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Old 10-22-2006, 10:18 AM   #11
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: England
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My sister taught me to make souffle when I was preteens, and I only have had one flop. How? She said, "this is an easy, nice thing to make for supper" and so I believed for years it was easy....so it is. Its only when you think its hard and get all tense and frustrated it goes wrong...My older neice, now 12, is throwing out souffles now too...we tell her they are lovely, and she is a good girl to help her mother in the evenings get supper on the table...but never that she is clever to do such a "difficult" dish. In the same way her mother taught me she is teaching her daughter.

I have diasters often, but if its just DH and I we laugh and make the best of it. Disatsers usually occur because I struggle to follow a recipe with out "personalising" but its ok, I like to think that in the end it makes me a better cook.

My main fear is disasters when visitors are there. Also my in laws. I am so busy trying to be "perfect" I jinx every thing. Thats when its tough to remember a perfectly nice meal is adaquate, and trying to serve the "perfect" dish of whatever is not necessary. Maybe one day I'll relax about that!

In omnibus amor et iustum
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:34 AM   #12
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
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Yes, I'm prepared for all emergencies. The last time I hosted brunch, relatives showed up an hour before the party started, and our last guests left at 8:30 p.m. We're talking 9 hours here. This time it was more reasonable. Friends did stop by after the party ended and we finished off a couple of open bottles of bubbly. The "disaster", if you want to call it that, is that I made sausage biscuits, as did one of my guests. The fact is, his sausage-on-bagels and my biscuits-with-sausage "sandwiches" -- all disappeared. So I guess it wasn't too much.

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Old 10-23-2006, 06:46 AM   #13
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I will say that the best way to fix a disaster is to have great guests who you love being with and they love being with you. For example, that pizza that wound up on the floor of the oven? After I called Dominoes, I found a guest scraping up the pizza from the back of the oven and eating it, because it was better. My husband may be frustrated because his bread didn't rise. I call it flat bread, and everyone is happy. Perhaps I gravitate to people who are easy to please. It sure makes life a lot easier when your guests want to be happy to begin with. And I don't bake. Trifle is the answer. No matter what cake you make, when it fails, crumble it, buy some frozen berries and cool whip, layer (either in a large bowl or in stemmed glasses), toss in a bit of sweet alcohol, et viola.
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Old 10-31-2006, 06:42 AM   #14
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: japan
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" ... At risk of sounding sexist..."


at the risk of sounding anti-sexist, just what did you do the first time you burned something?

most likely so long ago you no longer remember, but quite likely: 1) get bailed out by your mom, or 2) toss it or eat it anyway, and then ask someone what they would have done.

do you really believe there's a real gender difference here? or might it not just boil down to experience (or lack thereof) and individual personality. maybe your husband hasn't learned how to turn a near disaster into triumph because you're always rushing in before he has a chance to figure things out. how about next time, tell him to get his h!ney out in the kitchen to rescue his friend? or just give some advice. he might learn something that way.

near disasters are second nature to me. i'm a guy, by the way.
let me make sure that wine's ok before i use it.
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Old 11-01-2006, 11:15 AM   #15
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Location: Galena, IL
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You're right. The first time I burned something was SO long ago that Mom did rescue it. I don't really remember a burning episode, do remember messing up gravy (too much flour not properly inserted into the pan). I was probably ten or so. I'm not really sexist; the older I get (50ish) the more men I know who do day to day cooking (most I know still just cook when it is fun, not when it is drudgery) and child care (not too long ago I knew more single custodial male parents than women). But most men I know are older than me and do tend to throw up their hands, stomp out and sulk rather than shrug and figure out a way to feed the house with their failure. Most women I know shrug, laugh, and rescue when they have a mistake. And, yes, I still do burn things, have them land on the floor rather than a platter, over-salt, etc. But it is food, not nuclear energy. Heck, if all else fails, there's a to-go or delivery number near by.

I'm also a big believer in pot-luck. If everyone is responsible for part of the meal, one failure doesn't destroy the dinner. Also gravies and sauces are great for dousing over cooked meats. Instead of serving them separately, put the meat into the gravy or sauce, then serve over the starch. This won't rescue a burn, but will for meat that is a little dried out or not as flavorful as you'd like. Having everyone bring a dish also makes it so that fussy eaters -- for whatever reasons (religious, ethical, medical, or just fussy) have something they can eat. In our group -- ages range from mid-30s through mid-80s), the host usually makes the main dish, then everyone sorts out sides, appetizers, deserts. We do this a LOT, so sharing comes naturally.

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