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Friday Five, from madame_urushiol
Imagine you are on your deathbed. Recommend to those who remain in your life...

1) One book to read:

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

2) One movie to watch:
I'm going to cheat and name a trilogy: Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy, especially the Blue and Red segments. Those three have as much to teach you as anything out there on film.

3) One food to eat:
I can't guarantee you'll like it, but you need to try tapioca pudding, made with real (non-instant) tapioca, whole milk, and a vanilla bean before you can say you hate tapioca. The lactose-intolerant may pass up the tapioca pudding in favor of muhammara, a Middle Eastern dip made of roasted red peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses. Actually, all you tapioca eaters can add muhammara to your lists too. I doubt I could keep you from it once you'd tasted it.

4) One place to go:
Not a place but a process: any trans-continental car or train trip. The cliché of learning about yourself on these trips exists for a reason.

5) One life lesson to leave behind:
Spend some time outside every day, no matter how bad you think the weather is.


4 comments or Leave a comment
retc From: retc Date: August 26th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)

i love invisible cities

it is wonderful to just thumb through
i don't think i've ever had tapioca
i'll add it to my list
just mentioning it reminds me of benny and joon
florafloraflora From: florafloraflora Date: August 26th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: i love invisible cities

Now that you've twisted my arm, I'm forced to give you the recipe I worked out when I made tapioca for the first time in years, a couple of weeks ago. A lot of people are scared of tapioca because they think it's too solid. This recipe is looser, but if you want it to be thicker you can cook it for 5-10 minutes over low heat after adding the yolks.


1/2 cup pearl tapioca
4 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract at end)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2-2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks

1. Soak tapioca overnight (10-12 hours) in 2 cups water. Drain.

2. Heat tapioca, milk, vanilla bean and salt to a slow simmer. Cook 1 hour, stirring frequently, until tapioca pearls are translucent and chewy all the way through (no crunch is left in the center). Stir in sugar.

3. Beat egg yolks in a small bowl. Stir in about 1/2 cup of hot tapioca. Stir yolk mixture back into tapioca. Transfer to a bowl or individual ramekins. Cool and serve.
retc From: retc Date: August 26th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

didn't mean to twist your arm

Where does one buy tapioca pearls?
I'll check at Whole Foods.
I am definitely curious.
florafloraflora From: florafloraflora Date: August 27th, 2007 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: didn't mean to twist your arm

I'm trying to think where I got my tapioca. I think you'd find it in the baking/dessert section, maybe near the Jello, in the kind of grocery store that has a really huge selection, the kind of place that would also have canning supplies. Let me know how it goes!
4 comments or Leave a comment