Monday, March 4, 2024

VICTORY! (and disaster!!)

Recently I had seen and printed out a recipe from the New York Times' Melissa Clark (everyone's favorite redhead) for Coconut Cornbread.

It sounded interesting to me and I told SWMBO about it and said I was going to try making it.

Now she has a cornbread recipe in her head that she learned back in her younger days in Indiana and she makes it whenever she can sneak it past me.

I prefer the sweeter version from the back of a grocery store box.

So when I told her about this coconut recipe she: 

                                a) sneered 

                                b) laughed 

                                c) cursed 

                                d) all of the above

You pick the reaction you think was hers.

At any rate since she was going to the grocery anyway I asked her to pick me up a can of coconut milk.

When she returned she showed me a can of coconut cream and said she had looked everywhere in the store and could not find coconut milk.

I looked at the coconut cream can and saw a recipe for a Piña Colada cocktail and determined that this stuff would be too sweet for my cornbread recipe.

A few days later I went to the store and easily found coconut milk, in the Asian Foods aisle.

So I bought a can and brought it home, showing it (smugly) to my increasingly perturbed wife.

If you're still with me, I will tell you that today (several days later) I determined to make the previously mentioned (way back at the beginning of this screed, remember?) Coconut Cornbread.

I had all the ingredients and it went together fairly easily.

Ms. Clark's recipe said the prep time was 5 minutes.

Mine was probably about 45 minutes.

Where do they get these estimates anyway?

Probably from having a band of little elves who lay everything out for her and that five minutes is just to throw it together and pour it into the pan.

Or in my case a glass baking dish.

(Keep that tidbit in mind, Gentle Readers.)

So after my 45 minutes of melting butter in the microwave and mixing all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another and making a coconut flake topping in yet another bowl and then combining the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients and mixing it into a batter and pouring it into the (glass) baking dish and topping it (unevenly, as it were) with the topping . . . it went into the preheated oven.

(Maybe my prep time was more like an hour.)

About 40 minutes later, this was what came out.

It looked pretty good, even with my uneven sprinkling of the now toasted coconut topping.

Here's another angle to show you sort-of how high it rose.

And it smelled DIVINE!

I took these pictures and went into the other room to show them to SWMBO.

She agreed they looked good.

I asked her if she could smell it and she replied "No, and I don't know why."

So I went back into the kitchen, picked up the dish with a pair of potholders and carried it into her room to show her and saturate her with the delicious coconut aroma.

"Ah," she said, "now I can smell it and it smells wonderful!"

I headed back toward the kitchen but turned to tell her "That's probably because it smells like a Piña Colada!"

But as I turned, my arm bumped the corner of the wall and before I could get off my funny line . . . .

. . . yeah, you guessed it.

I dropped the coconut cornbread in its dish (remember that glass dish?) on the hard floor and upside down now the dish exploded in a shower of glass shards.

The cornbread lay forlornly in the midst of the debris.

I just froze and stood there staring dumbly at the remnants.

Judy and I cleaned up the mess and, though I vacuumed everywhere I could see a sparkle of glass fragments, I told her that we must not come into this room barefoot for a very long time.

After the lengthy cleanup, Judy said "Can you make it again with that can of coconut cream?"

I fervently allowed that stuff was probably too sweet and it was meant to be used for making Piña Coladas.

But then I consulted with the Allmighty All-Knowing Omnipotent Google and learned that coconut cream can be substituted for coconut milk by diluting it carefully with water.

I'm thinking about that.


  1. Well that was a sad tale. I can't tell you how many times that has happened. The dog had to be barricaded and I had to get the vacuum and it always seems to be when we are too tired to think straight. And yes, the sparkle of glass for weeks after in odd places much further than you think it could land. I feel your pain. However, on one note - I prefer the kind of cornbread Judy makes. Not sweet.

  2. I would have helped you eat that cornbread because I adore coconut and cornbread. Please make it again and let us know what it actually tastes like!

  3. Damn, sad tale.
    I like cornbread, made it many times. I'm not sure your recipe sounds like something I'd want, but perhaps.
    I do mine in a iron skillet, with hatch chili, and a bit of sugar in the mix. Mine is half and half corn meal and flour, baking powder, eggs and melted butter and buttermilk.

  4. I made chili last Friday night, it was so damn hot I couldn't eat it unitl I doused it with sour cream, Cakes ate two (smal) bowls) and said it was the best chili I ever made. I'm wondering WTF is going on!

  5. You told that well Mr Catalyst. As for prep time, I am so methodical that it takes me a long time too. I don't bake, though, just cook on occasion.

  6. I hope you had a handkerchief to dry up your tears. Poor Bruce! It looked so scrumptious. Please give it another go and report back to your "gentle readers" + this wild one.

  7. Breaking the dish is a disaster but losing the corn bread really makes things hurt.

  8. If you could see my face! You DROPPED it after all that work?? and it looked so delicious! I hope you make it again and maybe use a metal pan this time?

  9. That's too bad!! 😯

  10. I was hoping you both drowned your post-catastrophe sorrows in a Pina Colada.

  11. A well written narrative that draws the reader along through the events of the day.

  12. Oh the humanity! And it looked so pretty!

  13. After all of your work! AAagh! I would probably have tried to get a small, glass-free piece off the floor so I could taste it! :)

  14. You tell a good tale. You deserve a pia colada after all that work. Let us know how it works out the next time.

  15. This was a heck of a plot twist! I dropped Pyrex before and it does explode into the tiniest shards. My daughter had Pyrex explode in the oven once. It blew the oven door open and sprayed glass across the kitchen. I didn't even know that could happen.

  16. What a bummer! That bread looked so yummy. I am so sorry you weren't able to get a taste of it. I hope you try again. (NewRobin13)

  17. Aw, man! What a shame! And it looked absolutely perfect too.

  18. Oh my gosh, what a disappointment that must have been not to mention the mess. Hopefully you will try again.

  19. Oh no! Well, at least you got pictures. I know that's a sad substitute. I have no doubt you'll be cooking up another coconut cornbread in no time.