Very yummy tapioca pudding!


During the Christmas holiday I pulled my beloved Grandmother’s pudding bowls out of the cupboard, excited to find time to make tapioca pudding, which I love! I use a recipe I think I pulled decades ago out of the Pacific Sun when we still lived in Marin Co. It’s a teeny bit time consuming but absolutely delicious and I’m happy to share with you. And I’m particularly happy to share with my dear blogging friend Liz in the UK, who has recently educated me that while tapioca pudding is common in the UK, it’s apparently most often associated with a gloppy mixture served in the cafeteria at public schools, I believe with a dollop of jam or some such concoction, so let’s undo that memory with this new good one, shall we??

If you are like I am you grew up with Minute Tapioca and never really took the time to figure what it actually is. We are using pearl tapioca from the health food store for this recipe, and, for the record, tapioca is extracted from the root of the cassava plant, known originally in South America but now cultivated and used worldwide.

So here we go. You will be needing these ingredients:


1/2 cup pearl tapioca
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large organic eggs, separated
1 tsp. pure vanilla

First, soak the pearl tapioca in two cups of room temperature water overnight. Drain before using.

Heat the milk in a double boiler just until no longer cold. Add the pearl tapioca and the salt. Then continue heating the mixture until tiny bubbles begin to appear around the edges of the milk. Cover the mixture, turning heat to very low, and cook for one hour. You need not stir, but you must make sure the mixture neither simmers nor boils, so a bit of monitoring is in order.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until light yellow in color. Then add a bit of the hot mixture to the egg yolk mixture and blend thoroughly. Now add the egg yolk mixture to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly. Place the double boiler over medium heat and cook about 15 minutes, until the pudding is very thick. I stir often during this process.

Beat the egg whites until stiff.


Then slowly fold the hot tapioca pudding mixture into the egg whites. Lastly stir in the vanilla.
Ladle into dishes.

This is heaven in a dish! You may serve warm (best) or wait and serve chilled.


I hope you will be inspired to make this at home and serve to your family, who will be most grateful! I think it’s especially comforting after a winter’s meal. Let me know!

Love and kitchen blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

Book News: Latest news is that I’ve accepted an invitation to be a monthly contributor to a group blog called Flora’s Forum, which I think you will enjoy. Please see my blogroll for link. It’s an interesting bunch of contributors and I’m looking forward to adding my voice. Thanks to Sandra Knauf for the invitation. Also watch for an upcoming excerpt from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy in Western North Carolina Woman. Lastly, many thanks to those of you who purchased copies of Plant Whatever Brings You Joy as holiday gifts for your loved ones. So much appreciated!

Wreaths, Part Two!

Maggie’s wreath

When I recently wrote about gathering natural materials for a wreath from what one would find in the garden I fully expected to shortly be posting a pic of the wreath I’d made from that bevy of beautiful gatherings. However I did not anticipate that only two days later all I’d brought together, and oh so thoughtfully, I’d believed, stored in water in a big water tub would be stuck under an inch of ice! Haha! So I waited for an opportune time and warmer temps. Meanwhile I learned the holiday gods were conspiring to make my wreath-making a much more lively and social affair than I’ve envisioned when dear longtime friend Maloah called one morning and invited me to a Greens Party, held annually at her sister’s house. I could bring whatever I wanted for wreath-making, and her sister would be providing a wide range of creative options from which I was welcome to choose whatever I fancied! How fun and how lovely!

So yesterday I found myself walking out onto Maggie’s deck where Christmas carols were playing, and where a number of tables had been set up, each bearing numerous choices, and each surrounded by longtime friends of Maggie, all making their holiday wreaths! What a fantastic way to officially enter the holiday season!


dried fruits

wreath in making

I am one of those folks who meets the animals at gatherings usually before I meet the people. This was Maggie’s orange kitty who was very responsive. He recognized a kitty lover immediately. So cute. His name is Flapjack! I just called him Kitty and he liked that. 😉


guest making lovely wreath

As we worked on our wreaths Maloah and Maggie explained to me that the Greens Party had been initiated many decades ago by their mother, who has since gone to heaven, and they are carrying on the tradition! This piece of information touched my heart deeply, that I was partaking in an old family tradition. What a wonderful thing for adult children to do. I felt her mom’s presence at this gathering. It was palpable.

