Chocolate Pudding 1.06 Rory's Birthday Parties
“What’s that?” “It’s pudding.” “Well if you knew what it was why did you ask?” “You don’t like pudding.” “Yes, but you like pudding.” “Oh, I love pudding. I worship it. I have a bowl up on the mantel at home with the Virgin Mary, a glass of wine, and a dollar bill next to it.” “I've never had pudding from a crystal bowl before.”
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups whole milk
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract (because it's December, I swapped with peppermint extract for a festive flavor)
1. Mix the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan until fully combined. Then place the saucepan over medium heat.
2. Slowly add in the milk, stirring continuously. Bring to a boil and allow the pudding to boil for about 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
3. Remove saucepan from heat and add butter and vanilla extract (or peppermint if you're using that).
4. Once everything is fully incorporated, allow the pudding to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to cool for an additional 20-30 minutes.
Ah, one of my favorite Emily Gilmore episodes. Throughout the episode, she has to come to terms that she doesn’t know her own daughter. And though with this realization, Emily probably puts more blame on Lorelai, I think this discovery is a critical moment in this mother/daughter relationship. Emily really makes an effort to understand Lorelai and Rory as seen with the pudding and the shopping trip for Rory’s birthday present. However, at the birthday party she throws for Rory with all the Chilton kids, that bonding comes to a crashing halt.
Then we get that heartbreaking moment after Richard and Emily visit Lorelai’s house for the very first time and Emily says to Richard, “I don’t know my daughter at all.” It’s such a powerful scene, and it’s the moment when I became invested in the storyline between Lorelai and Emily and how their relationship develops.
Because pudding is such an important metaphor for that relationship in this episode, it was only fitting that I made chocolate pudding. Even though Lorelai and Rory would definitely just make their pudding from a box (hell, probably just from a snack pack because the box mix requires mixing and waiting), Emily would only serve the finest homemade chocolate pudding. However, this recipe is super easy and creates a rich, creamy pudding (crystal bowls optional).
Even though Rory’s birthday is in October, we’re making this pudding in December, so naturally, I wanted to make this chocolate pudding more festive. Substituting the vanilla extract with peppermint creates the perfect Christmas flavor. What’s so great about pudding is its versatility. You can top the pudding with whipped cream and any candy or cookie toppings you wish. I decided for my Christmas pudding to add whipped cream and roasted hazlenuts. They created a nice contrast in texture with the creamy pudding. You can even pair the pudding with another dessert if you really want to treat yourself. Or you can eat it just as is and it’s the perfect chocolate fix.
It’s always funny to me to watch the first season before Rory and Paris become friends. I love an enemies-turned-best-friends storyline, and I think Paris and Rory’s story is believable and one I enjoy watching grow. And as much as I hate him, I do love any scene with Rory and Tristan. I think Chad Michael Murray played smarmy so perfectly, and I’m disappointed we didn’t get to see his character continue on in the series after he landed One Tree Hill (don’t even get me started on bobo Tristan in the Netflix revival).
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the iconic Gilmore Girls birthday scene in which Lorelai comes into Rory’s room at the time of her birth and retells her birth story. I absolutely love this scene because it reminds us that it’s always been just Lorelai and Rory against the world ever since Rory was born. I do also love when this scene comes around again in season six with Madeleine Albright, but we’ll get to that! I like thinking about Lorelai coming into Rory’s room when she’s still a kid and waking her up at exactly 4:03 and telling her the story. And even though Rory might think her mom is eccentric for waking her up in the early hours of the morning, she still enjoys this tradition.
Even though there are times during the show I wished Rory had more friends her own age, I do enjoy how the town comes together to celebrate her birthday. There is nothing fancy about her party at home, but there is something so special about all the townies together at the Gilmore house. I do like that this townie gathering comes right off the tails of Cinnamon’s wake in the last episode. It shows how this town will come together for any occasion, and they go through the highs and lows together.
If you follow me on Instagram, I shared my Gilmore Girls themed Animal Crossing New Horizons dream address yesterday. It’s definitely still a work in progress, but if you play, I’d love for you to visit! I’m a little sad the game doesn’t have a gazebo you can use to decorate your island with, but if you visit, see if you can find the area I tried to embody the Stars Hollow gazebo vibes! I have three houses: the Gilmore house, the Dragonfly, and Luke’s dinner (be sure to stop by to find Taylor’s Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe). Also if you visit, send me pictures of your favorite Gilmore Girls inspired area!
If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!