Kook's Korner: Tongue Me!

by Robrt L. Pela

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, kiped 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.

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

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