Culinary disasters hopefully a funny story!

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merryone

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Now anyone that knows me will know that cooking is not my bag, I can do the basics and have produced the occasional decent cake, but I leave the cooking to OH as he's extremely good at it and above all enjoys it . Seriously the amount of times I've tried to make something behind oh's back that's turned out so awful that I've had to dispose of it before he's caught sight of it - "Oven to bin"! I need to prepare myself a picnic for tomorrow as I'll be travelling up to festival. Got it all planned out, get up early have a good breakfast to keep me going and have a picnic to take to sustain myself for the journey. For some reason as I was drifting off to sleep I had the notion to make some blueberry muffins to take, so I thought I'd get up early and get them done before he gets up just in case they need to go in the bin.
Got up at 6.45 am, threw all the ingredients into my magic bullet blender and blended away. I unscrewed it and and the consistency was far too runny so I bunged a heaped tablespoon of flour into the mix and blended it again, yep that seemed good, so I stirred in the blueberries but I got this over whelming smell of flour, of course now the ratio of flour to sugar was all wrong, so I knew they would taste awful even with the blueberries. I reached into the cupboard for the muffin cases and noticed the bottle of honey, so I squeezed a bit of that into the mix, plus a slug of vanilla extract, it actually smelled quite pleasant so I decided to carry on. Right! Muffin cases - d'oh! I'd run out. Luckily I checked another cupboard and found a roll of baking parchment so I fashioned my own. I dolloped the mixture into the wonky cases and bunged them in the oven that I had remembered to pre-heat. As they were cooking I hoped that oh wouldn't decide to get up early and witness this potential disaster! Cooking time expired, so far so good, opened the oven to see some rather horrendous looking blobs! Surprisingly they'd risen fairly well but they looked blinking awful I thought I'd better give one a taste before they went into the bin, I broke one of the lumps off and it was a tiny bit crunchy on top but other than that tasted ok ish. I put them onto a cooling rack, thought I heard oh stirring, so I legged it into the front room and hid the rack underneath the computer table. It was a false alarm yay! I peeled off the parchment and I ate one and it was actually rather nice and once the parchment had been peeled off, displayed upside down they don't look too bad ! Anyway I managed to get them safely into a lock and lock and whisked them upstairs. A few minutes later he got up and said have you been cooking? I said no, he said that's funny I can smell cooking, so I said nah just had some toast. Then he said a short while later why does the oven feel warm? Thinking on my feet which I'm thankfully good at I said I was gonna have a sausage roll but I couldn't be bothered in the end - phew!!!!!
Before he retired I could experiment to my heart's content and get culinary mistakes out of the way before he got home. I can't seem to get a balance, generally it either looks great but tastes awful or looks awful and tastes ok (I won't stretch as far as saying great) but I can't be doing with the ribbing and embarrassment. To be fair I did make some flapjacks a couple of weeks back and they were lovely but it's a tried and tested recipe!
A lot of my problem with cooking is pure laziness. I know I can make a decent cake if I get the mixer out, measure the ingredients properly and not just chuck them in together. I also know that a magic bullet blender as useful as it is for other things is not ideal for making cakes. Oh would have had kittens seeing me use it for that purpose, as least it cleans up in seconds! If I'm making something for myself, slapdash is the way and if it turns out to be edible - result!
 
I've had some corkers, the time I got draining the pasta wrong and the cat had a pasta "saddle" (we rinsed the cat under cool water, most offended and the pasta in boiling and ate it (the pasta, of course) anyway, there was the time I floated a cauliflower cheese on the water that the cheese sauce pan was soaking in, the time I dropped an entire roasting pan complete with chicken on the floor (victims of inadequate oven gloves I am sure), I think that was still edible, the times I made a Queen of Puddings and four Yorkshires (two separate occasions) and they both rose so much that they touched the top of my baby belling cooker, the Yorkshires looked like I'd been cooking a cow's udder in there as the pan came out and left them still attached and dangling off the roof of the oven! Nowadays, when cooking for myself, I tend to rely on Chefs Waitrose, Co-op, Tesco and much more rarely these days M&S (before lockdown there was a branch a couple of hundred yards from my work base, so depending on where I had been working I would often trot in there after work for something to heat up when I got home). That brought back some great memories!
 
Oh visited a mate the other day and stayed overnight. So I had the kitchen to myself. I decided I'd have a go at making some brownies. Never made them before, so I had a look online and found a recipe on BBC good food which I generally find is pretty good. I had all the ingredients so I looked at the method and OMG, sorry but life's too short. It was 8pm already and I was mindful that I was working next day and needed them prepared, cooked and disposed of lol and washing up done before bedtime. I searched the term "easy brownies recipe" and lo and behold I found one but all the measurements were American, so I found a conversion and set to work. Basically the entire process took a shadow over 30 minutes, the recipe was literally throw the ingredients in a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon. What I ended up with were not brownies, but a pretty damned decent chocolate and walnut cake. It made about 12 large slices and when oh got back next day I told him I'd made some brownies, he took a bite and the first thing he said is "that's not a brownie" but luckily the second thing he said was " it's absolutely delicious though".
I'm halfway to understanding why those homemade brownies are so bliddy expensive to buy if they use a traditional brownie recipe - What a blinking palaver!!!
 
