Vanilla Pudding (Vegan)

"For what it's worth: it's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over again."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

'Being a junior in college is easy,' they said. 'You don't need to worry about adulthood until you become a senior. That's when it becomes time to pull your hair up into a tight, round bun, straighten your posture, and go out into this world to find direction,' they said. 

I don't think they're telling us the truth. I spend a lot of my time wondering if it's all about a choice between two variables that will decide my future. 
1) I tie my hair up into that bun, put on the heels I don't own, and walk through an auditorium full of people in suits who pass out business cards and jobs, because this is what it means to have "direction." 
2) I motivate myself and become what I want to be..whatever that may be.

'I want to be a pastry chef,' I said. 'I want to own a bakery,' I said. 

I'm telling you now, that I honestly don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I know that I don't want to work crazy hours on my feet, because my knees will grow to hate me even more than they already do. I know that I don't want to turn in my whisk and my spatula. I know that there is no way humanely possible that I will be able to sit in a chair behind a desk crunching numbers into an excel spreadsheet. 

I know that I like my camera. I know that I like my pen. I like dessert. But I also like animals and the ocean. I like to collect seashells and I like a man who likes to collect rocks. I like mountains and explorations. I like to run. I like coffee and tea, art and fiction literature. I like to water flowers and harvest vegetables. Sometimes I like to lay on my back and do absolutely nothing but close my eyes and dream that one day, I will be able to do something with all of these things. 

Pink Floyd's video for their song, Another Brick in the Wall, makes a statement that my dad used to quote to me when I was little. It reads, "If you don't you eat your meat, you can't have any pudding." The song is actually about school teachers who abuse their students, and how the students stand up to them for what they believe. 

At this moment in time, I haven't eaten meat in well over a year. And if you have taken a moment to glance up at the title of this post, then you are well aware that I can still have pudding. 

Why do I bring this up, you ask?
Because there is no law telling me that I must pick one direction to follow and leave all the other paths behind. I'm finding peace in my mind that a little bit of everything is possible, and that as Fitzgerald once said, "it's never too late to be whoever you want to be."
Soy Vanilla Pudding (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Yield: about 2 cups
Lightly adapted from: wonkywonderful

Click here for full printable recipe

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sweetened vanilla soy milk, divided (I have not tried other non-dairy milks, but I believe that coconut milk would also work well)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Method:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 3/4 cup soy milk with sugar and vanilla extract. In a measuring cup, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry. 
  2. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until it reaches boiling point while slowly stirring with a whisk. Then, pour the cornstarch slurry into the boiling milk in a steady stream. Whisk constantly for 4-5 minutes until the mixture thickens to pudding. 
  3. Pour the pudding into an airtight container and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. 
  4. For a smooth texture, strain the pudding through a cheesecloth or puree in a blender for a few seconds before serving with your choice of fruit.

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall