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Old 02-01-2020, 01:42 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Washburn, IA
Posts: 20
Cooking triumphs

I know it can be hard to admit, but for some there is one dish (sometimes simple) that just eludes you. What is that one dish that took longer than necessary to get right?

For me it was a simple omelette. For some reason, I just could not get it. It was always a heat issue. For whatever reason, it just never clicked. Until 2 days ago.


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Old 02-01-2020, 04:23 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
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Off the top of my head, although not a dish, but Canning things.
For years ( like 20 years) I was always hesitant, afraid, gun-shy, not confident ...to try and can things. I always thought I'd screw something up. I was afraid of the process and probably afraid of failure. I guess my biggest fear was that Id spend all summer growing things in the garden, just to lose the whole harvest do to my lack of skill and experience in canning.

What makes it so funny is that when I consider all the much more difficult, technique sensitive things Ive done in my life, whether it be in my career ( which is extremely hands on and technical9, my previous education ( organic chemistry and physics labs) and the many many things Ive done in the kitchen for the past 30 + years, I often laugh at myself that I was afraid to try this. I'm not downplaying the canning process and the importance of getting the technique correct. It is a scientific process that has to be done properly or could lead to significant consequences ( significant food waste, health issues and safety issues). But for what ever reason, I just didn't feel confident.

Finally, last year as one of my resolutions for the new year, I was going accomplish this , which I did ( successfully,I might add). I did actually go to the local farm stand and by a half bushel of their tomatoes, as. I didn't want to potentially lose a years crop of my own if I screwed something up , but I still did it, and no longer fear the process. It is time consuming and a pain in the thing I sit on ( not the couch), and I probably won't use it as my primary mode of preserving, but will do it annually as I feel necessary.

I will post a dish that I had issues with when I think of one, but this is the first thing that came to mind. ( its 4:30am so please ignore spelling , typing and grammatical errors )

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Old 02-01-2020, 05:18 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,999
My failure was pizza. Sometimes it came out great. Sometimes it came out with a gooey, undercooked crust. I finaly tealized that too many toppings insulated the crust from the heat. I learned to ballance the different topping items to create the flavor I wanted while still allowing the crust to cook through.

Tip, my very best pizza is made in my 12 inch Giswold Cast iron pan, with olive oil in the pan, and cooked over a screaming hot bed of charcoal in my Webber Kettle. You get that crunchy crust that is at the same time soft, withe the magic flavor that can only be achieved with fire. The pizza cooked in the oven is now cooled properly, and is very taty too.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:27 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 1,240
My problem has always been sourdough bread - it would turn out too sour, not sour at all, and once in a while the right degree of sour, but what did I do different that time??? And even then, still not that same flavor of SF sourdough. I figured out that it has a lot to do with temperatures - while some of the restings are done at refrigerator temperature, in a commercial bakery the temperature would be higher - like around 50-55, which is not really obtainable, unless you have a fridge for wine or for curing cheese! More recently, I found a method that gave a really good flavor, in which some of the rising is done at a high temperature - 110. This seemed strange, at first, but it works! Still, most of the bread I bake is with yeast, but at least I've sort of figured this out.
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