So, a few nights ago, I had friends coming over for dinner and I tried to bake a chocolate cream pie. Maybe people who are better hosts/hostesses than I am only serve guests recipes they’ve cooked a zillion times and got down. No, I view my friends as guinea pigs for my cooking experiments, which usually go well. This time, not so much. I was using the Joy of Cooking recipe, and its chocolate cream pie is based on its vanilla cream pie. Not only with the addition of chocolate, but with different amounts of sugar and cornstarch. Which I forgot. I also forgot to bring my butter up to room temperature, so adding it to the bubbling mixture cooled it off immediately, and I had to put it back on the heat to get it mixed together. Anyway, I stuck it in the fridge and it made a valiant attempt to set, looked like it was gonna be okay, and then collapsed into a liquidy mess. I tried to salvage it by putting it in the freezer, but that just produced rock-hard chocolate ice.
The fact that I have the disposable income and time to play around with recipes, and no real damage is done if I fail, that’s a privilege. If, say, that were the only time this week or this month that I could scrape up the cash to have a nice dessert, you can bet I’d have bought something from the grocery store instead and not taken the chance. Maybe a prepared dessert, maybe a simple boxed cake mix. Because for all that people say home cooking is always superior, I have *never* screwed up a cake mix, not even when I was, like, ten.
In the discussion of the “$20 Showdown,” one of the things that struck me was Dr. Grumbles’ reply on Tumblr.
Regarding buying the “cheapest generic on sale” items, there is research that states that some of those in poverty don’t actually buy generic. This sounds really odd at first, but when the people who say they won’t buy generic explain themselves the constant theme is that they, “can’t afford to fail.” They trust the name brand, but if they waste 2.00 on generic orange juice that ends up being soured, that’s a failure and they have no juice to drink now.
I think the “can’t afford to fail” concept is one of the corollaries to the Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice. It’s another way that it’s more expensive to have less money.
On fluffier and happier topics, the husband, having successfully baked a butterscotch pie, is going to help me with Chocolate Cream Pie 2, and with any luck, the sequel will be edible.