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joanne3482

Tastes Like Feet!: Your Kitchen Disasters

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Sometimes it is fun to just talk about what we mess up in the kitchen!

 

Years ago I was making my favorite chocolate/vanilla marble cheesecake. I don't know why I presumed the unlabeled plastic bowl full of white grains was sugar, but I used probably about a cup of it in the cheesecake. It wasn't until I took it to my friends (for Thanksgiving dessert no less) that I discovered it wasn't sugar. It was salt. So awful. All the guys I was having Thanksgiving dinner with felt the need to try it. Boys will eat anything apparently.

 

Same group of friends but I was making chocolate chip cookies that were gluten free. GF cooking can require the use of xanthan gum to make things chewy and help hold things together. Well I used too much. WAY too much. The chocolate chip bar cookies turned out more like chocolate chip cookie flavored chewing gum. It was almost unswallowable. One of the guys from the cheesecake incident actually liked them! He kept the pan and I believe ate them all.

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I made a chocolate cake late at night. When i took it out of the oven, I noticed how unusually dark it was. Then I noticed that the sugar canister was still unopened. I tasted a bit and sure enough, I forgot to add sugar. It was completely inedible.

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My most recent attempt at making bread was an object lesson in "trust your instincts." Yeast smells weird, yes, but it shouldn't smell that weird. Yeast that smells that weird has ceased to be yeast in any culinarily-valuable sense. Yeast that smells that weird makes bread that doesn't rise, smells like cheap beer, and has the approximate consistency of a pan of brownies. Very dry brownies. Even my dad, who's famous for having no sense of taste, wouldn't eat it.

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I made a chocolate cake late at night. When i took it out of the oven, I noticed how unusually dark it was. Then I noticed that the sugar canister was still unopened. I tasted a bit and sure enough, I forgot to add sugar. It was completely inedible.

We should bake together:  once I made a chocolate cake and forgot the flour.  And no, it wasn't supposed to be a flourless cake.

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Sourdough bread. Up until the point I tried sourdough, I had mostly good results from bread baking and loved the whole process. I could still eat my bread, but my first three attempts at sourdough were hard as rocks. I could have used them as weapons. I even took attempt number two to a friend for Thanksgiving because it was just barely edible. Maybe OK for French toast which is what she was going to make it with. My fourth attempt was better. 

 

I still have my sourdough starter in the fridge. I take it out, let it come to room temp, discard, and feed it about once a month. It smells pretty good for yeast and hasn't gone pink yet. I gave a bit to someone else twice, but they somehow kept killing it. 

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We should bake together:  once I made a chocolate cake and forgot the flour.  And no, it wasn't supposed to be a flourless cake.

Oh my gosh! I did the same thing. With the same cake recipe.

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I cannot cook bacon in a pan. I can bake it in the oven, but that feels like a lot of work for 1 person so I WANT to be able to fry it. Somehow it is always either over or under done. I can't find the bacon cooking sweet spot to save my life. 

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Is there something wrong with baking bacon in the oven for one?  I do it all the time. 

 

::giggle::

 

I put two slices on a piece of foil on a cookie sheet, put it in the oven, turn on the oven at 400, and in 20 minutes it's done.  Throw foil away.  Easy peasy Mac and Cheesy (thanks @MrMattyMatt for that!).

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Not a complete disaster, per se, but when my cousin and I were kids, we made our first cake together. Good, right? Well...

 

It was one of those marble deals, and instead of using the chocolate packet to swirl the chocolate, we mixed it INTO the batter.

 

Needless to say, it looked like, well...it looked like the color of crap when all was said and done. Which is to say, it didn't look appetizing. But hey, it tasted okay!  :-P  So in our kid view, the cake was an overall success, anyway. LOL!

 

To this day, my repertoire of cooking involves slice and bake cookie dough and use of the microwave or toaster oven. I do thank Home Ec for enough skill to cook a burger and simple sandwiches. Those, I can do! Luckily I do supplement with the veggies.  :-)

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When I was a newly wed, I decided to make chili from scratch. I didn't know that you weren't supposed add salt to dry beans until they were soft. AS a result, they were very tough.

