A few years ago I attended a potluck where a fair number of us granola types were in attendance along with some nongranolas old enough to be our mothers. There was a predictable array of whole-wheat pasta salads, dishes made with eggplants and squashes, spinachy things, millet and brown rice, all beloved of back-to-the-landers. There was also a corn pudding that everyone absolutely adored and gushed over. Many of us asked for the recipe from the older lady who brought it. She said, as she wrote it down on an envelope, “Oh, it is very easy, this is all you need.” What followed was a list of canned and packaged ingredients that most of us had given up 20 years ago.
Every once in a while, I meet up with this corn pudding at a potluck or a supper with a friend, and I always think, “This is so yummy.”
The moral of the story is it doesn’t pay to be too snooty about your grub. I like cooking from scratch and using food I grow in my own garden, and usually that doesn’t include canned creamed corn or Jiffy muffin mix. I don’t like to eat ingredients I can’t pronounce, the ones listed on packages that are there to ensure a shelf life that will exceed my own. But this pudding is one of those exceptions.
Obviously, you can use your own frozen corn, an equivalent amount to what you get in a can, about 1¾ cups. You could use another 1½ cups corn and make a homemade cream sauce, too.
The other thing about this recipe is that there is really quite a bit of fat in it. Because most of the fattiest stuff — sour cream and cheese — goes on top, you can cut it back and make a thinner layer of it. Or promise me you’ll eat this only after you have been cross-country skiing or shoveling snow all day.
Looking for …
Speaking of packaged mixes, this from Lisa Gardner by e-mail: “I baked a cake for my new boss back in the late 1980s from the back of a box, one of the big cake mix companies. One could bake a ‘light’ recipe, the regular, or the more ‘deluxe’ version, where you added a couple of extra ingredients. I made the deluxe version, but added one wrong ingredient. Instead of evaporated milk, I added sweetened condensed milk. I took it to work anyway … I was so worried about how that cake would taste, but the cake turned out fabulous, and my boss loved it. Well, I never thought to write down the other extra ingredients, since it was on the back of the box, and of course the next time I bought a cake mix, it was gone.”
Gardner has hunted on the Internet, blogs and around. She remembers it was a chocolate cake. If one of you could help, “that would be wonderful,” she says.
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