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Thread: Cooking disasters

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    Super Moderator Mediancat's Avatar
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    Cooking disasters

    Long ago and far away, on a Board Very Much Like This One, there was a cooking disaster thread -- when things when horribly wrong in your kitchen.

    The best I've ever been able to contribute is my attempting making of breadsticks with Italian seasoning: Baked, coated in butter, sprinkled with powdered garlic, italian seasoning, and a little bit of crushed red pepper, put back in the oven for another minute, then taken out and dipped into marinara sauce.

    It was only then that I discovered that my garlic shaker and cinnamon shaker bore a strong resemblance to one another . . . .

    Anyone else have anything good?

    Rob

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    Veteran Member Arctish's Avatar
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    I once forgot to add baking powder to some cake batter before I poured it into the pan. So I stirred it in at the last minute, figuring that would be good enough.

    My family still talks about my Sombrero cake. It's amazing how much volume a little bit of baking powder can add when it's all concentrated in one area.

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    Puff pastry!! At one time, I loved Napoleons, and only knew of one out-of-state bakery that really did 'em right. So I checked out a cookbook of French pastries, read the description of making puff pastry, decided that if a college-town bakery with a student staff could make the stuff, so could I. How hard could it be? Well, it was a fiasco. Bought all the fussy ingredients (I'm pretty sure it required a big brick of unsalted butter.) The main technique seemed to be to infuse the butter into the flour mixture...roll it out...then somehow the oven would turn it into light, airy, sweet-Jesus puff pastry. Mine turned into an angry, insipid little layer of pale crusty crumbles on a baking sheet. I took all of it to the duck pond and threw it out to a bunch of unfussy wood ducks, mallards, and sea gulls. I hope they knew what a classy snack they had that day.
    I haven't had a Napoleon in at least 20 years. It would probably seem too rich to me, now.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Last night, my Tallest son made waffles, skipping the step about adding flour. Youngest son sent the picture of the mess to all and sundry.

    Years and years ago, my sister was learning to cook. One day Mom got Dad and i cornered and threatened our pea picking lives if we ever teased her again.
    That was the day she tried to make cornbread for the meal... Somehow, two pages stuck together and she added the ingredients of a completely different recipe. Including a tablespoon of thyme...

    Came out green. It was not good. It was BAD! But, you know, if you haven't got anything nice to say, shut up for fear Mom will take your head off with a butter knife.
    So, she sat there, watching a normally talkative family stoically take one measured bite of green awful with every third bite of chili.... and started to cry because it was so bad no one could think of a funny comment.

    Today, she just slings food onto the table, 'any complaint is an automatic claim you can do better, and you can cook tomorrow.'

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    My big cooking disaster happened when I was about 12 years old on my first campout in Boy Scouts. At our scout meeting, my scoutmaster (we called him JW) suggested me and my buddy make one of those meat and vegetables wrapped in foil for dinner. Basically, you take some chopped carrots and potatoes and some cubes of meat, season it with spice and wrap them up in foil and put them in some coals to cook. So, we went with that. Made a campfire, a somewhat tepid one actually, and put our foil package into some coals. A few minutes later, JW comes by and says, "That's not much of a fire...here, let me show you how to get that thing going! He didn't notice our foil food pack in the firepit, apparently. I guess he thought we were just making one for warmth. He goes off in the woods and brings back some large dry branches, throws them on the fire and proceeds to make a ginormous bonfire, like you would make at the beach. Me and my buddy were sorta aghast at what he did, but were too shy to say anything. We just stared longingly at the foil ball under the flames. After about 1/2 hour of roaring flames, we were able to pull our foil pack out of the firepit. It was mostly black bits of coal inside, with a few random chunks of extremely-well-done-but-not-totally-black chunks. I believe we ended up supplementing our dinner with some instant oatmeal that was meant for breakfast the next day.

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    Veteran Member TV and credit cards's Avatar
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    I buy spices scoped out of quart size containers into small poly bags. Take what you want, write the four digit code on the bag with the provided Sharpie for the cashier and you’re good to go.
    My rice and beans is normally spiced with cayennne, chili, and cumin. Cinnamon looks a lot like cumin but tastes nothing like it.
    I now buy spices and write the name of the spice on the bag along with the four digit code.
    Dwight

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    I made a coffee cake without flour once, and I'm still uncertain how I managed to do that. I wasn't a bad (or new) cook at the time.

    My candy skillz weren't that established yet, but after a while, I was really starting to think that the thermometer I was using wasn't providing me the right temp while making hard peppermint candy (batch on left). The batch on the right is how it should look if you add a bit of coloring... and you don't burn it.


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    None personally, but my mother had a good one:

    She was totally blind and thus couldn't read the labels on packages. One day she made some "oatmeal" cookies. Unfortunately, we sometimes took care of baby birds and had a supply of chick mash (basically a variety of seeds but they had been squashed) around for feeding them. It has a texture rather similar to oatmeal.

    She had taken them out of the oven, my father and I each tried one. (At that point her food sensitivities precluded her from having any.) They were far too hard to eat. She figured out what she must have done and managed to gasp out "chick mash" before being overcome with laughter. I understood and likewise was overcome with laughter. He didn't and stood there trying to eat his cookie and asking us what was so funny--which made us laugh even harder.

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    My Brane Hertz spikepipsqueak's Avatar
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    I was cooking on a cattle station and the manager was expecting the owner, a Holmes a Court relative, to eat with the staff that night.

    She asked me to do a choc self saucing pudding, she didn't ask me to forget to put in the water.



    That job has always bothered me. I was cooking for 16-20 people most nights. There just wasn't the crockery to put out the amount of food I would expect to give that many people. Either Victorians eat a lot to keep warm, and Territorians don't need it, or those people were topping up in their rooms and were too polite to tell me they were starving.

    I'll probably never know.
    My Brane Hertz

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    Reminds me of a while ago, I wanted to have cheese ravioli, but didn't have any tomato sauce. I had crushed tomatoes, but that was it. I have no idea why I didn't just go out and get sauce. I tried to fake it, sauces are foreign to me still, and long story short, it went in the trash.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    None personally, but my mother had a good one:
    If you haven't had a disaster, then you simply haven't cooked enough.

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