Tag Archives: Condensed milk

Guilty Pleasures

25 Oct

Special thanks to Diane Dooley for the meme and the image.

I won’t name any names, but I have a very fit friend who occasionally eats an entire bag of Oreos in a single sitting. According to her, most people’s guilty pleasures are food related. On the contrary, my guilty pleasures typically run along the lines of experiences: i.e. sleeping really late on rainy weekdays, watching really bad reality TV (Can anyone say Basketball Wives of LA?), and subscriptions to a menagerie of podcasts with questionable (yet hilarious) content. I can’t wrap my head around this food/guilt equation.

In my mind, food is meant to be lovingly prepared, savored and enjoyed. As a child, I spent a lot of time in my parents’ newsstand surrounded by soda, chips and candy. My parents didn’t make a practice of bringing this stuff into our home but they never specifically forbade us to eat these things either. “Everything in moderation” as my dad would say. I think this helped us avoid a weird relationship with sugar/snacks and to this day none of us kids have much of a sweet tooth.

However, I do crave one sweet treat that, while I’m sure it made an appearance in my childhood, I didn’t get hooked on until college. My college boyfriend was born in the US and sent back to Jamaica where his family is from, to be raised by his grandmother when he was two years old. He returned to the US when he was 13. Because of our similar schedules and illegal hot plates, we would often cook each other breakfast. I stuck to the basics: Eggs, Bacon, Toast etc. He would make these flavorful dishes that reminded him of home: Ackee and Saltfish, Fried Breadfruit, and my favorite: Cornmeal Porridge.

The thing about this porridge is, it was flavored with cinnamon and pure vanilla extract and sweetened with Condensed Milk. It was creamy and smooth but still had a bite to it so you chewed before you swallowed. The first time I had it, I was in heaven. I was familiar with vanilla and most definitely cinnamon but the milk, that threw me for a loop. Sweet and silky, it has that almost sinful sticky quality I love about honey but a more subtle sweetness. I’ve been hooked on Sweetened Condensed Milk ever since.

YUM

I keep a can or two on hand and while I have no problem, licking a spoon of this stuff, I try to incorporate it into my cooking whenever it makes sense. This has generally resulted in cakes, cookies and pies but I have a feeling it wouldn’t hurt Butternut squash soup, Bacon Biscuits, or Cheddar Cornbread. I’ll have to give these things a try.

What are your Guiltiest Pleasures?

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