Another day with another adventure in the grocery store: Doing my daily shopping for one once during the morning, I noticed lots of shop assistants around, filling up the shelves and generally being very busy. I contemplated the possibility to ask for something I've been searching for quite a while - semolina. It looks like I've never grown out of this childhood treat that always comes in handy when I want some quickly cooked lunch that should also satisfy my sweet tooth while not being completely unhealthy. I go through a lot of that stuff.
However, stocking up on it proved to be a bit of a problem. In the supermarket next to our first flat in
Now living closer to the central business district, I could choose between two supermarkets but hadn’t found any semolina – despite having asked for it several times. This morning, after hesitating for a little while, I decided to give it another go and approached one of the shop assistants.
"Excuse me, could you please tell me where to find semolina?” I said in my nicest I-don’t-want-to-cause-any-hassle-voice.
His answer was short: "What's that?"
"Ahem, something like cracked wheat?!" Being at a loss for words, it was the quickest reply I could think of, knowing that it wasn’t quite correct. Have you ever had to explain what semolina actually is??
The shop assistant decided to take the reasonable way and took me to a colleague hoping that he would know more about it.
“Do you know where to find semolina?” – still with my nicest I-don’t-want-to-cause-any-hassle-voice.
“What’s that?” Haven’t I heard that one before? After providing my non-appropriate explanation again, the shop assistant led me to the cereal aisle. Standing in front of the boxed breakfast with no semolina whatsoever, I realised that he had just understood the word “wheat”.
And home I went without my beloved semolina.
Okay, just to be fair to the guild of shop assistants, I should mention that shortly after this memorable encounter, I finally got some semolina. In another shop, another shop assistant proved to be exceptionally helpful: She pointed one semolina brand in the health food section and another one next to the chocolate chips – sold out unfortunately.
Semolina Pudding with Rhubarb Compote
I have to admit that I never use a recipe when making this. Using the rule of thumb, I pour some semolina into the milk. If you add the semolina to the cold milk, you’ll never end up with lumps. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil, adding more milk if necessary (it will get stiffer while cooling down). Sweeten to your liking, add a pinch of salt, some vanilla sugar, and dust with cinnamon if desired.
Serve with your favourite fruit compote. I like to caramelize some sugar before adding the fruit. Stir to coat with caramel and depending on the juiciness of your fruits add a little water. Cook until you reach the desired consistency.
This is the ratio for semolina pudding one of my trusted old-style German cookbooks presents (serves 4):
1 litre of milk (low-fat works fine but whole milk tastes better)
To make the pudding bit richer, add up to 40g of butter, two egg yolks, and two egg whites beaten until stiff.