This really isn't a tip, but everyone's answers will most likely end up giving some sort of tip or two for others to learn from and I think this would be a really fun share between our ThriftyFun Family :-) Please share one (or two) of your worst cooking disasters, along with the outcome and what you learned from the experience. I promise I have one with a good outcome and another one where the meal went straight down the disposal to share with you, but you have to tell me yours first - LOL!
By Deeli from Richland, WA
Editor's Note: Great idea, Deeli! Please leave your worst cooking disaster in the feedback to share with the rest of the ThriftyFun community.
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This is a baking disaster. I have a very simple banana bread recipe that I have been making for many years. Recently, I have been making mini-muffins. A few weeks ago, I hurried home from work with a million things to do and decided that I would use up the 3 brown bananas on the counter. I put the recipe together while doing other things. For some reason there wasn't as much batter as usual. But, the muffins seemed to bake up just fine. The next morning, I found the margarine in the front window where I had put it to soften. There are only 7 ingredients in this recipe and I had left out an important one! I told my husband that they were a little different since they were low-fat muffins. He thought they were great. I thought they were a little bit heavy but since they were so small, they were quite edible.
My worst cooking disaster was the first Thanksgiving after my exhusband and I were married. We had invited his mom, dad, brother and sister to dinner. I bought a turkey and cooked it with some help from my grandma, who was a wonderful cook. She told me to baste the turkey with white wine, but did not tell me how. much. I cooked the turkey in my brand new oven for 6 hours and looked wonderful until my father-in-law cut into the breast which was bloody. My oven temperature was off so my turkey was underdone. We finally ate after cutting the turkey and putting it back in the oven at a higher temperture. The gravy did not taste like turkey, it tasted like white wine. That was the last time I used wine to baste a turkey.
As a new bride, I was so excited to make my husband a real "grown-up" meal: steak, mashed potatoes, salad, green beans, and rolls. The "recipe" for the mashed potatoes said to sprinkle paprika on top for a nice "pink" touch; I didn't have paprika, but I did have cayenne pepper, and it was sorta pink, so I sprinkled it very generously over the potatoes. My poor hubby's eyes were pretty bugged out after eating those potatoes, and he could hardly talk, but he didn't say anything negative because he didn't want to hurt my feelings! We laughed about that meal for many years!
I had a favorite brownie recipe, and it was one where you mix all the ingredients that you bake it in. We were having very important company for dinner who just happened to be a chef in the navy.
I got out the ingredients and made the brownies from memory. My Mother made a lemon meringue pie, too.
I forgot the baking soda in the brownies and they turned out like red rubber. You couldn't cut them, the knife just bounced back from the surface. and when we finally got them out of the pan, even the dogs wouldn't eat them, and my Mother's pie filling didn't thicken at all. So it was like lemon sauce and meringue in a crust!
The moral of that story is always follow the recipe. Do not go with just your memory!
And always have a back up plan, just in case.
Mine? The first time I made gravy, when I was 8/9 years old, I did not realize you had to add either water or milk. It turned out perfectly, looked great, smelled wonderful, but when it cooled it set up like concrete. The spoon was stuck, and when we went to dump it, the gravy was stuck in the bowl. When it finally "popped out" it was bowl-shaped block of gravy flavored cement. lol.
To this day they tease me about that.
I just loved Creamed Chipped Beef on toast. When we were first married I made CCB. I didn't rinse the beef before I cooked it and added more salt. My poor husband had hives for two days.
A few years ago I worked as an in-home nursing asst for a very affluential family. They seldom cooked (Dad brought home meals nightly). I wanted to impress them with my buttermilk rolls. I purchased all the ingredients except flour as there was some in their pantry. The rolls turned out awful. I was told that the flour was probably 6-7 years old. I make sure now to note the expiration date on everything.
Me too, dawghair. I have always loved chipped beef on toast so just after I was married I made some for dinner one night. It was awful! It tasted just like paste so we ended up going out for dinner. Now whenever I want to go out to dinner all I have to do is mention chipped beef on toast and my husband says "what restaurant shall we go to tonight?" For the last 42 years it has never failed to work! We still laugh about my first cooking disaster.
Living on a lake it has been a favorite place for all the kids in the family to hang out in summer and holidays. One year I had 6 at one time. They were getting loud and rambunctious this day and I was trying to get a cake made for a party that afternoon. I finally sent them to the lake and said I would holler for them when the cake was done. It looked so neat, a red, white and blue high top sneaker, for my nephews birthday.
I got the kids in we sang and couldn't wait to cut the cake. Everybody took a big bite and yuck, we all spit at the same time. I make my cakes from scratch and had forgotten the sugar. We all had a good laugh and went to Dairy Queen.
I attempted to fix a special dinner for my hew husband, with pork chops, green beans and potatoes. The green beans were frozen, and they were still frozen an hour and a half after I started cooking! The temperature in our old gas stove was over 100 degrees off. I have started giving oven thermometers as wedding gifts since then, so that other folks won't have the same disaster.
Can I post another one? This was my daughter's disaster, although it wasn't a real disaster. She was attempting to make cookies from scratch. I found her in the kitchen with both arms in the mixing bowl up to her elbows. "Mom, when it says mix by hand, I could use a spoon, couldn't I?"
The first time I attempted to make cornbread on my own, using my moms recipe. It called for cornmeal and a spoon full of flour. I had no cornmeal so I went to the store for some and went home and made it. It was like a flat hard biscuit. Mom looked at my "cornmeal" which was of course flour and everyone had a great laugh at me for carefully measuring that spoonful of flour on top of two cups of flour. Now its moms job to do cornbread and she makes extra for me to freeze for my family, ha ha laugh at me will you, lol. The only time I ever tried to make breakfast gravy it turned out like glue. My mom and granny had fits, they said you have helped make it hundreds of times over the years! I said stirring, that was my job to stir, I can stir with the best of them. Everything else, obviously I was paying zero attention too, lol.
I once had a group of Cub Scouts, that I hosted a meeting for weekly, and I always fixed a good homemade snack. Their favorite was my brownies. I decided to fancy them up one day. So I got my shaker of what I thought was powdered sugar from my cabinet, to sprinkle over the top. Little did I realize until I saw the faces on those little boys that what I had sprinkled on the brownies was not powdered sugar at all, but pure alum!
Still haven't lived that one down, and they are all grown men now!
Grove City Ohio
When I was a newlywed and very stupid teenager, I made coffee on the stove and took a bath, that was a mess! One time I decided to make hard boiled eggs, I was doing great when a friend called. Did you know if your forget about boiling eggs, they boil dry and explode, landing and sticking to the ceiling!
My boyfriend and I and his friend, decided we were going to raid a pumpkin patch one night. We thought we were pretty cool getting away with about 30 pumpkins. We were going make pumpkin pies for everyone. Now none of us had actually made one before, but I had watched my mother make them a thousand times.How hard could it be? We peeled them and de-seeded them and boiled pumpkin and more pumpkin and even more. Then it came time to add the eggs. Since we had so much pumpkins, we decided that 12 dozen eggs ought to be enough. Long story short, we looked like the three stooges as Lucy in the chocolate factory.(You might have to watch an episode of "I love Lucy" to know what I'm talking about, if you're too young) We had so many creamy sloppy pumpkin pies! I never raided a pumpkin patch or tried to bake a pumpkin pie for the rest of my life!
I had one very recently, just a week ago. I was trying a brownie recipe that called for 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate and 1/2 cup of butter. The directions indicated the two should be melted together in a double boiler, but I decided to "save time" by melting the chocolate in the microwave. I set the time for 1 minute, the chocolate was only have melted so put in another minute. Big mistake! The chocolate got totally burned and ruined! Fortunately, I did put a microwave cooking cover over the bowl, which now permanently stained. Taking the bowl out of the microwave I burned the tip of my index finger, ouch! I did have 4 more ounces of chocolate and ended up using the "double boiler" method (for me a stainless steel mixing bowl set into a sauce pan). Lesson learned: Don't be in rush when cooking from scratch!
I added grape jelly to meatballs one year. Of course they were awful!
My mom wrote out the recipe for macaroni salad for my little brother to make. She wrote "1 cup salad dressing," meaning Miracle Whip, but he used Wishbone French Dressing from a bottle. Ha ha ha! It sure was orange!
When I married my first wife, I did most of the cooking as she had never really been taught to cook. We were having friends over and she decided to make me leave the kitchen and she would be in charge of the meal all by herself for the first time.
She called her Aunt to get the recipes for her famous stuffed peppers. She went to the grocers and cooked all day. I was so proud of her. The Dinner looked great, so we all set down to eat, and after a couple of mouth fulls my wife burst in to tears and ran to the bedroom and locked the door.
She had used regular rice instead of the minute rice the recipes called for, so the beautiful peppers that she had worked on all day were filled with crunchy undercooked rice. It was really awful, but no one else had said a word and we all sat and ate in silence, until she ran from the room.
We ordered Chinese take out, and laughed about it for years!
