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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » I just spent 30 minutes trying to make pudding- chaos ensues. I am a cliche.

   
Author Topic: I just spent 30 minutes trying to make pudding- chaos ensues. I am a cliche.
Orincoro
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Yes.

But in my defense, the instructions on the pudding packet were all in Czech. It took me a few minutes to work out that I was supposed to warm the milk before I added the packet- but then I couldn't figure out why the pudding wasn't hardening so I put it in the fridge for 5 minutes. Then I took it out and added another packet of mix, then I heated it and it got really thick, so I added some milk, then I tasted it and it was like vanilla chalk. I looked at the packet again and noticed "30-40 g cukr" on the 3rd part of the instructions, so I dumped it all back in the pan and added some sugar, but I think way too much. The whole mass started to bubble and congeal like an awful living thing, so I dumped it back into the bowl again for about the 4th time and kept stirring it. Then I noticed there were all these lumps in it, so I obviously messed up the process somewhere around step 2...

I just tasted it, and it's a super-sweet sort of custard, kind of like what you might get on a continental breakfast danish, only with milky-chalky lumps in it.

I fail at life.


Edit: I think the mistake was the second pack- that was kind of my panic reaction to the milk addition... I think I've created a new food: "superpudding."

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Orincoro
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Oooof. The flavor is way too strong and now I'm getting a headache.

Oh well. A waste of 16 crows for pudding packets isn't so bad.

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Orincoro
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Ugh. Now I'm nauseous. This was a terrible idea.

Note to self. Never. Cook. Anything. Ever. Again.

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Fitz
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I boiled pasta the other day and put way too much water. Shortly after I added the pasta, the water started to boil over and in a panic I drained the whole thing. It was extremely al dente. I still ate the whole mess, so it wasn't too awful.

That being said, I'm a deft hand at a number of recipes, which allows me to get by in a pinch. I'm definitely not the cook of the household though.

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rivka
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Instant pudding =! cooking

And I suspect that you would have been just fine if the directions had been in English.


Fitz, partially cooked pasta is easy to fix. Boil a new potful of water and put the pasta in. Some restaurants do this deliberately -- cook pasta 80-90%, then hold, and finish cooking to customer order. Allows for fresh-yet-quick pasta dishes.

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Dobbie
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You should get a computer. Then you could look up instructions for making instant pudding on the internets. In English!
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Ugh. Now I'm nauseous. This was a terrible idea.

Note to self. Never. Cook. Anything. Ever. Again.

[Big Grin]


This thread is funny. [Big Grin]

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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by Dobbie:
You should get a computer. Then you could look up instructions for making instant pudding on the internets. In English!

Now you're just talking crazy talk... What's the fun in that?!?
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The Rabbit
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I suspect it wasn't instant pudding. Instant pudding is kind of rare in Europe.
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Kama
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I'm not sure what instant pudding means, but I'm sure what Ori describes is a powder mixed with hot milk and then cooled, which is very common in Poland, Germany, and Luxembourg at least. I don't know how you can get any more instant than that.
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Jamio
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Instant pudding just needs whisked up with cold milk.
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Kama
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ahh.

well, ours has the added value of eating hot if someone likes that kind of thing. (bleagh). they fed us it in kindergarten and it made me sick.

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Teshi
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Usually things need heating and stirring before they harden. If it didn't thicken, you either had too much milk or you didn't heat it enough. I would personally start with the milk cold, add the 30g sugar (how did you mess that one up?), the powder and THEN heat, stirring as you do so.

I suspect it's not the same kind of instant pudding as you can get in America, even if it's instant pudding Czech-style.

And I agree, making instant pudding is not cooking. Also-- how do you live if you can't cook? Do you just eat out all the time? Isn't that kind of expensive?

Cooking is very easy. Get English recipes and you will do absolutely fine.

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Orincoro
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I eat noodles and such at home, I can make ramen or some 5 minute pastas and things like that. In college I used to cook a lot of stuff in my wok, but since I've been in Europe I've been too busy most of the time for real cooking- that and the ingredients here are always a little wonky.
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Teshi
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I'm sure the Europeans manage [Wink] .
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Orincoro
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Yes, but I can never find what I want in the store.

That and the checkout lady yelled at me for not weighing and tagging my fruits properly- I thought the tomatoes were per-piece, not by weight.

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Kama
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that can't be very healthy for you Ori.
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Corwin
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Don't they mark which item is by weight and which is per-piece?

And I've never seen tomatoes per-piece...

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Orincoro
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They do mark them, but every store is different, and its a little hard to figure out the signs if it's not your first, or second language.
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Corwin
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True. [Smile] The good thing here in France is that in stores in which you have to weigh things yourself there's a number for each fruit/vegetable that has to be weighed, and no number for those that don't. So even if you didn't understand French that could be an indication.
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Teshi
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quote:
Yes, but I can never find what I want in the store.
Time to try out a few new recipes, perhaps?
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kmbboots
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Orinoco, I think that instant pudding counts as cooking. I was very proud of myself for making good brownies from a box last week.

Lots of trial and error, though. I did unpleasant things to a steak last night.