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This one was my husband's:  I was pregnant with our first child and had to run an errand at a time that would get me back home late, so I asked him to put together this turkey noodle casserole dish that I not only love, but was craving.  I get back when it's just coming out of the oven and my husband says "Oh, I played around with the recipe a little bit."  Ok, I thought--he does that a lot and most of the time, it's a success.  This time?  Not so much.  He put corn in it and some spice that I don't remember right now (tarragon, maybe?) and it tasted horrid. Even he admitted that it wasn't great.  So, my emotional, hormonal self started crying because I was hungry, I was craving the original recipe casserole, and since he doesn't eat left overs (I do, though), I had to waste all of that good food and throw it out.  I've never stopped liking corn, but even now, I cringe when I see it in a casserole recipe (although, I'll admit it was more the spice that was bad, but the corn didn't taste right in this dish either). 

 

I've never let him forget it  :)

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My dad love to tinker with recipes and one time he put chopped walnuts in tuna noodle casserole. He once made lasagna with taco seasoning. Both tasted awful.

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I've been pretty fortunate (looks around for wood to knock on), but when I was on my annual cookies-and-candy-making binge last year, I made a batch of caramels that were so hard you could not break your teeth on them - you couldn't bite them to begin with.

 

Also, DH's aunt is a chef, and I made the mistake of taking my caramelized onion and goat cheese quiche to her house for Thanksgiving one year. I made it the way I always make it, but the crust became soggy during the 2-hour transport, and it was gross. I was so embarrassed, especially since it's normally awesome.

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Once I made spaghetti sauce and I wanted to thicken it. I read that you should use corn starch. However, I didn't know that you should mix it with water. So I just added  couple of tablespoons of it straight into the sauce. All throughout the sauce there were these little clear lumps.

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I've had my share of minor disasters but the worst happened back in the 70s and I can still recall it vividly.  I was cooking ground lamb patties in the oven in a glass baking dish that may or may not have been Pyrex (don't remember).  The glass broke and a large quantity of lamb grease hit the floor of the hot oven and went up in smoke.  LOTS of smoke.  LOTS of BILLOWING smoke.  I opened all the windows and it smelled so bad that the woman next door came over to see what had happened.  I was glad nothing caught fire but it still took forever to get the smell out of the drapes and the furniture.

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This isn't so much of a taste or execution fail, as a "Crap. My kid is refusing to eat this." fail. I made super cute Kermit the Frog pancakes for breakfast this morning. It's a few days before my youngest's third birthday, and I try to do special things for them leading up to the big day.

Well. Fail. Bran is currently siting at the table declaring "BRAN NO EAT KERMIT HEAD. THAT MEAN."

Whoops.

http://instagram.com/p/rM0nSAoN8_/

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I'll come over and eat them. I assume you have real maple syrup and not the fake stuff? If not, I'll bring some.

 

(Oh, wait, we don't live near each other. Too bad.)

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I'll come over and eat them. I assume you have real maple syrup and not the fake stuff? If not, I'll bring some.

(Oh, wait, we don't live near each other. Too bad.)

@Bella - I only have real maple syrup, but I always make my pancakes on the sweeter side (with sugar and vanilla), and the boys never ask for syrup! :)

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I tried to make that beer-can chicken, the kind where you set a whole chicken upright on a beer can and put it on the barbecue grill.  I decided to try it because several people I work with, even ones who almost never cook, made it and insisted it was the best chicken they'd ever had.   I found a recipe on the internet, and thought I followed it exactly.   It was horrible, tough, dry, flavorless.   I don't know what I did wrong.   

 

Tonight I'm grilling a whole chicken too, but I'm making it the way I usually to, cut the backbone out,  and lay it out pressed flat on the grill over indirect heat and cook for about an hour.  

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I don't remember a really bad experience with cooking or baking because I tend to stick to simple, basic recipes, but I will admit that grilling meat is hit or miss with me--it's either really good or charred on at least one side. 

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I put too much onions and green pepper in my spaghetti sauce a couple of times. Took a couple of bites, and I all I could taste was the pepper and onion. I know it sounds weird, but I like to put A-1 Sauce after putting the meat in the pan when I make spaghetti or stew. I make sure not too put too much in and stir in well with the hamburger or stew meat. It tastes good, and my husband likes it esp. in the spaghetti sauce.

