When I set new goals on Mondays or on the first day of the month or on the first day of the year, inevitably, I quit. Somewhere along the line something happens to trip me up and I don’t just fall of the bandwagon, I dive headfirst off of it.
I will decide to eat better, but the first thing I put in my mouth is a sugary donut. I will tell myself I will have a productive day, but then I won’t roll out of bed until 9 a.m. I will allow myself a 20-minute nap that I wake from two hours later.
I suppose these tendencies are why I start thinking about my resolutions in November. I need to build up a certain amount of mental momentum to actually get things done. Building in time to fail is becoming part of that process. The past few days, my mantra has been,”it takes as long as it takes.”
I tend to want to get things done all at once, hating to leave things unfinished. This, perhaps ironically, leads to a lot of unfinished business.
In this new year, I am getting comfortable with moving through all that needs to be done at the speed it actually takes versus the speed I think – or I hope – it should take.
The inherent risk in that is that work will expand to fill the time allotted, but I think there is a balance to be had. Just as there is a balance to be found in eating the occasional donut for breakfast or allowing a bit of rest amidst a busy life.
I have mixed feelings about custard. Ice cream with a custard base is awesome. Crème brûlée is my heaven. Panna Cotta? I’m still on board. But then there is flan. I’m not a huge fan. And there are baked custards. Some I like. Some I do not.
This custard falls right in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, it is good, but I like it more than I love it. It’s crazy sweet and the bites of kabocha custard are unusual. Enjoyable, but unusual. Starting the new year with something new.
The inspiration for this recipe is a Thai dessert where a pumpkin (in this case, pumpkin refers to a kabocha squash) is filled with custard, steamed, and cut into wedges for serving. This recipe offers the same taste with more consistent results since the custard is cooked in uniform ramekins rather than in squash of varying thickness. Enjoy!
Yield 4 servings
1 cup peeled and diced kabocha squash
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/8 teaspoon salt
hot water (at least 4 cups)
- Divide the peeled and diced squash among four ramekins.
- Whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, sugar, and salt until smooth. Do not overbeat; the mixture should not become frothy.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh colander then divide it evenly among the ramekins.
- Tightly cover each ramekin with a square of aluminum foil and place them in a large baking dish, leaving room between each so they do not touch.
- Pour the hot water into the baking dish until it is half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
- Carefully place the baking dish holding the ramekins in and hot water in a 350 degree F oven and bake 40 - 45 minutes. The custards are done when the middles jiggle slightly when the sides of the ramekins are tapped.
- Allow the ramekins to cool slightly, then serve warm. The custards may also be served at room temperature or chilled.
This recipe assumes one-cup ramekins are used to hold the custard.
If you have a tea kettle, you can use it to boil the hot water needed for the water bath.