This was the wreath I worked on. I found myself wanting to keep it very simple, gravitating to primarily rosemary and true myrtle, to which I have an affinity, with a bit of willow added for more texture. Also I finally made use of the quinces that grow in my garden!


Here was the final result!

I am sharing this in plenty of time for you to consider a Greens Party at your home, with those you love. What a nurturing memory for your family.

Meanwhile, if you email me pics of the wreaths you’ve made at plantjoyblog [@] I will add to this post! I would love to see what you’ve created!

Enjoy the spirit of the season.

Love and holiday blessings,
Kathryn xoxox

Book News: I am hearing from friends they are buying copies of Plant Whatever Brings You Joy as Christmas presents for their loved ones. I invite you to consider whether a copy would bring joy to someone on your list. Thank you!

Here’s Maloah’s wreath, which she kindly sent along! Beautiful!


Gathering Natural Offerings for a Holiday Wreath


Happy Thanksgiving Week, dearest readers! Yes, the temperatures have dropped, and we have entered the holiday season! I decided that this week I’m choosing to create for myself a gratitude meditation, being mindful of giving thanks for the very many blessings that grace our lives. This sunny Sunday afternoon set the tone. And as I know our weather will shortly give way to much colder temps I decided it was a perfect time to walk around my garden, as well as my “hood” to see what I might gather together to use in a holiday wreath, which I’d already decided I would make at home this year. What an excellent idea, as here were the results of my first foray into collecting a palette from which to create a beautiful wreath to grace the front door! From left to right: willow, acacia, holly, pyracantha (red berries) and privet (dark berries). As I knew that today was strictly about gathering, I decided to store this first batch of goodies in the large tub that’s always in my backyard. (Somehow these tubs always accompany households that include Border Collies, who take to them after playing ball in the heat of summer.)


And, yes, that is a grape vine on top, which I gathered in my second round! :)

Inspired, I set out again, clippers in hand, looking for other options.


This second round was even more fun, as by now I’d dropped preconceptions and expanded my field of possibilities! I found in addition to the grape vines, a length of dried borage, several trumpet vine pods (which I may or may not spray gold!), quinces, and, my fave, these wonderful spidery creations my new clematis made after it blossomed. LOVE them! If I were a horticulturist, or Master Gardener, or That Sort of Gardener, I might even know their proper name. But I don’t. And it’s far more likely someone will read this post and tell us all. (If you do, thank you!) I have no real need to know. I sometimes prefer dwelling in the mystery of beauties than to name them… 😉 Here’s a closer peek:


What more? What more? This last exploration was more a list of things ready at hand I will go back and cut when I actually construct the wreathe–maybe Thanksgiving Day itself or Friday. And I will post. But meanwhile, those things will do best remaining where they are growing, in my garden. They are:


true myrtle



Surely I will add a bit of evergreen from somewhere, but there’s plenty of beauty right here, don’t you think? I’m quite excited!

Many warm wishes for a lovely holiday.

Love and blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

Book News: Recently Fire and Ice Roses interviewed me for their site, which was very kind of them, and which I thoroughly enjoyed! Best sources for copies of my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy are Amazon [25 five-star reviews!], indie bookstores and Barnes and Noble, both online and in their brick and mortar stores. A complete list is available (look in right column on this page). I hope you will consider copies as gifts for Christmas! And remember it’s possible to email the Kindle version of the book as a last minute–or very convenient–present! Thank you! xoxox
© 2008 - 2016 Kathryn Hall. All rights reserved.
For optimal viewing Mac users using IE should access via Safari.
Pixel Surgery by Site Mechanix