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Oh, grilling. Yeah, I have a fun grilling story. I was feeling experimental and snagged a package of venison steaks from the Asian market. Two thin flank steaks, vacuum-sealed. Did some research on the best way to cook them, made up a marinade, the whole bit. Put them on the grill, let them cook for a while, went to flip them over... and discovered that there were four very thin steaks in the package. They'd been vacuum-sealed intensely enough that they'd stuck together. I tried to compensate on the cooking and turning to make everything come out even, but the ones on the bottom were already overdone and the ones on the top were totally temperature-confused.

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Well. Fail. Bran is currently siting at the table declaring "BRAN NO EAT KERMIT HEAD. THAT MEAN."

 

Did your son ever relent and eat the pancakes? Sorry you tried to give him a treat and it didn't work out, but in fairness to him, I could never see the appeal of foods shaped like cartoon or other characters. I'd be reluctant to cut up and eat a cake shaped like my favorite cartoon character, or worse, one with the face of a real person on it.

 

As for my own kitchen disasters--once I tried to make a Spanish almond cake with no flour and a dozen eggs. The bottom half was an eggy greenish mass--ugh! Then there was the time I added twice as much butter as necessary to the crust of lemon bars, causing the whole thing to swim in grease.

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Put them on the grill, let them cook for a while, went to flip them over... and discovered that there were four very thin steaks in the package.

Ouch....that couldn't have been a cheap mistake, either, with venison (we've never purchased venison, but my dad hunts for it and it's not as easy as it sounds, so the years he actually got a deer made a winter of special meals).

 

This also reminds me of a bad cooking experience:  I was making chicken and spinach alfredo pizzas, so I bought a package of two very thin pizza crusts.  Piled on the ingredients, put them in to cook. When they came out, I went to cut into the first one and discovered that there was a thin piece of paper on top of the crust that had been used to keep them from sticking together in the package. 

Edited by Shannon L.

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When I was very young, I learned the hard way that crushed almonds are not the same as almond paste.

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I think my worst kitchen disaster, the one that caused the most damage and clean-up, happened back when I was in college. While back home on Christmas break, I decided to make some hot chocolate one day when everyone was out and I was home alone. For some reason, I was frustrated with how clumpy the hot chocolate was and how it wasn't mixing up well. So, I thought I'd rectify that by pouring it into some plastic shaker jar that my mother had in the cabinet. I went to shake it up and - boom! - the lid blew off and hit the ceiling. Hot chocolate splattered everywhere - the ceiling, the floor, the walls, the cabinets, on top fop the fridge, etc. It scared the living crap out of me, too. I spent forever cleaning it up and when my parents came home as I was still cleaning, I explained what happened. My father made some remark about sending me to this expensive school and I didn't even know that you do not shake up hot liquids. Well, hey, I wasn't a science major. I still suck at science.

 

And, that is the day I learned to never shake up hot liquids. That experience was a lesson I'll never forget. Of course, the family teased me about it for years.

Edited by LuckyBitch
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I tried making coq au vin last autumn and used about three recipes as reference. One of them was even the Julia Child one. It was too fatty; I didn't strain the bacon enough when I fried it. The wine didn't burn off well either. It was just nasty and it tasted awful so I dumped it. I don't know when I'll try again. 

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It's not food, but never microwave TheraFlu. I was drinking it once when I was sick, and it became room temperature, so I stuck it in the microwave. Seconds later, the microwave door exploded off, hitting me in the leg. There was Theraflu on the floor, walls, and ceiling.

 

At least it didn't catch fire or something.

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Oh my gosh, @Bella ! That must have been some explosion to blow the microwave door off. I hope you didn't get too hurt when it hit you in the leg. I'm sure you were shocked.

Edited by LuckyBitch

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I was more angry than anything, @LuckyBitch . I was sick, I had a major mess on my hands, I didn't have a functioning microwave, and I was going to have to buy a new one.

