Cooking Disasters

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Kitchen Trouble
source: Kenny Louie

Whether you’re a novice cook, a mediocre one, or even a well-trained chef, you’re going to have cooking disasters.

Since our little family is going to stay home for Christmas this year for the first time, I’ve been thinking ahead and trying to plan not-too-crazy but special meals. And I can’t help but think of all the kitchen catastrophes we’ve had.

  • We got married in July 2004, and that Christmas we spent in Nashville because I didn’t have vacation time to travel. It was just me and Mr. V on Christmas Eve. I made this Paula Deen Asian Pork Tenderloin that looked amazing … only I didn’t know the difference between a LOIN and a TENDERLOIN. I ended up cooking it for another two or three hours after we got home from church service, and just sawing any cooked parts off the end for us to eat. Happy first married Christmas, darling!
  • Maybe the second time we had people over after we were married, we tried to make a pan-fried fish recipe. We had one pot with water to boil and one pan with oil for the frying. One of us had accidentally turned the burner with the oil onto high. Mr. V came by and said, “Hey should that be -” and immediately it burst into flames. We had an apartment full of smoke, a brand-new pan that was destroyed, and a pretty funny story to tell forever.
  • That same year (obviously I was learning as a cook!), I curdled milk in a chowder. Yum, yum …
  • Much more recently, I put ground cloves in some enchiladas instead of chili powder. I knew it smelled funny but I didn’t realize what I had done until way too far into the cooking process. Mr. V put on a brave face and tried to eat them anyway … for about two bites. Bye bye, beautiful enchiladas. Ground cloves are meant to be used only by pinches!
  • Just last weekend, I made a cake to take to church. Unfortunately, the icing was made of butterscotch pudding and Cool Whip, and it hadn’t set enough. By the time we got to church, the cake layers had slid apart and one layer was broken in half. Anytime I have a messy cake … it becomes trifle. And it was delicious anyway.
  • One time my best friend was visiting with her boyfriend, whom we had never met. We tried to make a new recipe, and it ended up making enough food for approximately one person. Whoops. The boyfriend valiantly ate the failed recipe (which really wasn’t good, either), and I think the rest of us ordered pizza.

So even accomplished cooks make big mistakes. I hope you have the happiest Thanksgiving, and if you have a disaster … make lemonade from lemons. I promise it’ll be funny in a few weeks or months. And you’ll always be able to say, “Remember the time when …”

Happy Thanksgiving!

One thought on “Cooking Disasters

  1. I’ve had a few interesting experiences in the kitchen. We are in Ethiopia this Thanksgiving- no turkey or chicken, but we were ready to go with beef. Then the propane for the stove ran out with no replacement. That was OK, because there are 2 electric burners & the oven is electric- but they stopped working even though the electricity was on in the rest of the house. Eventually, things were back in working order, and the meal went on- slightly scaled down! But the important thing was being together, and not stressing over the details. 🙂

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