Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Noodle Pudding (Page 241)

  • Date: Saturday, February 9, 2008 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I am a sucker for any dish that is mainly composed of noodles and cheese. I would have made this one even sooner had it not looked so absurdly unhealthy (noodles baked in butter, eggs, full-fat cottage cheese, and sour cream!). This type of dish was apparently popular in the days of yore (where yore here is approximately the 1950's). I had never eaten anything quite like it before. If, like me, you are new to noodle pudding, you can think: eggy, cheesy custard, with some noodles set in it. Matty commented that with so much bad-for-you stuff in it, he expected it to have more flavor and richness than it did. Indeed, it wasn't terribly exciting. It was good though. I liked the strange texture of custard made with cottage cheese. The noodles on top crisped up as the dish baked, giving it a nice crunchy layer. My only real complaint is that it was a bit dull. I did a little online research about noodle puddings to see if this one is a typical recipe, or if there are often other ingredients added for more flavor. What I learned is that people often add canned fruit to their noodle pudding (canned sliced peaches or fruit cocktail were common suggestions...). That doesn't sound delicious to me at all. So maybe I shouldn't complain about it the way it is!

Here is the recipe.

There was a request in the comments for an explanation of where my name came from. A lot of people ask me that actually. Teena is not such an uncommon name, but the spelling is quite unusual. Many of my friends reading this will already know the answer -- it is absurd enough that it has gotten around. So here goes: I am named after my dad's ex-girlfriend. Yeah, I know, it's weird. The woman he dated before my mom was named Teena, with the same crazy spelling and all. I asked my mother about this once, looking for some sort of explanation of how she let this happen. Her response: "Well, your father wanted to name you Teena and I wanted to name you Meredith, so we named you Teena Meredith." Huh. So there it is. I met the original Teena once -- we had dinner with her and her family when I was probably 10 years old. I remember nothing about it except that we ate pizza.

I dated this guy in high school, Jason, who promised at the time that if we ever broke up he was going to name his first daughter Teena to carry on the tradition. That idea charmed me actually. Years later (long after we had broken up) he joined the Peace Corps, and one day I got a letter in the mail from Africa saying that he had decided not to name a daughter after me. I'm not sure why he was thinking about that, or what made him change his mind so many years later, but it seemed perfectly reasonable.

I went through a brief phase as a kid where I hated my name and made people call me Meredith. I have since come around to Teena though. It's a great source of entertainment. People inevitably spell it wrong (Tina, Tenna, Tena, etc...). Actually even my official mailbox in the math department is labeled with "Tenna." What really makes me laugh though is when people ask me how to pronounce it. Could it be any more phonetic?

Well, there ya go, everything you ever wanted to know about my name (and more!).


Anonymous said...

I was named after my dad's ex-girlfriend too! Everybody looks at me weird when I tell them that! I wonder what possesses men to name daughters after their ex-girlfriends...

Teena said...

Wow! I've never heard of anybody else being named after their dad's ex! It is pretty mysterious...

Daniel said...

Has anyone served you a good noodle kugel, with raisins?

Teena said...

Nope. No one ever has... So perhaps I can still be converted to the wonder of noodle pudding with fruit in it!

dennis said...

I named a daughter after a woman I chatted with but never went out with.