Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt together; gradually blend in milk. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Cook two to three minutes more. Turn off heat. Add vanilla. Pour into desert dishes and chill.
Chocolate Pudding: Follow above recipe but increase sugar to 1/2 cup and mix 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients. (Or use two 1-ounce squares unsweetened bakers chocolate, cut up, added with milk, instead of cocoa.)
Carmel Pudding: Melt 1/4 c. sugar in heavy skillet over low heat, stirring, till rich medium brown. Remove from heat. Slowly add 1/2 c. boiling water. Return to heat and stir until lump dissolve. Add to basic vanilla pudding recipe after milk.
Combine 1/4 c. sugar, 3 tbsp. cornstarch and 1/4 tsp. salt in saucepan; blend in 2 c. milk. Stir in caramel syrup. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick. Cook 2 minutes more. Add Vanilla. Pour into 5 - 6 desert cups. Chill