July 5, 2012: Tongue Me

            In France I ate snails and crayfish and fried smelt and hundred-year-old cheese, and today I’m hankering for something other than a hotdog, if you catch my drift. And so I’ve headed for my collection of ridiculous cookbooks in search of something odd and oddly tasty.

          Here’s a recipe for Tongue Corn Casserole. I’m not a fussy eater, but I draw the line at eating stuff that’s going to be tasting me while I’m tasting it. And if I were going to eat tongue, I certainly wouldn’t want it in a casserole. With corn. Trust me.

            This little number, which appears on the page right next to a recipe for Liver Loaf, is from Money-Saving Main Dishes, a 48-page booklet that claims to be a “bulletin” from the United States Department of Agriculture. My copy, kipped long ago from my mother’s pantry, is dated 1962 and was, according to a rubber stamp on the cover, a gift “From Your Congressman, Michael J. Kirwan.” I am guessing that, after reading some of the recipes printed in this one (among them Boiled Dinner and French Toast with Tomato-Meat Sauce), my mother didn’t send Mr. Kirwan a thank-you note.

Let’s eat.

            I like how the cover illustration depicts the products of agriculture, which apparently include spatulas and straining spoons. I’m also intrigued by the brown splotches on the cover, which smell slightly of curry, although I can find no recipes containing that spice in this delightfully atrocious collection of main dishes.

            Speaking of ingredients, where does one buy pimiento, exactly? Tongue is easier to come by, although not as much fun to pronounce. Still, I couldn’t resist. I asked the clerk at Safeway this morning, “Do you have tongue?” He seemed unfazed, and pointed me to the meat counter. When asked where the pimiento was, he said, “Oh, you’ll have to ask someone else about that.” This was the same clerk whom I’d asked, last December, if he had lady fingers. I was hoping for witty banter, but he just stared.

            People are so disappointing.

Tongue and Corn Casserole

 3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 teaspoon finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped pimiento

3 ½ tablespoons flour

1 ¼ cups milk, broth from tongue, or water with 2 beef bouillon cubes

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups chopped cooked tongue

1 1/3 cups whole-grain corn, drained

1/3 cup grated cheese

¼ cup fine, dry breadcrumbs mixed with butter or margarine

Thing I Hate Today: Recipes with no instructions after the ingredients list


3 Responses

  1. I’m not hungry anymore.

  2. One teaspoon finely chopped onion for all that tongue? I also think tongue is not for me, but if I were going to try it, I’d want a lot more onion than that, and probably some garlic too. Reminds me of a big-batch marinara recipe I have that calls for cans and cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce but barely enough dried basil to dust a fiddle with.

  3. Where do you find pimiento? That’s easy — inside the green olives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: