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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oops moments in the kitchen

Tonight I had company for dinner, a couple I've know for over forty years. We had a wonderful visit, and they enjoyed the entree--polenta and corn topped by sausage (should be chorizo but I can't go that hot) and sauteed tomatoes and feta. But when I was cleaning the kitchen, I found all that feta I'd forgotten to put on top of the casserole. I guess they didn't know what they were missing.
Do you have Oops moments in the kitchen? I have a lot of them. I remember once when  Colin insisted I make homemade rolls according to my mother's recipe. We were having Thanksgiving dinner with his in-laws. I made them--but left out the baking soda and baking powder, and they were awful.
My mom was famous for serving an elegant dinner for guests--and then finding the celery/pickle/olive tray on the back porch after dinner.
We all do it. I am prone to experiment on guests, so this week I made a chili that sounded good. I doubled the recipe--and ended up with half of it left. The recipe intrigued me because the spices included cocoa powder and cinnamon along with chile powder and coriander. Also in the recipe was orange juice. As I made it, I could see chiliheads all over Texas if not the world wringing their hands in despair. And well they should have. The tomato puree was way too much--my chili tasted like ground beef in tomato puree. I diluted it with a bottle of Shiner Bock, which did partially redeem it but not totally. One guest took a bite and immediately said, "Cinnamon?" So much for subtle flavors. When I do my chili book, I'll classify this under "Chili that is not chili.' My guests are still raving about it, but I wasn't much on it, couldn't eat it the next night.
Although I (modestly) consider myself a good cook, I make mistakes all the time. I burn things in the oven--particularly rolls and cookies and pizza. I remember once I burned something on the bottom, pulled it out, and announced that I had burned it to a fare-thee-well. My nephew hasn't forgotten that phrase yet and throws it at me occasionally. I leave ingredients out of a recipe--fortunately, like tonight, most people can't tell, though my oldest child, Colin, would occasionally ask, "Mom, did you follow the recipe on this?"
I guess I've decided that if you don't make mistakes in the kitchen, you're not having any fun cooking--and for me, that's what it's all about.
How about you? What great "Ooops" moments in the kitchen do you remember. Share, please.

1 comment:

  1. I actually have a whole blog dedicated to my screwups in the kitchen! It's called cooking whoops.