Monday, 1 October 2012

"This is Terrible - the Soda is Overwhelming!" Cherry Pudding


She ain't pretty, she just looks that way.
Every now and then, I find handwritten comments in the margins of my cookbooks. Usually, these comments are positive, since cakers are pretty easy to please. After all, if most of your recipes start with “Empty contents of can,” your culinary arrow ain’t pointing high. Up until recently, I’d never come across a negative comment.

Then I found this recipe for Cherry Pudding in the London Newcomers’ Cook Book. “This is terrible," the handwriting screamed. “The soda is overwhelming!”

Naturally, my caker curiosity got the better of me. The comment was a little harsh. A teaspoon of baking soda didn’t seem like an “overwhelming” amount. So was Cherry Pudding really that bad?

Uh, yep.

I’ve eaten a lot of crap in my day, but this was among the crappiest. It was dry and crunchy. Plus, I was so overwhelmed by the baking soda, I passed out on the kitchen floor and woke up the next day. I wondered if an ingredient got omitted, but the recipe says “it's very dry.” So who knows? If anyone has a theory, let me know.

In the meantime, I’m adding my own comment to the page: “Tell it like it is, caker sister!”

To see some of the things I've found inside my cookbooks, check out the new Between the Pages section.

1 cup drained cherries (frozen sour are best) (See note)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
1 teaspoon soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Mix together (it’s very dry). Bake in 9” x 9” greased pan about 40 minutes at 350/375° oven. Serve warm or cold [Editor’s note: won’t help], top with ice cream [Editor’s note: won’t help], whipped cream [Editor’s note: won’t help] or thickened cherry juice [Editor’s note: won’t help].

Note: I couldn’t find frozen cherries, so I used cranberries instead. Not that it matters. Please don’t make this. Ever.

Here's the page. This woman speaks the goddamned truth.



Source: London Newcomers' Cook Book

20 comments:

  1. I think you should track down Lorraine and make her pay for this.
    She was American, so maybe she was having a little fun with her new neighbors? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure she didn't make any new friends...

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    1. I have to wonder why the word "American" appears next to Lorraine's name, veg-o-matic. It certainly seems...odd. Perhaps there's more to this pudding mystery than meets the eye.

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  2. I wonder if it was supposed to be baking powder, not soda?

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    1. Jim, that's a logical suggestion. I don't know how baking powder vs. soda would affect the chemistry of the ingredients. Does anyone have any insight?

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    2. baking powder relies on heat and moisture to rise, baking soda needs an acid to rise. (but isn't getting into the chemistry getting out of the caker esthetic?)

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    3. Excellent point, Jim. Although some caker food does taste like a chemistry experiment gone wrong.

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  3. I think it's too much from scratch. There's no Bisquick in there!!!! (American White Trash-er checking in)

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    1. If it had Bisquick, it would've been made in a blender and called "Impossible Cherry Pudding."

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  4. I like to think that her name is "Lorraine Ray American." Like "Todd English."
    That dish is ugly.

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    1. I think she's "Lorraine Ray (American)" as in "She's American and well, you know how *they* are..."

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    2. Maybe Lorraine Ray American meant soda pop. I've seen a recipe for Coca Cola Cake. It's not that much of a stretch.

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  5. From a little distance this looked like the Kitty Litter Cake I make (which yes, looks gross but is AWESOME - will send recipe). Thanks for the morning laugh : )))

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    1. Kim, please share that recipe if you get a chance. I'm going out on a limb here, but does it contain Tootsie Rolls by any chance?

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  6. When I saw the headline I thought "cherry soda pop" not "baking soda." Maybe give it a try.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing, but now I'm wondering if a teaspoon of pop would really do much of anything. And if it WAS soda pop, I bet my last dollar this would've been called "Cherry Soda Pudding." We cakers like to boast our unusual ingredients. Search Coca Cola Salad on the blog for a prime example.

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    2. Honey pie, cherry soda is so strong that a tsp would corrode your teeth. I hate anything flavored with cherry. I will eat cherries by the pound but anything else is just cloying.

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  7. You can ALWAYS trust the handwritten comments in the margins. They never fail.

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  8. Maybe the wanted the newcomers to leave? Anyway, I hate baking soda. I can always taste it. I always substitute baking powder.

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  9. I think it's missing like 1/4 cup of melted butter. Butter makes everything better.

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    1. Butter can fix a lot of things. But some things are beyond butter. I think this dish is one of them.

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