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It's not food, but never microwave TheraFlu. I was drinking it once when I was sick, and it became room temperature, so I stuck it in the microwave. Seconds later, the microwave door exploded off, hitting me in the leg. There was Theraflu on the floor, walls, and ceiling.

 

At least it didn't catch fire or something.

 

OMG, @Bella ! So glad it didn't catch fire, but that's scary, anyway. And sorry you had to get another microwave, in addition!

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Damn, that sucks, @Bella . If it makes you feel better I can tell you about the time I was heating up something for my kid in the toaster oven, it went up in flames, and I almost set the whole kitchen on fire. My one and only kitchen fire ever. A couple of years later, the kid is still mocking me for my stupidity but I blame Trader Joe's for a flaw in their directions. 

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Damn, that sucks, @Bella . If it makes you feel better I can tell you about the time I was heating up something for my kid in the toaster oven, it went up in flames, and I almost set the whole kitchen on fire. My one and only kitchen fire ever. A couple of years later, the kid is still mocking me for my stupidity but I blame Trader Joe's for a flaw in their directions. 

 

OMG! - my house would have burnt down - despite having a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen, I would have run outside and hyperventilated. I think. Maybe I would have tossed the toaster oven in the sink. In any case, I would have traumatized the kid and destroyed everything I own, in all likelihood.

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It's not food, but never microwave TheraFlu.

 

That's the only way I ever make it; I'm not waiting for the kettle to boil when I'm sick. 

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That's the only way I ever make it; I'm not waiting for the kettle to boil when I'm sick. 

 

I would agree to microwave the water to mix with the Theraflu, but be careful about reheating the prepared drink in the microwave.

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Oh, Bella, that's awful!  Glad you didn't get seriously injured.  I also sympathize with being sick and having a mess on your hands (mine's not a food story, though, so I'll spare you the story). That's not fun at all.

 

These last few posts reminded me of another one:  I decided to make popcorn the old fashioned way-on the stove top.  It said to heat the oil and throw in a couple of kernels and when you heard them pop, it was ready.  I got busy and forgot all about it.  When I remembered, I ran into the kitchen, pulled off the lid and whoosh!  Fire!  It was so sudden that I dropped the lid on the floor.  It landed upside down, so it was tilted with one side up and my first instinct was to pick it up.  What do I do?  Grab it on the metal part.  A trip to urgent care followed with a diagnosis of 2nd degree burns.  Thankfully, though, I was able to remain in my right mind long enough to calmly call for my husband to help while I ran my hand under cold water.  I've burned myself twice badly (although, that was the worst) and it's got to be the worst pain I've ever felt so far. 

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I would agree to microwave the water to mix with the Theraflu, but be careful about reheating the prepared drink in the microwave.

 

I've never had a problem doing that, and I'm not seeing anything in the ingredients that would constitute a risk.

 

I got busy and forgot all about it.

 

I did that with either simple syrup or hummingbird food -- I don't remember which specific sugar and water combination it was, but one of those.  By the time I remembered I had it on the stove, the water was completely gone, the sugar was completely oxidized, and my pot was completely screwed.

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I have set fire to my toaster oven twice. The first time I had roommates and I was rushing around looking for baking soda and one of my roommates reached over and unplugged the toaster oven. Her comment to me was how much it alarmed her that my first thought was not to unplug the oven. 

 

Most recently (as in last week) I put a big beef roast into the crockpot. I added the ingredients to make shredded beef tacos. I turned it on high at about 1:30. At 6 it still wasn't done. At 8 it still wasn't done (and I gave up on having that for dinner and went and got a burger). At 9 I hoped it was done so I turned it off but it still wasn't done. I don't know what was up with my slow cooker but usually meats for 4 - 5 hours on high is plenty. (I think the knob may be causing the problem) I put it on low and left it overnight. FINALLY it was done... but it didn't taste that good.  I tried to have it for lunch for a couple days and then I had the bright idea of adding some ingredients I know I like to make it a more lime flavored shredded beef. It didn't really help. Finally I just gave up and ditched the rest. 

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I put some stew in the crock pot to cook. When it was almost ready I checked it and saw it was still raw. I checked the dial and it was on "warm". I found out that my son messed with the knob. Dinner was a bit late that night.

