Sunday, March 17, 2013

Recent Kitchen Flops

Since I was writing about the "abundance of a certain material to make an impact" in my last post, let's talk about my spate of kitchen flops as a blog post.  Here they are in order.

1. I didn't use my sourdough starter for a week or so because I made a batch of oatmeal bread with regular ol' yeast for my mother who was convalescing from a terrible bout of flu.  The bread was like manna from heaven for her, so that warmed my heart.  But. But. But. I mixed up a batch of sourdough bread.  I left the sourdough loaves to rise overnight and in 12 hours, they had hardly risen. I, the old kitchen genius, baked them anyway and handily underbaked them while I was at it.  So they came out like bricks with doughy centers.  I'm pretending nothing is wrong and I just toast it before it gets eaten, but it's embarrassing.  I will not neglect my starter again!

2.  Around the time of the pink living room, I made a batch of Jeni's black coffee ice cream that was truly the most divine thing I put in my mouth this year.  Then last week I made a second batch, dreaming of that flavor, and lo, I messed it up.  It acquired too much liquid (milk? water?  did I just totally space out and add water???) and it's so hard and ice-crystally and the intoxicating flavor is totally diluted.  Very sad.  Tonight I pried a few icy scoops out and added them to vanilla seltzer to make floats, but still sad.

3.  I was charging through my excellent recipe for hot-and-sour soup when I reached in the back of the fridge to get my staple box of tofu and it was a frozen-solid brick.  Apparently the cold spot had gotten really cold.  Bless my husband for grabbing up a whiny kid and whipping out the car and returning with tofu in hand.  It wasn't exactly my fault, but on the heels of these other flops, I was not cheered.

4.  Yesterday I was making a lemon sponge pie when I realized I had poured in 2 1/2 cups of milk instead of 1 1/2 cups.  I was horrified.  All that butter, eggs, sugar, wasted?  I had nothing to lose, so I poured off a cup of the filling and baked it beside the pie like a custard.  I actually put it in the fridge and did not look at it yet - maybe it's a sauce?   The pie itself was oozy and watery around the edges, so I put it in the freezer for an hour before I served it today and guess what?! It was fine!  The flavor was not diluted too much and the custard was just set from the freezer.

Want to share any of your recent kitchen woes?  I could use another laugh.


Lisa said...

Funny you should ask that question today - I decided for dessert today that your easy shortbread crust would do nicely. At the supermarket I only came up with apples; I wasn't sure how the out-of-season fruits would do. So, using my Kerrygold butter (!) I mixed it up, only using just a teaspoon of xxx sugar instead of 2 T. I sprinkled a T. of tapioca on it after pressing it into the pan and placed thinly sliced apples on top along with a few frozen raspberries. Only about 2 or so T. of sugar and spices. In the oven it went at 350 for 45 mins. But the apples weren't done, so I put it up to 375 for 15. Not done yet. I took it out, ready to "pretend" all was fine. But thankfully my sense got through and I covered it with foil and put it back in at 375 for another 15. That did it, as I knew it would! Geesh! I'm thinking apples aren't the best choice for this. But it's a nice idea. Have you used apples for this, Margo? Also, (since I made it so long ago I can't remember) is the mixture supposed to hold together as you press it in? Mine didn't; I sprinkled a little water over the upper edges before I covered it with foil - then it was fine.

I like it! Just need to get used to it. And, I should have put in 2 tsp. xxx sugar. Live and learn.

Margo said...

Hi Lisa, I'm glad it did turn out after all! I've never used that crust for apples - it wasn't too hard after all that time in the oven? It IS a pat-in-the-pan kind of crust and I think the butter kind of melds it together after it starts baking.

Lisa said...

I really like the recipe, and will use it again. I even bucked up and purchased the whole wheat pastry flour! And,no, it wasn't hard. But I will stick with more juicy fruits from now on!

Anonymous said...

I had a pretty big fail. I bought a box of Tuna Helper to fix for dinner one night for my then future husband. Well, I had accidentally purchased a can of salmon instead of tuna. I didn't realize my mistake until I was dumping the contents into the skillet and noticed a cat food odor. It smelled atrocious, but I decided to go with it since we didn't have anything else for dinner that evening. Needless to say, it did not go over well. Disgusting!
Can you believe he still married me? It's been 24 years and many kitchen fails, but we are stilll here.
Btw, I enjoy your blog and subscribe to it via Feedly.

jenny_o said...

I wonder if part of the reason for kitchen disasters is the ages of our kids - all the distractions that can happen. I haven't had a flop lately, but when my kids were the ages of yours, it was a regular thing.

The most memorable were not exactly food flops but involved heat/fire. One time I set fire to a fringed hand towel when I used it to take something from the oven, and the fringe brushed the lower oven element. Whee!

