Grandma Lovell lived during the Depression. But despite their tight circumstances, Grandpa was a farmer and had farm hands... farm hands that had to be fed. So Grandma learned to be very creative in her frugality. (I'm sure that it didn't hurt that she lived in Idaho and potatoes are dirt cheap.) Not wanting to skip the very important course of dessert, she created a very basic pudding and called it Nothing Pudding.
I grew up with Nothing Pudding being as common a dish as Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding. It never crossed my mind that all other families were not also blessed with this amazing dish. (For the record, I had not heard the original story at this point.) I arrived at college and decided that I wanted to make Nothing Pudding. To my befuddlement, all of my roommates were confused by this announcement. To my amazement, none of them had ever even heard of Nothing Pudding. I called my mom with two purposes: to get the recipe and to ask her why I was a lone reed amongst my friends.
I got the recipe and the story. You already have the story, so now I'll give you the recipe.
2 cups milk, divided
1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat the eggs. Add 1/4 c. milk, sugar, and cornstarch. Beat into a paste. Add rest of milk and vanilla. Cook in microwave or double boiler until thick. For the microwave, cook 8-12 minutes on high, stirring every couple of minutes. Sorry, I can't give you a time for the double boiler...I've never done it; Jalin says it's longer than in the microwave. Just keep stirring until it's a good pudding consistency.
I suggest adding fruit (red ones like strawberries or raspberries are particularly good) upon serving, as it is a rather bland pudding. (Like unto vanilla.)