Neighborly parties and Super-fat chocolate pudding recipe

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My neighbors are great.

Saturday, some neighbors down the block had their annual Tet (Vietnamese New Year) party. The spring rolls were incredibly yummy, as always and that crispy, cabbaggy, citrusy salad was oh-so good too.

Then Sunday, our street block had a progressive party, which had about little over 30 people, going to four houses. We have small houses, and though the number of 30 doesn't seem like a lot, it is a lot when crowding into the first floor of a house that may be 1000 sq. ft or less in total. Regardless, a good time was had and hopefully we can do this again in the Spring.

The thing I liked about the progressive party (besides checking out the hosts' homes) was the diversity and that we were socializing and getting to know each other as neighbors. I particularly liked the age diversity. The youngest party goer was 18 months old, and everyone loved her, she was a hit. The oldest attendee was a 75 year old Canadian citizen. In between were host 10* and 8* year olds who were filling out name tags and taking coats. There were neighbors of a certain age who have lived on the block 20+ years and their college aged adult children. Also in attendance were renters in their 20s and homeowners spanning the 30 to 60 year old range.

It was wonderful meeting new neighbors and neighbors who have been here a while but we hardly see for one reason or another.

The last house of the night hosted desserts and I made as part of my contribution homemade chocolate pudding with a stripe of vanilla bean pudding. Below is my recipe for the chocolate portion.

Super-fat chocolate pudding

1 cup of milk (full fat, creamline to make it fattier)

1 cup of whipping cream

½ cup of sugar

½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tbsp of cornstarch

¼ tsp of salt

1 tsp of vanilla extract (approx.)

1.    Heat milk and cream in a pot until bubbles begin to form on the side. Turn heat off if needed.

2.    In a bowl mix the cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until somewhat uniform looking.

3.    Take 1 cup of warm milk/cream and in ¼ cup portions, pour into bowl. Alternating between pouring and mixing. Avoid lumps.

4.    Pour contents of bowl into pot with heated cream/milk.

5.    Add vanilla.

6.    Heat over medium or low-medium, constantly stirring and scraping bottom with whisk.

7.    Heat for 5 minutes or more until all is thick like pudding (when no longer liquid).

8.    Pour into bowl or casserole dish and cover top of pudding with parchment paper or plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming.

9.    Place in fridge. Enjoy in very small portions when cool.

The recipe is super easy the 2nd time you make it.


*Rough estimates

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