 

One time my mom made pop tarts and the toaster caught on fire.

Edited by BatmanBeatles
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This isn't me, but my mom tells of a friend's relative whose husband didn't understand all the fuss about the Thanksgiving turkey. The wife said, "fine, you cook it."

 

He put the turkey in the microwave.

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I have no idea - this was 3rd or 4th hand. It could have been apocryphal. Or it could have been a smallish turkey in a largish microwave. All I know is that my mom's friend tells it like it's true.

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Year ago, one of my friends decided to make Thanksgiving dinner for the first time ever. She had gotten married that summer and they moved into a new townhouse. It didn't work out too well because she set the kitchen on fire and the fire trucks were there as all her guests were arriving. She hasn't made a Thanksgiving dinner since.

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Ouch....that couldn't have been a cheap mistake, either, with venison (we've never purchased venison, but my dad hunts for it and it's not as easy as it sounds, so the years he actually got a deer made a winter of special meals).

 

It was definitely made more disappointing by the price! But unusual food is one of my big hobbies, so splurging a little is a common thing for me. The real kicker is that I ended up not liking the taste of the meat itself, but I'm not writing venison off entirely until I have a chance to eat it as prepared by someone who knows better than I what they're doing.

 

Aside from a few cuts -- including one that was made by a brand-new Cutco paring knife, so you can imagine how impressive it was -- the only cooking mishap I've had where the damage was to me rather than the food was last year. I was adding sliced onions to a pan of hot oil and lost my grip on the bowl, dropping all the onions in at once and sending oil everywhere, including all over the inside of my forearm. But I remained calm and remembered to do the most important thing first: I grabbed my mother and got her to come out and stir the onions while I tended to the burn.

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The Friends quote as a this thread's title was an excellent choice @joanne3482!

 

I'm blanking on major disasters but thinking more of recipes/ ideas which just didn't turn out at all.  There was the cranberry curd which never got beyond a very liquid state.  There were the turkey burgers I thought I could spice up with leftover spinach and artichoke dip -- that turned out to be a bizarre and unpleasant combination!  Speaking of spinach and artichokes, there's a restaurant in Houston which serves "Green Eggs" (spinach and artichoke scrambled eggs!), which are so delicious and I love eating them when I visit home.  My attempt to make duplicate them did not go well, I did something terribly wrong to the artichokes.

 

But I think the worst was a recipe for brioche hamburger buns, which sounded like such a fun idea and a good item to take to a cookout potluck.  Well, batch #1 came out like hockey pucks, just awful!  The recipe was a little tricky and involved yeast, so I was convinced I must have blotched something along the way.  So I made another batch, following that recipe to a T, checking temperatures on the yeast mixture, etc.  And the buns? Still came out like hockey pucks!  At that point I had to scrap the idea and ended up just bringing grocery store purchased buns.

Edited by EllieH
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But I think the worst was a recipe for brioche hamburger buns, which sounded like such a fun idea and a good item to take to a cookout potluck.  Well, batch #1 came out like hockey pucks, just awful!  The recipe was a little tricky and involved yeast, so I was convinced I must have blotched something along the way.  So I made another batch, following that recipe to a T, checking temperatures on the yeast mixture, etc.  And the buns? Still came out like hockey pucks!  At that point I had to scrap the idea and ended up just bringing grocery store purchased buns.

 

@EllieH : Sorry to hear that. Was this a true brioche recipe that involved sugar in the mix? Brioche or enriched bread can be difficult because the additional ingredients hinders the yeast which can result in improper rises. Bad proofing = pucks. 

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Aside from a few cuts -- including one that was made by a brand-new Cutco paring knife, so you can imagine how impressive it was -- the only cooking mishap I've had where the damage was to me rather than the food was last year. I was adding sliced onions to a pan of hot oil and lost my grip on the bowl, dropping all the onions in at once and sending oil everywhere, including all over the inside of my forearm. But I remained calm and remembered to do the most important thing first: I grabbed my mother and got her to come out and stir the onions while I tended to the burn.

Something like that happened to me. I made corn fritters one time and I think there was too much liquid in it, because suddenly oil splattered on my neck and face. Luckily I only got blisters.

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