.....and another one!!! Oh's out for the day, so I thought I'd try my hand at making peppermint creams. I remember making them at school and at home with my mum when I was a kid and that they were really easy. I looked up a recipe and sure enough I had all the ingredients to hand. Ok I only had granulated sugar which I blasted down in my blender to create icing sugar. First I needed an egg white. We only had three eggs left, so I carefully cracked the egg onto a saucer and the yolk broke, so no good. I tenatively cracked open another egg and that was fine and I separated it successfully. I whisked it as per instructions, added a squeeze of lemon juice, then sieved the icing sugar, added the mint essence and got stirring - so far so good, but when I went to pick it up to roll it out, it felt incredibly sticky. I checked online for help in this situation and they suggested adding more icing sugar - It didn't seem to be improving that much and I was aware that the mix was just getting sweeter and sweeter by the minute, finally rolling out it seemed a bit crunchy, so I'd hadn't blasted the sugar down quite enough, even though it looked right at the time. I managed to roll it out and pick off some very sticky specimens that I put onto some baking parchment on a tray and chilled them down for a while. I gingerly took a bite out of one - DISGUSTING! Another one for the bin, and a lot of cleaning up to do! I give up!!!!!
 
Merryone and Mediastar, I am beginning to suspect that Ria Parkinson (Butterflies) may be both of your kitchen spirit animal!
Cakes are always a science experiment, so adding a little bit here and there is almost guaranteed to produce something unexpected and possibly weird-tasting. I tend to avoid as I'm not a fan of folloeing recipes.

I tend to stick to ordinary cooking where you can make most of it up as you go along provided you keep tasting as you go along. My mum went to a domestic science college but hated tasting as she went along. So it was always food roulette in our house growing up.

My biggest challenge is time and the occasional disaster caused by pans running dry, melting plastic, and cooking shellfish too long (think eraser texture).
 
I always leave a jar of my favourite instant coffee at OH's house.

Recently, I made a coffee in the usual way and it was disgusting, with gritty bits in it and a foul taste.

So I examined thr jar contents, and it was obvious it was NOT coffee. My usual is granules and medium brown colour, but this was almost black and much finer.

I then thougt it may be tea, so I brewed a cup and that was disgusting too, and was not tea,

So there are 2 mysteries : (1) what is it? (2) who put it into the coffee jar (not me or OH., yet it is my brand).

One of her sons also visits her, but he has no ideas either.
 
I always leave a jar of my favourite instant coffee at OH's house.

Recently, I made a coffee in the usual way and it was disgusting, with gritty bits in it and a foul taste.

So I examined thr jar contents, and it was obvious it was NOT coffee. My usual is granules and medium brown colour, but this was almost black and much finer.

I then thougt it may be tea, so I brewed a cup and that was disgusting too, and was not tea,

So there are 2 mysteries : (1) what is it? (2) who put it into the coffee jar (not me or OH., yet it is my brand).

One of her sons also visits her, but he has no ideas either.
How old was the jar? If the top was left off, the granules can absorb moisture and oxidise. When that happens you just have to chuck it out, as it will taste vile.
 
I always leave a jar of my favourite instant coffee at OH's house.

Recently, I made a coffee in the usual way and it was disgusting, with gritty bits in it and a foul taste.

So I examined thr jar contents, and it was obvious it was NOT coffee. My usual is granules and medium brown colour, but this was almost black and much finer.

I then thougt it may be tea, so I brewed a cup and that was disgusting too, and was not tea,

So there are 2 mysteries : (1) what is it? (2) who put it into the coffee jar (not me or OH., yet it is my brand).

One of her sons also visits her, but he has no ideas either.
We don't use instant coffee as a rule but we usually have a jar on standby as a friend of mine only drinks instant and another friend who comes to stay, drinks instant coffee by the jugful. Not that long ago I just fancied making a cup of instant for myself and found that it looked exactly as you described and smelled a bit smokey and weird. I think it just goes off maybe I hadn't screwed the lid on tight enough but it was unuseable so I had to throw it out.
 
Merryone and Mediastar, I am beginning to suspect that Ria Parkinson (Butterflies) may be both of your kitchen spirit animal!
Cakes are always a science experiment, so adding a little bit here and there is almost guaranteed to produce something unexpected and possibly weird-tasting. I tend to avoid as I'm not a fan of folloeing recipes.

I tend to stick to ordinary cooking where you can make most of it up as you go along provided you keep tasting as you go along. My mum went to a domestic science college but hated tasting as she went along. So it was always food roulette in our house growing up.

My biggest challenge is time and the occasional disaster caused by pans running dry, melting plastic, and cooking shellfish too long (think eraser texture).
Much to my chagrin, I did catering at college. My excuse for the dropped pasta and the floating cauli cheese is only that I am dyspraxic so I was really uncoordinated. However, I can produce my special recipes if cooking for more than myself, I just can't be bothered for myself!
 

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