At the exciting age of 14, my parents went away for the weekend without me and my older brother for the first time. Feeling very grown up, I decided I wanted to make something in the kitchen and of course what better option than my favourite dessert. And so off I went to find a recipe for bread and butter pudding. With the recipe ready, I got out all the ingredients and set to work.
My first mistake was pulling out my mum’s turkey roasting dish to make it in – apparently I thought I was feeding the whole city. First lesson learnt, the size of the dish you cook in can really make a difference to how a recipe turns out. Make sure you pick the right size dish and you will be starting off well! Most recipes will give you the size or type of dish required to work with the quantities involved. You won’t always have the one they recommend and most people wont have the space or money to invest in every variant out there. Use the recipe suggestion as a guide; it is not a precise art and you can use a bit of judgement to find the most appropriate dish in your collection. Common sense comes in handy here and this is something which I certainly lacked at 14.
Having got my extra large dish ready, I turned to the recipe itself and at this point things went from bad to worse. The ingredient quantities were given in cups and so I found the biggest mug in the kitchen and measured out all the ingredients. The recipe called for the oven to be pre-heated to 300º and so I set my parent’s oven onto the hottest setting of 300ºC. Of course I now realise that the recipe was American and ‘cups’ is a set measurement and 300º was fahrenheit, not celsius. Once again, my common sense had failed me.
Unaware of my mistakes, into the oven went my first ever attempt at bread and butter pudding. I set the timer and eagerly awaited the moment I could tuck in. With 30 minutes gone, I opened the oven door and was met by a wall of the most intense heat. Using the oven gloves, I tried to take out the dish to find that it was so hot that the oven gloves were practically useless.
I turned off the oven and, growing increasingly nervous about what I had created, I waited patiently for the dish to cool enough to be handled. After what seemed like an eternity, I managed to get my creation out of the oven and I remember thinking to myself “well it doesn’t look that bad”.
I got out a bowl and served myself a hearty portion, grabbed a big spoonful and tucked in. I remember the first mouthful tasted okay and so I went in for another, which promptly made me gag! The milk had curdled with the heat and it was completely inedible! In to the bin it went, followed by a very sheepish phone call to my mum.
And so there it is, the horrible experience which put me off cooking for a number of years.
Whilst I’ve learnt a lot since the age of 14, I have never since attempted to make bread and butter pudding. That is, until now.
Keep an eye out for the first post under Challenge 52 where I will, for my first recipe of the year, be making bread and butter pudding! Hey, it can’t turn out much worse than the last one…can it?!!
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