While our kitchen is being renovated, we’ve set up camp in the main bathroom, which we have equipped with electric skillet, small microwave, and toaster oven. Electric kettle and toaster are on the dinette table, which is camping in the family room. The dish drainer monopolizes the bathtub. Gordon enjoys using the telephone shower to rinse the dishes! All this leaves me about one square foot of counter space to work in. I can either use the cutting board to prep ingredients, or replace it with the skillet to cook them. I’m realizing that once the kitchen is remodeled and I return to having No More counter space than I had before (we have not changed the “footprint” of the kitchen), I will be deliriously grateful for all the room!
Invited to bring a dessert to tonight’s pot-luck, I figured I could get away with not having any kitchen by whomping up a no-bake pie using a purchased cookie crust, instant pudding, whipped topping, etc. There are recipes galore online. I chose chocolate, spiked with Italian hazelnut syrup and topped with fresh-shelled, toasted, sliced hazels (cheap except for the blister raised by the nutcracker).
I was indeed suspicious when the recipe called for 2 packages of pudding mix–each of which normally takes 2 cups of milk–but only 1 1/4 cups of milk. Okay, I figured, that provides enough thickening to allow for the whipped topping which one folds into the pudding after whisking it with the milk.
There must have been some mistake. The pudding/milk set up like concrete, half of it INSIDE the balloon of the whisk. By the time I had cut and pried it out, and mashed it together with the (barely thawed) whipped topping, the combination had the consistency of Gummy Bears. I could barely flatten it in the pie shell. The remainder of the topping having thawed to its normal gluey consistency, I piled it in snowy drifts on top and sprinkled my hazelnuts attractively. Very pretty. But a lick of the spatula reminded me that Cool Whip tastes like a byproduct of the Gulf oil spill.
This Thing is in the refrigerator now. Fortunately the crust came in its own foil pan, which I don’t have to retrieve after the party. I figure I’ll sneak the pie onto the dessert table when nobody’s looking and thence disown any knowledge of it. There will be many other desserts, and our friends are smart enough to nibble the cookie shell or nuts and leave the glutinous part on their plates.
My distrust of packaged “food” products has been reinforced. Even with altered proportions, I suspect it would taste like something from Monsanto.
I had found the recipe online but later noticed that the identical formula was given on the Keebler pie crust I had purchased. I tried to contact Keebler to complain. Did you know they demand logging in with month, day, and year of birth; address; and other information which has nothing to do with a recipe?? Somehow they forgot to require Social Security number. Sheesh.
UPDATE: Here is the reply from Keebler:
> Thank you for trying our recipe for Five Minute White Chocolate > Hazelnut Pie and telling us about your experience. You will be > receiving a coupon to replace the crust that you used in the recipe > in 7-10 business days. > > This recipe has been tested many times by our recipe developers and > we don't know why it didn't turn out for you. How disappointing it > must have been to put in the time to make the recipe and not get > the tasty results. Your comments will be shared with our recipe > developers. > > We hope the next recipe you make will be as delicious as we intend > it to be. > > > Sincerely, > > > Amanda Carreon > Consumer Specialist > Consumer Affairs