And another time - back when there was such a thing as a plastic vegetable steamer - the pot I was using it in boiled dry. The steamer melted and burned to the bottom of the pot. Needless to say, we didn't eat THAT broccoli. We had to throw the pot away too - the melted plastic would not come off.

My kids still talk about the times I had to throw burning things in the snowbank outside. I say thank goodness I don't cook in the summer :)

You are not alone, Margo!!

Beth in the City said...

Reading other comments helped me remember a few funny ones of my own! There was the batch of soft pretzels where I grabbed my bag of bulk pretzel salt out of the cupboard. I couldn't figure out WHY the salt was so crunchy! Well, because it was minute tapioca!!!! :) There was the time I put pizza kits in to bake and burned them - for company. My dear husband ordered takeout pizza in a jiffy! And now, at 42, I CANNOT run out to change a load of laundry over while leaving water on to boil. We have a gas stove, which means live flame, and I will invariably completely forget I am cooking, do who knows how many other things as well as move laundry, and come up to the kitchen and realize I could have started a fire with my forgetfulness!!!!! So, I either ask someone else to watch my pot (which causes me to remember) or I can't leave the kitchen!

Polly said...

These are funny!!!

I don't keep track of my flops, not even mentally, probably b/c they happen with regularity. I am forever 'trying something' (like the molasses candy, or the protein 'brownies' I made last night). Sometimes it works out well and sometimes it is horrendous. I think I get this from my mother, who was the queen of substitutions and winging-it (and she wasn't too keen on cooking generally). She had an epic cake fail once that we still laugh about--not even the dog would eat it. But no one, NO ONE, made better whole wheat bread.

I tried some flourless cookies on Saturday. THey were like chocolate meringues, sort of; my husband and sister loved them but they were a bit hard to extract from the cookie sheet. I thought they were too sweet. THat's my latest 'flop' in my mind--but they ate them anyhow so I guess not all was lost!

Jennifer Jo said...

I love hearing about flops!

Melanie said...

These are funny - and a bit of a balm, too!

My most recent flop was last evening. I wanted to make a batch of red sauce for pasta later this week, and as it's something I've made a hundred times, I confess that I allowed myself to get distracted.... So just the instant before it would have been too far gone, I remembered it and turned it off and I think it will be edible. But drat. And the onions, garlic and herbs browned so perfectly this time, too!

In the realm of flops that really aren't my fault, I think my beloved yogurt incubator, which must be older than I am, is failing. The bottom 1/5th of the cups are gelled, but the rest stays liquid. I keep trying to eliminate other possible variables (age of starter, age of milk, etc.), but I really think this is the end. I may just buy another used one. This one has served me (and my mother!) so well!

Rebecca said...

...and then there was the time I made tomato soup to can from a recipe I copied from a friend. I wrote "1 cup salt" for a recipe that made a gallon of soup. This involved picking tomatoes, cooking with celery and onions and parsley, sieving all and then adding seasonings before canning the whole business. So, in other words, a rigamarole. Which ended up tasting like tomato flavored brine. I cried as I dumped it all on the compost pile where it probably proceeded to kill all the beneficial microbes. To this day I have no idea how I confused 1 cup for 1 tablespoon.

Rebecca said...

Oh, and Melanie, come see me and I'll give you a new yogurt starter AND some kefir grains. xoxoxR

Julia said...

two epic fails in our household, both occurred with company. the first was a cookie recipe at the end of a disney movie. I had my 6 year old read the recipe to me from the tv screen in the living room. Something was really wrong the cookies were flat and salty, I think it was too much baking soda. I warned everyone that the cookies where awful, but of course they all tried them. My husband managed to convince me to try a second one by covering it with honey. Not an improvement.
The second we call green glass and green bean casserole. I got a bunch of old pyrex for a birthday present. I heated up some frozen green beans in a casserole dish in the oven as my husband was using the burners of the stove. When the green beans were warm I set them on the stovetop - on a very hot burner. It shattered sending glass and green beans everywhere.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

I had a flop the other evening.. I was making blondie brownies [which I have made a ton of times, I almost know it by heart,ha]. Well,I mixed up all the ingrediants and put in the baking dish..
when I pulled them out of the oven..they just didn't look right? I immediately, remembered, I didn't put any sugar in them.. I even tried making simple syrup to pour on them.. but no......... They were terrible, even the dog would not eat them..and that is bad.hahahha

Meryl said...

None lately, but the last time I made cupcakes they exploded in my stove. I don't know what happened, but it was awful. Thank goodness we have a cupcake shop in town that was nice enough to rush some for the baby shower I was hosting!

sk said...

Oh I love lemon sponge pie.

A said...

This post pleases me.

It reminds me of this: