Cooking Catastrophe Stories: Wrong Ingredient Ruined Pudding

A personal account of a cooking catastrophe.

| November/December 2011

When I got married summer of 1961, I knew very little about cooking. I had two older sisters who helped Mom in the kitchen, but I preferred to help Dad outside. Mom always expressed some doubts as to whether I would be able to cook well enough to keep a husband happy.

I was determined to prove my mom wrong, so the month after my husband and I were married, we invited my parents over to our house for my first company dinner.

Ready, set, action!

Wanting to make a perfect meal, I pulled out my handy cookbook and flipped through the pages, looking for a menu of foods that didn’t look too complicated, yet would be delicious. I opted for fried chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a made-from-scratch chocolate pudding for dessert.

I set about making the pudding first, so it would have plenty of time to set up. I mixed the ingredients, and I stirred and stirred, but it wouldn’t thicken. Finally, I spooned the mixture into custard cups and put them in the refrigerator, sure they would firm and chill in time for dessert.

Then I prepared the rest of the meal.

Dinner’s ready

The meal was pretty good. Nothing was burnt and nothing was undercooked. Pretty good, I thought, for someone with my cooking experience.

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