Lisa Learns to Cook

You all know Lisa Miller – reporter extraordinaire here at WFAE.  What you might not know is that Lisa doesn’t really cook.  But she’s ready to change that.  Join Lisa on her adventures in the kitchen and what hopefully will be an enjoyable (and successful) process of learning how to cook.  For her first lesson, Lisa takes on corn pudding and masters the jiggle factor.


Some recipes are fail-safe.  I like to think this one isn’t, even though all it entails is mixing ingredients together and sticking the dish in the oven.  But for me the cook with no cooking skills, I like to think there’s some margin of error I’ve mastered when this corn pudding invariably comes out well.  I grew up eating this every Thanksgiving.  When I’m home it’s still part of the feast.  After I have my helping of pumpkin pie, I have a second of corn pudding.

When I entered the world of work potlucks (at public radio that’s how we celebrate), this was my go-to dish. But up until last week, I had never made the corn pudding for my family.  That was always handled by a more capable family member—really, anyone but me. I had all the ingredients mixed and in the oven in about ten minutes, as my brother tended to his bacon-laced Brussels Sprouts, gruyere mashed potatoes, and multi-grain stuffing…

Then came the tricky part . . . knowing when to take it out of the oven.  Really you should eat this when it’s straight out of the oven and still has some puff to it, but mind you no jiggle.  My cousin calls it the jiggle-factor.  If you move it around and there’s some jiggle, put it back in.  But she warned, “Don’t overcook it. That’s where you could go wrong.”  Of course, it turned out perfectly—cheesy, savory, and slightly sweet.  And thanks to my cousin, my delusion is still intact.

Corn Pudding

1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn (water and all)
8oz sour cream
2 eggs beaten
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 stick butter, melted
Grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together all of the ingredients except the cheese.  Pour mixture into a buttered baking dish (either an 8×12 or 9×13 does the trick).  You can either fold some of the cheese into the mixture or spread it all on top.  I like cheese, so I used a good amount and make sure the whole top is covered with it.  Bake for between 45 minutes and 1 hour.  The shallower the dish, the less time.  Make sure the center isn’t still jiggly when you take it out.


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