Joy the Baker

Down to my last Egg

July 6, 2008

What do you do when you’re down to your last egg?  Either cry about it or make Chocolate Pudding with Almond Whipped Cream.  In my case, I did both.

I know this is only a food blog, but I’m sure you all won’t mind if I get something off my chest.  I’m sad.  I’m puffy eyed, in my pajamas all day, looking out the window at the beautiful weekend passing me by- sad.

It’s relationship trouble.  My Mom called it “matters of the heart” which kinda put a smile on my face because she made relationship drama sound so old fashioned.  Moms are good for that.

So, while I understand that this is totally out of place for my humble food blog, I hope you won’t mind me over sharing and asking for advice.  Maybe you can help.

How do you do it?  How do you keep a relationship alive and well?  Tell me your love story because I think I need to hear it.  Is it hard?  Is it perfect?  Is it completely neurotic?

I’m here asking for dime store advice.  How do you make it work?  In return, I have pudding to offer.  It’s a lovely recipe.  Now tell me what you think about love.

And on top of all the love woes, I was down to my last egg.  I could have gone to the grocery store, of course… but some things just seem impossible when you’ve got the blues.

So here’s what to do when you’re down to your last egg, and you need some chocolate comfort in a cup.  It’s perfect.

Chocolate Pudding with Almond Whipped Cream

adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Print this Recipe!

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

pinch of salt

2 cups whole milk

1 large egg

4 ounces good semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped

Whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in the milk.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and boil, whisking, until pudding is thick, 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Immediately beat eggs lightly in a medium heat proof bowl, then very gradually add hot pudding to the egg, whisking constantly.  Whisk in chopped chocolate until smooth.

Pour pudding into ramekins or custard cups and cover surface each with wax paper to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate, covered, until cool, at least 2 hours.

Almond Whipped Cream

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

2 drops almond extract

Put heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and almond extract.  Beat cream until it stiffens and turns to whipped cream.  Dollop on chocolate pudding.


68 Comments Add A Comment

  • I’m so sorry to heat about your relationship. My husband and I were on the verge of breaking up when we did something called the Marriage Course which made us talk to each other and realise that we were very different people and how our families and backgrounds shaped our expectations of our relationships. It is hard to do but the best thing you can do is talk to each other about how you feel loved and try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. We went for an evening a week for 7 weeks and learnt to listen to each other as well as understanding what we needed to do to nurture each other. Good luck!

  • Oh Joy, relationship problems suck. But I personally think pudding helps. Here’s my two cents and love story…

    I met my husband online 4 1/2 years ago. We hit it off right away and we were as inseperable as it is possible to be while living in separate states (don’t worry, at most only 4 hours away, but originally only 45 minutes.) So things went beautifully for almost 3 years, no fights, no problems, very happy. Then we got married. And I lost my job. And my in-laws turned into psycho beasts from hell. Well not all of them. So here I was living in a new state, in a small town, with no job. My life was completely upside down. And my loving husband had turned into his dad (who I like despite that he’s a chauvanist pig). Things were not good. Then one day, my sister-in-law told my husband that I wanted a divorce (big lie). Yes she’s a psycho beast from hell. We had a screaming yelling crying fight. And I left and drove around in my car for several hours. I could have used some pudding then I tell you.

    I’ve learned some things since then. Crying and screaming is a powerful way to get your point across, but it’s most effective if you rarely use it. Most of the time, treating each other with respect works much better. And I’ve learned, with my husband, that on issues that we’ve come to an impass several times on and he’s sensitive about (his psycho beast family) that it’s often times better for me not to say anything and then he notices things on his own. Or if I mention things they’re like this “Honey, isn’t it hillarious that when we went to your sister’s house for Memorial Day that right after the men went golfing, your sisters went for a run, and your mom took the baby in the stroller for a walk? Within 5 minutes all the adults but me had left. It was like they had an escape plan! Ha Ha Ha Ha” This works far better than saying, “I can’t believe your sisters dropped 9 kids in my lap to babysit without asking again.” I think it works because this way I’m not attacking his family and forcing him to defend them to me. Or something like that.

    Anyway, I’m babbling and I’m not sure how much usefull you’ll get out of it. But good luck. I’m rooting for you!

  • I just started reading a few weeks ago, but food and love are the passion of my life.

    I am 26 and this week I will celebrate 2 years of marriage with a man that I have known since I was 4 and have been in love with since 1998. Yes, I found the love of my life at 16, in high school. We went to college, survived his masters degree in TN and are now living in PA while he is working on his PhD. He is the love of my life. I have no idea why I found him when I was 16. But to me, when you find the person you love and you are meant to be with, there are rarely “matters of the heart” besides the love you feel for each other. My husband is my best friend and the one that I share everything with, good or bad. We, of course, find ourselves frustrated with each other at times, but rarely, if ever, fight. Nothing matters that much. We end every day with a hug, a couple of kisses and the most important words we can utter to each other – “I love you”

    I think the most important thing we do for our love is put each other first. There is nothing more important to me than him, his happiness and our love.

    So now that I am shedding a few tears, I think I need to make some chocolate pudding.

  • I’m sorry to hear about your relationship problems, but happy to have found a chocolate pudding recipe I didn’t even know I was lacking.

    Good luck with everything.

  • Johanna Dietrich July 6, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Dear Joy the Baker,

    Lauren has said it before, but I will happily repeat: Talk. Talk talk talk. This has worked extremely well for me during the last four and a half years – there have been really tough and hurtful (is this a word at all?) moments, sad and flooded with tears. But it always turned to the better side afterwards. Talking about whatever we feel – good and bad – has tightened this bond beyond what I could have hoped for.

    I wish you all the best from Germany!

  • Hi there Joy,

    You don’t know me, but I somehow found your blog and subscribe to your scrumptious updates. I appreciate the beautiful and inspiring photos and your passion for baking.

    My Love story: I met my husband 8 years ago, at the young age of 19. From the start, I knew that he was one that I could be with forever. It was a thought that both awed and shocked my young mind. However, it took me 5 years of friendship, break ups, long distance writing, dating and communicating to realize that, yes, he was the one I wanted to be with.

    We have now been married almost 3 years and in that time I have wondered what it was that finally “tipped the scale” to help me make the commitment to marry this patient man. It was when I realized that I trusted him more than anyone else on this planet. He is a rock, steady and sure. With him, I am on firm ground. I love him for that.

    I don’t have much advice for you except this; find one in whom your heart trusts. That trust can be built and it can also be destroyed by our small acts.

    One final comment. I have felt so much JOY today after going to church, serving in the children’s classes and seeing their willing and happy faces. I have felt so much joy in being with my husband and my two children (yes, TWO kids: one 17 months and one 2 months old!). There is so much joy possible in your future. And you deserve it, after all, your name is JOY, right?! :) I wish the best for you.

  • Sorry you’re feeling down in the dumps. OH my have I been there before. Married now for second time..it’s been 4 years and so much better than the first time. I’ll keep my advise brief. 5 things I’ve learned along the way. These should go both ways.

    Compromise is not a bad thing..it’s part of a relationship. Not enough so that you lose yourself, but give and take is what it’s about. Pick your battles.

    A good relationship shouldn’t be based on the high points, but on how things go during the low points.

    If you know something bugs the one you love save it for when you’re alone!!

    Unwarranted jealousy can kill a relationship quicker than anything.

    Have confidence in yourself!!!! Don’t put yourself down!!!

    Thanks for the pudding..the ultimate comfort food.

  • i’m sorry your having problems, the only thing i can say is that communicating is very important. my husband and i decide that no matter what happened around us and in the family, we wouldn’t let it affect our marriage. it hasn’t been easy sometimes but we’ve stuck to it. marriage is a commitment and if you want it to work you have to work at it. i know sounds like a full time job doesn’t it? sometimes you have to compromise and sometimes he has to know your not.

  • Talk, talk, talk. If the other person is unwilling to talk to you about the problems, they aren’t worth it.

    If you’re not the talking kind of person, or your significant other isn’t, write it all down and exchange letters. If you don’t know what’s on the table, you’ll never know how it can be fixed.

