Friday, August 20, 2010

What Could Go Wrong?

After reading about Adrienne's fire in the kitchen, I proposed that she and Tanita (author of A La Carte, a novel with recipes) start a cooking show that ends in a culinary disaster every time. Adrienne or Tanita said, "We could call it 'What Could Go Wrong?'"

My brother burnt rice once, and for years was razzed as the guy who couldn't cook rice. I stay away from cooking pasta because inevitably I burn my foot when boiling water leaps up out of the colander over the sink. I've thought about wearing boots in the kitchen, but now I just stay away from pasta. Only recently was the pine-nuts moratorium lifted for Bede. As much as I love my mother's cooking, I still get a little nervous when she picks up a kitchen knife, because I remember the blood.

Despite the failures, a lot of yummy things have emerged from our kitchen. I can recall only one time that we made something so awful that we decided to give up and go out to dinner. We return to the kitchen because we are living creatures and we must eat. Besides, what could go wrong?

Please post your kitchen adventures in the comments. Feel free to embellish.

7 comments:

Lone Star Ma said...

I once decided to make freed mozarella sandwiches from a Linda McCartney cookbook recipe for my fiance in our new apartment as he is something of a mozarella junkie.I should have known I could not fry something that ambitious - I was still burning myself frying eggs. I got awful, ghastly-looking burns from the oil on my hands and wrists just in time to start my new job. Lovely.

We don't have a ventilation hood that works in our kitchen so I still tend to fill it up with smoke and have to open doors and windows when frying or even sauteing anything, which fortunately doesn't happen too often.

Melangell said...

A young colleague told me this story just yesterday. In college he had a crush on "Flame" (perhaps her real name?) He invited her to dinner for a first date which he was going to cook. After cooking meat and green beans, he stirred up a chocolate cake from his mom's recipe. Right after popping it into the oven, he got a telephone call - from Flame- who said she had too much math homework. Crestfallen, he hung up the phone and suddenly heard massive violent noises emitting from the oven. Terrified, he flung open the oven door to discover the chocolate cake spewing forth chocolate lava like a volcano, growling all the while. His roommate walked by silently, but in a little while came back and quietly set down a shot glass and a bottle of whisky to accompany his cold spaghetti, which he had decided to eat since he had no heart for his delicious supper of seduction. Much later he decided the disaster was due to the recipe having been written for sea-level baking, not 7,000 feet. ???? This is a story without embellishment.

My own story. I took stinky cheese to the Library to eat with bread for my lunch. I decided to nuke the cheese to make it runny. They evacuated the Library . This story is also without exaggeration.

SewnNatural said...

I (thankfully) haven't had too many but 2 stand out in my memory.

I began cooking and baking when I was quite young, perhaps 6 or 7. When I was 9, I prepared a whole meal for my family made entirely with brand new recipes. For dessert, I prepared a light chocolate mousse. I used the only baking chocolate I knew about - the bittersweet kind in the blue box, each square wrapped sweetly in white paper. And either I forgot the sugar, or the recipe didn't call for any, because the look of my family members after spooning in a generous bite of mouuse was terrifying.

On one of the first dates with my now husband, I prepared dinner in my tiny one room (literally, one room) apartment. I had no room for a real table and chairs, so I had mini folding chairs and a night-stand-sized table. Next to the oven. But I tried to make a beautiful meal. The previous date I'd learned that he loved spicy food, so I thought I make the chicken paella dish (chicken and rice) a little bit more spicy than usual. I probably didn't realize what spice jar I grabbed because I was far too busy looking at his handsome face... so while the dish looked wonderful, it was inedible and incredibly overspiced. The best bit of the story? He ate it.

adrienne said...

The truth is that Tanita knows much more about cooking than I, so I might wind up being known as the daffy one. Today I really lived on the edge--cooking sausage on the grill outside while sauteeing peppers and onions inside, which is absolutely violating my Don't Walk Away From the Hot Thing Rule. It worked out splendidly, though, which only encourages me to try it again.

Lone Star Ma, I have the same problem with the smoke. Honestly, whatever I broil makes a lot of smoke, whether I set it on fire or no.

PurePixie said...

I was a young teen at the time. My parents and I were invited at my Dad's aunt for lunch. We were supposed to bring a dessert and I volunteered to make it. I decided to make a lemon pie. It looked wonderful and everybody couldn't wait to eat it. But the time came, nobody was able to swallow the smallest piece... I had mistaken salt for sugar...

germandolls said...

My husband could tell you many stories of pots I have burned through and ruined. I should get the "Don't Walk Away From Hot the Thing" rule tattooed on my arm...
The worst thing I ever did though was leave a pan with hot oil on the stove when living in an appartment in Berlin. I was writing my Thesis at the time and found cooking for one person quite challenging...Grease fires are the worst! When I entered the smoke filled kitchen and tried to make it to the stove to turn the burner off, and rush for the window at the same time, I felt my eyes were going to fall out. The smoke hurt so badly I had to go for a two-hour walk...I thought I was going blind!

Saints and Spinners said...

I'm enjoying reading these accounts...probably more than I should! Thank you.