding
4 generous servings
2c + 1/2c unsweetened soy milk
1 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsps corn starch
1. Whisk 2c of the soy milk and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Slice the vanilla bean down the center and use the point of a knife to scrape the bean bits into the soy milk/sugar mixture. When scraped clean, also put the pod in the sauce pans. (I think this makes it taste better but maybe I'm nuts.)
3. Add the vanilla extra and whisk again.
4. In measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2c of soy milk and the 3 tbsps of corn starch. You want it to be nice and smooth and absolutely lump free before you add it to the main pudding pot.
5. Whisk soy-corn starch mixture into the saucepan with the other ingredients.
6. Allow mixture to reach a boil, whisking often.
7. Once it reaches a boil, let it boil for a minute without stirring.
8. Remove from heat, whisk again, remove vanilla pods and pour out into small serving dishes.
9. Put pudding in the fridge for at least an hour to cool/thicken.
One thing I've wanted as a vegan is a simple vanilla bean ice cream that just tastes like plain old vanilla bean ice cream. I've tried just about every one I've come across and none of them have quite the right flavor (or the little bits). So I'm surprised and delighted to report that this pudding captures that flavor (though obviously not the texture... it's pudding!) pretty perfectly for me.
So while not quite as fancy or interesting as what we had planned, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.
I expect the Emperor will be when he tries it, too... but he's fallen asleep on the couch next to me so he might not have any until tomorrow. Here's a picture of him from dinner time... I think you can see how bad he feels in it. (And we feel so bad about him feeling so bad that I'm letting him do something that I'm always scolding him for, fishing in his water glass for the ice cubes he demanded we put in.)