    My SO is my best friend and that’s the only way I can imagine getting through the relationship nonsense (and the in-laws).

    Oh, and we play Guitar Hero together on a regular basis. Nothing like looking like a fool in front of each other to cement the love!

  • Oh, dearest JoyTheBaker, I’m so sorry to hear of your love woes. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but I’m coming out of lurkdom to thank you for your inspiring blog.

    My two cents? As a newlywed of four years, my money’s on gentle kindness over intense drama. When I started dating my now-husband, I quickly realized he was a very predictable, stable kind of guy. Boring, I feared. I came home one night after a date and said to my roommate, “He’s such a vanilla man. Do I want a vanilla man?” Susan, in her wisdom replied, “You sure as hell don’t want a rocky road.”

    And everyone said the first year of marriage would be difficult, a big adjustment. My wonderful, stable, predictable, dependable, vanilla man and I wonder why they all said that. Life outside of our relationship was nuts (my mother up and left my father, my sister was diagnosed with a chronic illness, my job sucked, his job sucked, his family moved across the country… and then we did, too), but the stability of our relationship was such a gift. Life is dramatic enough. I believe it’s worth it to go with an adoring, gentle life to call home.

    And how do we keep love alive? We often ask each other, “How can I love you better?”. It’s a wonderful question to ask and be asked. Also, we work to be respectful of the other at all times. Anecdote: our first fight. We had been married a few weeks and I was convinced that I was doing the lion’s share of the chores. So I ranted and raved, cried and blathered on for a few minutes about my woes and underappreciated-ness. Expecting a yelling response (like I had seen growing up), I was shocked when my new husband took a breath, and then calmly said, “I do not appreciate being talked to like that. We will not be yelling like that at each other.” And we never have since. It’s awesome.

  • Adventurous Soul July 6, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    My mantra is “highest and best.” All you can do is open your hands and ask that the highest and best manifest itself for you and your partner. That may mean together or it may be apart, but to do this you need to be willing to hear/see the answer. Highest and best.

  • Ah, Love. It’s a fabulous thing when things are going well, and alot of work (and stress) to make it right when it’s not. But very worth all the work (assuming both sides are working at making things right – heartbreaking otherwise). I married my best friend 15 years ago. We’re both introverts and we don’t fight alot, but when we do it’s hard to work through. Still in love and we had a very stressful last couple of years (life, jobs, family deaths, etc). I think a big part of it is we choose to love each other, not just rely on feelings.

    Not sure quite how to read what you said – could be taken a few different ways. I hope what I said helps.

  • First, your pudding looks beautiful. I’ve never made homemade pudding before. I think I will make your recipe my first attempt. Second, I’m sorry you’re stuck in pajama mode! Totally sucks. I bake when I’m having relationship issues too. The first six months of my current relationship, my coworkers ate very well. He and I have been together almost three years now and he still makes me bake sometimes, so I’m not really one to be giving advice, just to empathize. I know relationships are a lot of work, but for as good as the good times might be, there’s still a point where those aren’t worth our ability to want to change out of pajamas every day.

  • Awww. So sorry…about “matters of the heart” AND the egg. Both situations are never good, especially at the same time. While I am not the one to call on for relationship advice, I can tell you that you will always have a friend in CHOCOLATE! I hope your Monday is better than your Sunday.
    Ev

  • Re: relationships — Do you want explosive and dramatic for 10 or 20 or more years? Or when (if) there are little feet pitter-pattering around?

    I tend to prefer friendship and sincere kindness, because when bad stuff happens in life, friendship and kindness are what you need to help you get through . . . whether the bad stuff is in your relationship or whether it’s in other parts of your life. I’ve been with my hubby for 18 years now and we went thru something really tough in our relationship a couple months ago — I really do not think our relationship would have survived if we hadn’t had so many years of friendship and sincere kindness “in the bank”, so to speak. In spite of the bad, the friendship and sincere kindness remained and the relationship is healing because of it.

    So, that’s my two pennies =).

    I’m not a pudding person, but your photos are very enticing!!

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