Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chalkboard Eraser

A high school classmate and I were talking this week about our days long ago in school. We usually shared our math classes together, but not our home ec. classes. She reminded me of an incident that once combined my home ec. class with our math class. I thought for sure that I had included this story in my cookbook, Masters & Disasters of Cooking. I went through the book and it wasn't there. It should have been, because it was definitely a disaster. Maybe if I ever do a volume 2, I'll have another story to include.

Our assignment in home ec class was to cook something. We weren't allowed to choose, but had to draw it out of a hat where the teacher had put her choices. I pulled out Popovers. Heck, I didn't even know what a popover was at the time. Luckily, my mother had a pretty good recipe for me to use. Home ec. class was my second class of the day and a few days later, I baked my popovers. They came out perfect. I got an A on them.

Remember, I said this was a disaster. Well, now we come to math class, which was my last class of the day and full of high school boys; hungry high school boys. We usually finished class before the bell rang and I asked the teacher if I could go to the home ec. room and get my popovers. He said I could and when I returned with them, the boys begged me for a taste. Being a high school girl who wanted the attention of boys, I gave in and each of them got a popover. As you know, popovers should be filled with some sort of filling. These weren't and apparently the boys did not know what a popover actually was either.

Now comes the disaster part. Popovers are basically just dough and not much flavor. It's the filling that makes them so good. The guys started eating and immediately started spitting them out. Oh my, the faces they made. I laughed along when they started making fun of them. I was the center of attention and I had a crush on one of the boys, but inside I was devastated. They didn't understand that they needed to filled with something. Then, the teacher got involved. He took one of the popovers and went to the chalkboard and started erasing that day's lesson with a popover.

When I think about this story now, I do laugh, espcially about erasing the board. My old math teacher is a very good friend of mine. He was then and still is now. The boys are, too. My popovers were brought up at our last class reunion. No, I didn't bring them to the dinner, but I probably should have. Maybe next year, I will.

Below is my recipe for popovers. I haven't made them in a while, but thinking about my high school days, I might just have to stir up a batch, with filling, of course.

2 eggs, beaten
1 C. sifted all-purpose flour
1 C. milk
1 T. vegetable oil
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Coat 6-8 custard cups with shortening. Fill cups about 1/2 full. Place cups on a cooking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 25-30 minutes longer, or until they are browned and firm. About five minutes before removing them from the oven, prick with a toothpick or fork to allow the steam to escape. Take care not to get burned by the hot steam that will come out.

Once cooled, they can be filled with almost anything. I suggest any of the following: whipped cream, tuna salad, jam or jelly, honey butter, cream cheese, ice cream, chicken salad, or apple butter. See, you can do just about anything with popovers, even use them as chalkboard eraser.


1 comment:

NannyOgg said...


Great story! Being Dutch, I actually never have made or eaten popovers, but now will have to try them some time soon!

Thanks for the recipe, I'll let you know how they work out.

Pondering fillings right now ^^