This happened back in the 70s. I made "capon chickens" for my younger sister's dinner party. I was working up the street and on breaks I would go home and check on them. They looked beautiful. I called my sister and told they were ready to pick up all she had to do was reheat them. The next day I asked her how her dinner party went. She was so mad and started screaming that as the guests started to eat them they found the little bags inside them. I forgot to take the gizzards, heart and liver out of each one.
This is another one. But this happened to my sister. She was making spaghetti one night for dinner. The water was boiling and she added the spaghetti. She went back to check on them and the water was still boiling but the spaghetti had turned black. We laugh about it now but to this day we still don't know why the spaghetti turned black.
This is a good idea Deeli! I am getting a big kick out of reading these. I have so many, why is it we remember the disasters but not the good things? LOL.
I was delegated to bring the pumpkin pies for a family Thanksgiving. My brother in law was the first to get a piece of the pie. He said there is something wrong with this pie. I tasted it and realized I forgot to add the sugar!
When I was very young, another girl and I were hosting our church lady's group. We always served a dessert after. We saw a recipe for cherry cheesecake and the recipe called for sweetened condensed milk. We thought it was the same thing as condensed milk. We served it to 15 ladies and not one said a word. When everyone left, we sat down to eat our dessert and it was then we realized we did not do something right.
This last one is that one day I decided to make pancakes. I can't remember what I did wrong with them but they were so heavy, you couldn't eat them. I gave one to the dog and he took it outside, went under a tree and started digging to bury it! And really, they were that bad!
This is about our worst eating experience. Many years ago when we were newly married my husband's sister came to visit and brought steaks for supper, which she insisted on cooking. She merely lightly browned the outside and the inside was still red and bloody. We like our meat very well done, almost burnt, and the more we chewed the bigger it seemed to get in our mouths. We were too young and timid to speak up and tell her how we preferred it, so we had to force down the meat, which seemed to take forever! Talk about chewing the fat! We've learned to make our preferences known since that experience! LOL.
I am giggling so hard over everyone's comments and am very happily overwhelmed by the sharing from each and every one of you! So now, as promised, here are my disasters to share. Was originally planning on only sharing two (one good and one bad) but decided on three. The first one actually turned out well in the whole scheme of things, the second turned out well but only because of my daddy's true love and patience and the third one was a total yuck even though I knew better than to try it and it went down the sink immediately ;-) LOL!
Let me begin with letting you know that both of my parents worked long hours and were rarely home so all of my cooking learning experiences began as trial and error because, other than babysitters, my brother and I were pretty much on our own. When I was about ten or eleven I decided I wanted to make a peach upside down cake for my daddy so I pulled out the Betty Crocker recipe book (a 1950's edition) and proceeded to bake it. To this day I can't remember what I did wrong but it certainly didn't end up looking anything like the picture in the recipe book! It did taste good and my daddy was happy but I decided then and there that all the effort for how it ended up looking would be much easier to just make it from a boxed white cake mix and top with slightly heated canned peaches thereafter! I even do that to this day.
The next one was when I was about thirteen. My daddy liked walnuts and pancakes so I pulled out that Betty Crocker cookbook again and proceeded to make the walnut pancake recipe it contained. I hate walnuts so I didn't eat those pancakes but my daddy ate them and seemed to like them so because of that I made them month after month after that for him until I was about sixteen when he finally teased me nicely about how truly awful they really were! What a great daddy to put up with that for about three years!
Okay, so now for the last and worst disaster that happened just this past winter. I have a ham and potato soup recipe that I really like so decided to make it. Well, as I began I realized I had forgotten to purchase fresh cooked ham! Well, being now disabled I don't always have the energy to just make a quick trip to the store for an item or two but I did have one of those canned hams, you know the kind that's in a rounded triangle tin, that had been given to me by Catholic Family Volunteer Services. I opened the can and took a taste and, yuck, but against my better judgment I thought that maybe it would be okay after cooked with the taters and spices. Wrong big time and, sadly, all went down the disposal after two taste tests!
Thank you all for sharing your experiences here and I hope I've given you some smiles and giggles with mine.
A while back I remember thrifty fun asking for cooking booboo's we've made. I am sure I have made many over the years but only remember these two.
1. I was about 10 and wanted to make a pot of coffee for my mom when she got up. This was in the days of the stove top percolator pots. It was ready and hot when she awoke, only problem, it was a bit weak cause I forgot to put the coffee in.
2. When Banquet came out with their HomestyleBakes, I was anxious to try them. The first I tried was cheesy hash browns and ham. Tasted good but didn't look like there was very much of it. I happened to reread the box and realized I was supposed to add water to it. Next time I did it right.
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