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Old 01-04-2008, 09:18 AM   #1
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The most challenging thing you've ever cooked

Just wondering what the most challenging foods/meals people on here have cooked. For me, it was my first loaf of white bread...back when I thought exact measurments didn't matter .

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Old 01-04-2008, 09:43 AM   #2
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a Full and complete Sunday dinner on a 13 inch BBQ! whilst camping.

I have the Pics somewhere...

here we go, Found it! :

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Old 01-04-2008, 09:43 AM   #3
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I made a crab tower thingy from ATK once. It had a bazillion ingredients for 3 different items that were layered in a round mould. Tasted like crapola.

Recipe
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:49 AM   #4
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rofl, jeekinz. i love recipes for things that come out crappy.

the toughest thing that i've tried to cook was a large standing rib roast on a small charcoal grill.

i burned the heck out of the outside while the inside was raw. i had to finish it in an oven, and chop away a lot of the burned beyond recognition parts.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:01 AM   #5
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Great looking picnic YT!! Delicious!!

Challenging? Nothing has ever been a challenge to me...



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Old 01-04-2008, 10:05 AM   #6
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I'm challenged everytime I cook. Especially if it's something I make a often and have gotten good at. I think it's never going to come out as good as the last time.

YT, I remember the pic, I don't remember you saying you cooked that feast on a 13" grill.... I'm impressed. The plates look bigger than 13"
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:24 AM   #7
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I remember getting my first Martha Stewart book (Christmas one) around age 19 or 20. I planned a Christmas dessert party around the recipes. The 3 cookie recipes came out great, but I attempted a croquembouche. What was I thinking??? Here's what it should have looked like. Croquembouche and more delicious recipes, smart cooking tips, and video demonstrations on marthastewart.com
Mine was more like little mooshy dumplings with no chance of ever being stacked.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:40 AM   #8
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I catered my daughter's wedding, with the the help of two friends. I made a 3 foot tall hors d'ouevres tree, a melon basket and a honey dew swan, plus sweet/sour meatballs, another hot dish I can't remember, little heart shaped sandwiches with a cream cheese/braunsweiger/olive spread, ham sandwiches on miniature buns, turkey sandwiches on mini crescents, lemonade punch for the teetotalers and fever water for the drinkers.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:14 AM   #9
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Back in the late 70s...a wild goose with a dead oven...what to do? a quick read and cut the breast and thigh off and braised them over a mirepoix with red wine and thyme on top of the stove. Served over wild rice. Was awesome, probably better than if I had roasted it (wild bird as large as goose can be tough for sure) and was able to find the buck shot before serving!


braising has become one of my favorite methods (and results) since then.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:09 PM   #10
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The most daunting task I ever probably had was boning (or deboning - I always get confused) several dozen quail.

Had boned chicken, ducks, and even a goose without making an incision (actually a fairly disgusting procedure since it was fresh killed and still warm and gooses have so much fat) with no problem.

But we could only find teenie quail. The knives were not sharp enough to do the job - they were fairly sharp.

So got a package of single edge razor blades (the in-laws were all coming in the morning and it had to be done) and learned how to do it. At first the job went slowly but then I became fairly proficient at it.

We laugh about it now but at the time - for a wee bit of time - the air was blue.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:24 PM   #11
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Any kind of baking - I'm not good at exact quantities and am not very patient.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:47 PM   #12
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Big elaborate wedding cakes I got assembly down very straight cakes no leaning at all but when it comes to decorating Im a nervous twit.They come out nice people think they are beautiful but they are never perfect enough for me I see every little flaw that no one else would notice.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:56 PM   #13
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Any kind of baking - I'm not good at exact quantities and am not very patient.
+1 on that!

I can't even be aroung people cooking....not baking but cooking, with a measuring cup and spoon set.

"The recipe calls for 1/4 cup."

"So just pour some in there!"
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:08 PM   #14
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Lately it's anything I have to roll up or stuff into a boneless / skinless chicken breast. I don't know what kind of chickens they are raising lately, 'cuz either they are growing full of holes or they are using a paper shredder to cut the breasts in half. They are so full of holes and shredded I can't get my filling to stay in there!
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:46 PM   #15
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Most challenging - making dinner etc. on a two-burner hot plate in my first New York apt. That's probably where my creativity kicked in. Most fun - but not too much of a challenge - making my first souffle. Heaven!!!
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:57 PM   #16
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Baking bread is easily my most challenging (with pastry dough a close second). Maybe it's because I have moved and the conditions are so different, or maybe it's just because I don't have a feel for it yet. Either way, I can't get it to rise, or else it won't stay risen while or after baking.

But I plan to keep trying!!
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:58 PM   #17
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+1 on that!

I can't even be aroung people cooking....not baking but cooking, with a measuring cup and spoon set.

"The recipe calls for 1/4 cup."

"So just pour some in there!"
I go along with that, its where DW and I differ so much - she is a straight down the line recipe girl, I'm lets try this and that, oh thats about a tablespoon etc. Does cause probs though when I want to do it again.
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:09 PM   #18
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with following a recipe and measuring ingredients. For one thing, it enables you to reproduce a recipe so that it tastes the same every time.

There is also nothing wrong with changing a recipe or measuring ingredients by less reliable methods, just be prepared to deal with the consequences - "This doesn't taste the same as last time, what did you do different?".
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:14 PM   #19
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with following a recipe and measuring ingredients. For one thing, it enables you to reproduce a recipe so that it tastes the same every time.

There is also nothing wrong with changing a recipe or measuring ingredients by less reliable methods, just be prepared to deal with the consequences - "This doesn't taste the same as last time, what did you do different?".
Except that with baking, atmospheric conditions can play a big role in how things turn out. Moisture in the air, temperature, even whether the flour has absorbed moisture from the air in days gone by. I think this is why more people have trouble with baking than with cooking. At least that's how it is for me.
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:17 PM   #20
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Except that with baking, atmospheric conditions can play a big role in how things turn out. Moisture in the air, temperature, even whether the flour has absorbed moisture from the air in days gone by. I think this is why more people have trouble with baking than with cooking. At least that's how it is for me.

Clearly some intelligence has to be brought to the process. If you're making a bread dough, for example, and it's too wet, you can knead in a little extra flour, if it's too dry, you add some liquid... At least you had a sound starting point.
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