Last week I was ordering some new spices from my favorite spice company Atlantic Spice Co. I know, I know… everyone’s favorite online spice company is now Penzey’s, but Atlantic Spice (and their sister company San Francisco Herb Co.) is still my store of choice.

I had seen a few recipes lately calling for cardamom and coriander. The prices in grocery stores for spices are ludicrous and there was just no way I was spending $11.99 for a thimble full of cardamom powder! Also, I wanted to refill my smoked paprika and wanted some chipotle powder. Atlantic Spice does have a minimum $25.00 shipping order, so when I calculated my total – $22.50 – I went back to see if there was something else I couldn’t live without. I found a pound of pearl tapioca for $3.70/pound.

Homemade tapioca pudding has always been a favorite dessert – and one that I have seldom made. I had a recipe that had been sitting around forever, so when the packager arrived Tuesday, I was set to go! I’m actually not sure who the recipe is from – it’s handwritten on a scrap of paper… but it’s old…

A small summer storm came through the area, knocking out our power for 33 hours, so the pudding was put on hold until yesterday. And boy, was it worth the wait!

Rich, creamy, decadent! Better than anything one could buy…..


Tapioca Pudding

  • 1 cup tapioca
  • 4 c cream
  • 2 c milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 c sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Soak tapioca in water about 4 hours. Add cream, milk and salt. Heat and stir until boiling. Simmer, uncovered, about 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sugar gradually. Beat yolks. temper with some of hot tapioca. Mix into rest of mixture. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Add vanilla.

Simple directions… One thing to note is this is for pearl tapioca – not “instant.” And it does take about an hour to make. (I set the timer for 10 minute intervals to come in and stir…) And when it was done, I put it into a bowl and placed plastic wrap directly on the pudding to keep a skin from forming. The recipe could easily be halved – but that would mean only half as much pudding for the same amount of work!

I was on a bit of a roll… No power for 33 hours made me want to get into the kitchen, I guess (not that I ever seem to want to get OUT of the kitchen, mind you!) So it was time to also make Chipotle BBQ Sauce! (It’s not unusual for me to have simultaneous pots bubbling on the stove!)


Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • 2 cups catsup – organic, of course! No high fructose corn syrup!!
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tablespoons chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

Mix all ingrdients in a saucepan and simmer about 15 minutes. It is kick-a-poo GREAT!

And I had to make a Chipotle Spice Rub because… well… I have all the ingredients!!


Chipotle Spice Rub

  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chipotle powder
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup powdered garlic

Mix everything in a food processor until powdery. That’s it!

Last night, I used the powder on pork chops and then grilled them. They were most excellent! I made white rice to which I added a few tablespoons of hot fresh salsa, and had fresh corn on the cob on the side… And with warm tapioca pudding for dessert, it was gastronomic heaven!

Now… to find those recipes calling for cardamom…..