When I was first teaching myself to cook, I really didn’t know how to predict what a recipe might taste like. There were so many foods in the world I had never tried. And so, I would tackle almost any recipe, especially if the cookbook author went on and on about how delicious it was. Some of them turned out to be pretty good, too.
Some of them didn’t. The most infamous of the lot has left us with a household catch phrase for any food experiment that doesn’t turn out well: “It’s better than tripe.” (You’ve never eaten tripe? Imagine furry gristle. You don’t need to imagine the taste – there is none.)
Tonight I tried the recipe for “Confetti Corn Pudding” from Corn Cookery by Sheila Buff. It was better than tripe. Not much better, though.
It started out looking very pretty, before I cooked it.
You cook the onion and peppers in a little butter till they’re soft, then add the corn, cream, and pepper. All of that gets simmered until the liquid reduces (boils away) a bit. Then you let it cool off while you mix the egg and flour; stir that into everything else, and bake it for half an hour in a buttered pan.
Well, that’s the theory. It took it forty minutes to set completely, and it didn’t look very appetizing when it finally solidified.
Unfortunately, it looked better than it tasted. It always startles me when I come across one of those concoctions that use several pleasant-tasting ingredients, and turn out to taste like nothing at all. (Well, I could taste, or maybe feel, the black pepper. That was about it.) Never again.
Cookbooks marked down from $13.95 to $2.98 were probably marked down for a good reason. Steer clear of them.