It’s sometimes easy to look at food blogs, see the pretty pictures, and think “wow, they’re amazing” and “they never do anything wrong!” I admit that this is how I often feel when looking at other blogs. We, the readers, don’t get to see the mistakes or catastrophes that often happen in the kitchen, even to the most experienced of cooks. It’s much like life, right? We present our best looking and put together self to the public without often revealing what is happening inside.
This post isn’t meant to be particularly serious, and in fact is supposed to be fun! I want to share with you some of my kitchen catastrophes in the hopes that you get to know me a little bit better, and maybe it will boost your own confidence in the kitchen:)
My most recent mistake happened when I was making Molly Yeh’s recipe for no-knead garlic bread for the first time. While the dough rises, you keep it covered in plastic wrap. After the Dutch oven has pre-heated in the oven, you remove it and place the risen bread in the Dutch oven and seal it with the lid. It wasn’t until well into the baking process that I realized that I had forgotten to remove the plastic wrap!! When I opened the Dutch oven, the plastic had mostly melted away creating big holes, and it peeled right off. There didn’t seem to be any remnants found on the bread. I don’t think anything could stop me from eating this bread though.
Going back a little further… When I was around 12-14, I became very interested in sugar sculpting (in thanks mostly to my visits to Disney World where I had seen the most beautiful creations at the restaurant in the Swan Resort).Of course watching someone on TV make these masterpieces always seems so easy! They should warn you: “do not try this at home!”
Well I did. I caramelized my sugar in a sauce pan and tried a few trial creations on parchment paper. Somehow I dropped the pan and the caramel went all over the floor…and immediately hardened. I tried scraping it off the floor with a knife—didn’t work. I found some liquid power dissolver under the sink, so I dumped the entire bottle on the hardened caramel and waited. It came off all right!!! And it also bleached the floor. oops. My caramel disaster had been cleaned up, but now the linoleum floor was all splotchy with bleach spots. (Oh the things that happen when your mom is taking a nap…) I think at some point later on my dad ended up bleaching the rest of the floor to make it match. At least we’re all laughing about it now…right dad?:)
Even further back, to some of my earliest “real” cooking experiences… One of my best friends and I attended Viking cooking camps for a few summers. These were week long camps where we learned basic skills, made different menus, and served a meal to our families at the end of the week. Well, the first time we went to camp, I don’t remember what our family meal was exactly, but it must have been Italian because I remember making focaccia bread.
I was in charge of kneading the bread. Simple enough right? The day before, I had cut my finger while I was grating something, so I had a bandaid on one of my fingers. ( can you see where this is going?) All I know is that I was in charge of kneading the focaccia bread, and after it went in the oven, I realized I didn’t have a bandaid on my finger anymore…
I hope you’ve enjoyed these little stories, although you may now think I’m crazy and never eat any of my food again; but I hope that is not the case, and I hope this gives you a little boost and space to make mistakes. It happens (more often than we care to admit)!
Do you have any kitchen nightmares?