Tapioca Tribute

 Apricots add a Springtime flavor to our Tapioca Treat

Yesterday I made a Tapioca Treat for my Father’s birthday, which I have to share with you because it is one of those “too good to be true” desserts.

I can’t say my father loved it. It has been a long time since we’ve celebrated with him in person. He would have been 75 this year. But he has been gone almost 20, so now it is a celebration of the heart, an internal tribute to a life that gave life, a personal thanksgiving for his everyday example of nobility in action.

In addition to the endless love, encouragement and opportunities my father showered on us, his five children, he was, for me, a great “spiritual” teacher. He didn’t love the formalities of religion: he was young when his mother died and the Priest who said the Funeral Mass read from the script of another bereaved family, using all the wrong names and describing a very different mother.

That early loss and betrayal preceded the break-up of his family and long, lonely, later-forgotten teen years. Yet, my father was Sattvic ~ wise, clear-minded, generous, curious, fair, smart, philosophical, broad-minded, brave, kind, a safe refuge, and a lot of fun. I often say to myself, not harshly but compassionately, that I haven’t, and may never, live up to the promise of being George L. Plumb’s eldest. But I do my best to pass on the best he gave to us.

Dad

When we were little, he loved gathering us all into the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon 
to make Tapioca and I wanted to remember that with my stepson. So in his honor, I made a special dessert and shared it with my own family, as a flavor of a man they will never meet.

This is a perfect treat for my father’s April birthday not only for its tastes of love reviving connections long lost,  but also because Tapioca is “Kapha-reducing” ~ exactly the action we want from our meals in Springtime. In the Spring, we look to significantly reduce dairy, sugar and heavy grains, while increasing the fibrous foods that make us lighter and warming spices that boost metabolic fires. This Tapioca Recipe is just that. It combines all the digestive benefits of Lassi, with fiber and heart-loving betacarotene from Apricots, and the low-calorie, high-energy boost of Tapioca ~ without any sugar added. I hope you enjoy it!

Tapioca Pearls

Apricot Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca Pearls, 1/3 cup
Water, 2 cups
Dried Apricots, 10-12
Ghee, 1 Teaspoon (Coconut Oil for Vegan)
Cinnamon, 1/2 Teaspoon
Ginger, 1/8 teaspoon
Clove, 2 Shakes
Cardamom, 2 Shakes
Nutmeg, Dash
Asafoetida, Dash
Rock Salt, Pinch
Honey, 2 Tablespoons
Plain Yogurt, 1 cup

Boil 1 and 1/3 cups of water and add the tapioca pearls. Stir, reduce heat, cover. After ten minutes, check. It is done when the pearls have dissolved and it looks like melted glue.

Meanwhile, melt the ghee in a saucepan on medium low heat. Add the spices and saute one minute. Toss in the apricots and stir to coat throughly. Turn up the heat and add the remaining water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer about ten minutes, until the tapioca is done.

Put the apricots with the water, now more of a juice, into a blender. Mix until the apricots are minced. Add the yogurt and the tapioca and blend lightly. If the mixture is cooled to a temperature that does not burn to the touch, add the honey and blend one final time. Otherwise, you can drizzle the honey over it once served. It should be the consistency of pudding with a light peach color.

You can also just stir it all together if you don’t have a blender. That is how I made it for my Ayurveda Spring Detox Cooking Class. Just be sure, if you do it that way, that you give the apricots a good fine chop before you stew them.

Garnish with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg, a mint or basil leaf, chopped glazed pecans or pine nuts, a touch of orange zest for color and zing. Or, just grab a spoon and dig in. Yum!

Apricot Tapioca Pudding

Not too long ago, referring to my father, my college roommate said, “We all want our own George.”  He knew how to lift you up, make you laugh, nourish your mind, feed your soul. He would impart wisdom in easy gestures, subtle ways.

Even in making a straightforward dish like Apricot Tapioca Pudding, for example, I wonder at the world: its diversity, flavors, inventiveness, and above all, the potency of Mother Nature to create such delicious, substantial, cleansing foods. For the thought spirals that go from tapioca pearls to cosmic chemistry, while vividly appreciating the simple sensuous tastes of Spring’s profusion, I have my Dad to thank.

I just wish I did more of that while he was here. Thanking, that is. He knew all along what it has taken me decades to painstakingly learn; that is, how to live a Sattvic life, and feed the body according to the seasons.  For that example, and so much more, I am deeply grateful.

My first Yoga Teacher

Thank you, Dad!

Yum

18 thoughts on “Tapioca Tribute

  1. This is such a beautiful, heartfelt post, Laura. Your father looks darling and sounds wonderful. So sad that he died relatively young.
    Tapioca is such a blast from the past; I used to love it as a kid. Cannot wait to make this even tastier version.
    Love, Anne Marie

    • You would have really loved my father. I can see you laughing together, nodding in silent appreciation together, sharing wisdom, standing in mutual knowing. You both have it. It would have been a complete sync.

      We love you, Anne Marie. You are such an inspiration and a blessing in our lives.

  2. Hi Sweetie,

    This is just a beautiful tribute to your dad who would have been 75 yesterday.

    Every word was so lovingly written. Yummy. I will have to give this a try. I hope you sent it on to all of your siblings.

    Love, Mom

    • Thanks Mom! A tribute to you is next. We were so blessed to have such outstanding human beings as parents. Happy Mother’s Day in advance!

      • Triphal normally grows wild in most sotheurn states of India.Its aturvedic properties apart,iy is a well known n widely used in most kitchens/masalas.Thanks for making people aware of this excellent product.

  3. So gorgeous- so good- so grateful for his wisdom and yours to pass on in the stream of ayurveda and love!
    Love,
    Dawna

    • Hello Dawna Love,
      I have been thinking about you all week. Let us know by posting here if you will, if you make this Dessert and if so, what creative flourishes you add. And by the way, this would make a great baby food.
      Love to Chloe!

      • I will definitely add it to the baby food repertoire- she can add yogurt in 2 months. This week I made her brown rice cereal with apples, cinnamon, and golden raisins! Let’s talk soon- I miss you so!

  4. Laura, how beautiful! I couldn’t stop crying even after I finished reading your blog. It might have a little to do with the hormones 🙂 but it also made me stop & think about how special my dad is to me. So thank you!

  5. Yes, we were so lucky to have a George in our lives! All he ever wanted for us was happiness, so I’d say you were living up to his expectations… and his tapioca always made me happy… thanks for the recipe 🙂

  6. Beautifully written! What a wonderful way to keep his spirit in your lives and to share him with those you love. Really looking forward to trying this recipe. Love the photo of you and him at the end of the post. Made me think of my own wonderful father 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, Jamie. Your own father must have been wonderful – he helped raise such a beautiful, wonderful you!

  7. What a beautiful tribute, journal, recipe and celebration. We have such an extraordinary man to thank for his eldest daughter, who became such an extraordinary woman. I love this glimpse into your family history, beautiful Laura. You exemplify the feminine nourishing of your own family, and extended family of Yogis, with boundless compassion and creativity.

    • Thank you, Rebecca. You bring tears to my eyes. My father was so special. When he died I vowed to keep him alive in my heart and in my life, but I am no match. I do what I can… It is people like you who feed the soul, restore the heart when weary, and remind us of our purpose. Not because you need my life to be purposeful. But because you are such an inspiration yourself. My father would have “seen” you, and appreciated your brave soulful elegance.

      Love Love Love ~

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