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rivka
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Brownies from a box is several levels more difficult than instant (or semi-instant) pudding. Anyway, it can actually be easier to cook from scratch than from a mix in many cases. Mixes can be very unforgiving. (Which was my point -- not to let a bad experience with a mix discourage him from trying to cook in the future.)
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Teshi
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You know, I'm not a fan of cooking-- I don't cook for pleasure but out of necessity. However, I do feel very privileged to have been taught how to cook.

I can cook brownies out of a box, to difficult cakes, to stir fry, to stew, to steak, to gravy, to soup. I can cook every basic vegetable and every basic carbohydrate in every form. I can roast, deep-fry, boil and deep-fry meat; I can cook or use most basic fish types. I can make up dishes on the fly from whatever's in the fridge, I can follow recipes and I know when and how to modify recipes when they don't work the first time.

I'm not a cordon bleu chef, like I said, but I've been rigorously instructed on how to buy and make a wide variety of meals.

One of the things people often have problems with is burning stuff. The secret to not burning stuff is to be in the kitchen when you're cooking. Living in residence, I rescued burning food more than once.

I feel like many cook books are counterproductive to the clueless cook. They are generally full of recipes. They assume you already know how to thicken a sauce if it turns out too thin, or what consistency your cake mix should be, or how to test if your cake mix is done.

Many people will attempt a recipe (a cake recipe, for example), but not knowing what the consistency is supposed to be like they put the uncooked cake in the oven too dry or too wet. They might have an oven that cooks faster and overdo it, and they might have a wet mixture and a slow over and not know that their cake is still wet inside. The product is inedible. "I can't cook!" they wail.

You can cook. Everyone can cook.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
The secret to not burning stuff is to be in the kitchen when you're cooking.

oops! [Wink]
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Teshi
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Well-- once you know how long stuff has before it boils dry, you can leave the kitchen. I know YOU know how to cook, rivka.
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ambyr
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
I can roast, deep-fry, boil and deep-fry meat

Am I sensing a favorite here? ;-)
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:

You can cook. Everyone can cook.

Only if they have been "very privileged to have been taught how to cook" or "rigorously instructed on how to buy and make a wide variety of meals".

Most people probably can be taught to cook but many people don't have someone who can teach them. And it is harder to learn when you are older.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Well-- once you know how long stuff has before it boils dry, you can leave the kitchen. I know YOU know how to cook, rivka.

Yeah, but forgetting about something just long enough to singe it 'round the edges is a problem I do have.

My kids understand the term "Cajun style". [Wink]

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scifibum
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My mother boils pots dry chronically. I know the smell of corn-turned-to-charcoal intimately. (It is not a very good smell.) She has recently branched out into setting smoking pots down on flammable surfaces. This is all because my mother is under the impression that she can multitask. She thinks it's a good idea to grade her students' papers in another part of the house while a cooking process that takes all of five minutes is underway.

I blame society, and this "women are good multitaskers" idea that came from somewhere.

(BTW, my mother can follow a recipe, and can cook without directions, in a pretty basic way, but is boring in the kitchen except for the charring incidents. Probably wise of her not to take up deep frying.)

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Jamio
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:

I feel like many cook books are counterproductive to the clueless cook. They are generally full of recipes. They assume you already know how to thicken a sauce if it turns out too thin, or what consistency your cake mix should be, or how to test if your cake mix is done.

This is why, when I want to try something unusual, I have taken to watching video tutorials on Youtube. I'm also a fan of public television's America's Test Kitchen. Their Chicken Tikka Masala started me on curries after several fancy cookbooks had me discouraged with long lists of expensive whole spices that I was to grind whole because commercial spices are how you make FAKE CURRY! [Eek!]
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Uprooted
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Living in residence, I rescued burning food more than once.

What does "living in residence" mean?

I once woke up from an afternoon nap in an old house I shared w/ roommates. A cloud of thick smoke was making me cough. I stumbled out to the kitchen and discovered that one of my roommates had decided to boil some frozen mixed veggies. And then just went . . . away. So glad I was home.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Uprooted:
quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Living in residence, I rescued burning food more than once.

What does "living in residence" mean?
Dorming.
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Tstorm
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Uprooted:
quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Living in residence, I rescued burning food more than once.

What does "living in residence" mean?
Dorming.
Or living in a residence hall. (Residence halls are technically different from dorms.)
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rivka
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Didn't know that. How are they different?
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scifibum
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For one thing, they have a different name.

[Wink]

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Tstorm
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quote:
Didn't know that. How are they different?
Oops, sorry, I posted that right before lunch and then got busy with work all afternoon...

When I was in school, I was informed that the difference was this: Dorms have community facilities, whereas Residence Halls don't. So, a dorm has a community bathroom at the end of the hall. In a residence hall, the bathrooms would be shared between a couple of rooms.

There were some people in campus housing who did not take lightly to people who didn't know the difference...so I learned that right away. [Smile]

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rivka
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That sounds like a difference specific to a certain school. I have seen dorms with communal facilities and some where each cluster (2-6) of rooms share one.
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Tstorm
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Well, that's certainly possible. At any rate, whenever someone uses the term, "Residence" in reference to a campus housing situation, that's what pops into my mind. [Smile]
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