I swore it wouldn’t happen, but that derned cornstarch has bested me again.

Sunday night I decided to make Indian-ish food. Woot! Aloo Palak and these Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Patties I was anxious to try.

Photo Credit: Soni's Food

Photo Credit: Soni’s Food

Our apartment smelled amazing as they were baking, and when I took them out of the oven and started to peel them (as the recipe instructed, and which I’d been a bit wary about), I realized it was totally the right call because the potato part had sort of shrunken down away from the skin creating this little cocoon insulating the goodness inside, and when I started to peel, the skin pulled away with such magical ease, it was clearly meant to be.

So yeah, peeled the potatoes, breathed in their sugary/savory goodness, snuck a couple morsels of tastes. Then proceeded to mix in the fresh ginger, green chiles and cumin, which were clearly perfect pairings. I was thrilled.

And then came the moment I ruined everything. Last ingredient: cornstarch.

See, I have this bad habit of storing things in glass jars without labeling them. Which is totally not a problem when the thing in question is something obvious like pecans or cranberries, say. But those pesky nondescript white powders. They’re…trickier.

So I found the jar I thought was probably cornstarch, but as I was still a bit uncertain of its identity, I unscrewed the jar, poked a finger into the stuff and brought it up to my tongue for a quick taste. (Super scientific and I’m sure recommendably safe. Totally.)

My next mistake was not knowing (or even daring to have a proper suspicion) what cornstarch might taste like.

But see, I wasn’t thinking properly.  My mind was focused on that one time I mistook cornstarch for powdered sugar when making lemon bars. And I was determined not to repeat that mistake.

So when I didn’t taste sweet, I assumed all was well.

(The sharp, bitter taste on my tongue should’ve made me pause. But no.)

Onward! I said as I proceeded to measure and dump two tablespoons of the stuff into my beautiful bowl of caramelly, sweet potatoey, waited-an-hour-for-it-to-bake goodness.  And then I stirred it all up real good, careful to mix it evenly throughout.  Even distribution is very important, you see.

And then I tasted it.

And my tongue screamed.

And my heart melted.

I don’t even want to tell you the rest.

Except to say that a quick Google search for ways to counteract what I’d done had me squeezing lemon juice into the bowl a few minutes later. And all the bubbling and fizzing gave me the tiniest hope that maybe, just maybe, somehow, this would fix everything, make it better, awesome even…?



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