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Old 11-21-2021, 08:55 PM   #1
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Do you have any failures

my last 2 recipes bombed out. The beef staganoff didn't turn out because I think I used too much sour cream and my creamed chicken didn't turn out because I used way too much thyme. The recipe called for 1/4 cup and I put in 1/4 cup from a spice jar. It must have meant the green leaf. It is very frustrating because it takes a lot of time and money. But I have had successes also. Maybe we all have failures now and then. How is it for you?

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Old 11-21-2021, 09:06 PM   #2
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No! We're all perfect and you're the only cook in the history of the world who ever messed up.

If you cook, you occasionally mess up. Fact of life. Sometimes you make a mistake reading a recipe and put in the wrong amount. Sometimes you just pick a bad recipe and don't take the time to consider it's correctness.

Julia Child used to joke about making mistakes. I've seen her mess up an omelet on TV.

Just keep plugging away. You'll have more successes than failures.
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Old 11-21-2021, 09:21 PM   #3
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All the time!!
Which is why Im trying out 2 new recipes tomorrow for Thursdays Thanksgiving.
If they pass the test, they make a one way trip to my brothers house for dinner.
If they fail, they get a one way trip to the chicken coop fo the chicken to eat, and the only ones who will ever know are me and the chicken.

That why my family thinks im such a good cook, cause everything I always bring or serve tastes great. the crap never makes it out of the house
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Old 11-21-2021, 10:04 PM   #4
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Cardboard milk carton roasted earthworms, no slimey, not satisfying. Hey, I was just a small boy.

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Old 11-21-2021, 10:10 PM   #5
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Before those 2 failures i cooked a chicken masala and it turned out good. I was proud.
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Old 11-21-2021, 11:53 PM   #6
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A lot of times I don't put enough hot peppers in things, but I can always add more.

Seriously though, after a while, you'll be able to tell when something like that 1/4 c of thyme is too much, and they probably mean 1/4 tsp instead. Only a few spices will be added in that amount - things like pure chili powders, or paprikas, unless, of course, you are making massive amounts of something. And many years ago, when I started grinding my own spices, some amounts seemed excessive, because the recipes were probably designed with cheap, old spices of the day, though they have gotten better these days.

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Old 11-22-2021, 01:19 AM   #7
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I know I have had failures, I just can't remember which ones at the moment. I'm sure it will come to me.
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Old 11-22-2021, 06:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
A lot of times I don't put enough hot peppers in things, but I can always add more.

Seriously though, after a while, you'll be able to tell when something like that 1/4 c of thyme is too much, and they probably mean 1/4 tsp instead. Only a few spices will be added in that amount - things like pure chili powders, or paprikas, unless, of course, you are making massive amounts of something.
I agree. The fist thing that caught my eye when reading the post was 1/4 CUP of Thyme. I cant remember ever adding more than 1 Tsp to a recipe for a norma seed dish.

Does remind me of a story of my Sister in Law making Tomato sauce. She was a following a recipe, and mistook Tsp for Cup. The Recipe called for 1 Tsp of Dried Oregan, Dried Basil and Dried parsley. ( She put a cup of each in). Luckily, she made it for her immediate family and I never tried it ( although I heard the story over and over, I think it still circulates). My brother said there was so much dry spice in there , that the sauce was crunchy.

So, cup for spice should be a red flag ( unless you're making a huge amount).

This brings me to the reasons Ive had failures.

1) Poor recipe/ recipe choice. The recipe just may be crap, poorly written or written with mistakes. Some mistakes are easy to pick out ( typos). Some are just common sensical that can be fixed due to cooking experience ( like knowing cup for spices is usually not the case), and some times the recipe just plain old stinks ( also, over time, you acquire the ability to be able to get a good sense of what the recipe will be like just by reading it ( before even making it). As I get older and more experience , I have less an less failures like this due to my increased insight and ability to read a recipe . Getting recipes from good sources that you know are reliable can avoid these kind of errors.

2) Carelessness:
- Not paying attention with the amounts. Eyes not as good as they used to be so mistaking 1/4 for 1/2 ..., just because im too lazy to put glasses on or squint. - - Pan too hot or not keeping a watchful eye and burning Or over cooking things. - Not setting a timer and forgetting to notice your start time, therefor overcooking/ burning the dish.
- Getting halfway through a recipe then realizing you dont have a major ingredient, forcing you to make a off the top of your head ( whatever I have in the house) substitute which is going to AFFECT the outcome of the dish.
- Not checking to see if an ingredient that has been sitting on the shelf Orr in the fridge is spoiled prior to adding it to everything else.

- Common mistakes we still make from time to time: Too much salt, too spicy, over cooking, sticking to the pan, falls through the grill grate , uneven cooking, left out on the counter while cooling and forgot to put it in the fridge so spent the night becoming inedible ( happened to me a few weeks ago with my mushroom barley soup. all went to the chicken). Just search the threads. Every week someone starts a tread on how to fix one of the above situations.

3) Technique, Wrong equipment, Bad Equipment
Most of us here, although have been cooking for ever, are not professional cooks and dong have the same professional cooking equipment to achieve certain results ( But we try our damn hardest). Wouldn't necessary call som of thee dish results failures, just not at the level we hoped or expected.

4) Being vegetarian/ Vegan (wife), I am put in a situation where I have two try and vegetarianize / veganize regular recipes to its vegetarian/ vegan counterpart, and still be edible. Not that Im going for an exact duplicate ( its impossible), but something that resembles the original dish I am trying to duplicate. I feel like a hero when I present something that is good, but I can assure you, many of the dishes come out as trash. But as the great Bugs Bunny himself said. " if you try and don't succeed, try, try again"

The most important thing is not to get discouraged. As long as you have made something in the past that you have considered a success, that proves that you are capable of doing it again. If something fails, the most important thing is to figure out where the problem was and how you can fix it. This forum, and the people in it have been coaching, advising, guiding, encouraging and critiquing each other for the sole purpose of increasing our abilities, skills and culinary outcomes.

I welcome the challenges and failures of cooking. I feel it only makes me more knowledgeable, increases my skill and overall makes me a better cook.

Good luck with your future cooking and you took the first step by posting in this forum and asking for advice and insight.

(PSSST....today is my pre Thanksgiving recipe trial day. Making a fewness recipes to see if they are worthy of bringing on the big day. I'll put money on it that I screw something up, which is why Im trying it out first )
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Old 11-22-2021, 07:06 AM   #9
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Yup, yup. Had a total failure last week.

Had a craving for dressing as a dinner side.
Completely misread the recipe and ended up with a 10" pan of "stuff" going straight to the trash.

It happens.

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Old 11-22-2021, 09:04 AM   #10
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1/4 cup of thyme is enough to season a whole brood of chickens!!
Making mistakes, both in and out of the kitchen, is normal. Thatīs how we learn to be better.
Two years ago, I was giving a course at a local restaurant on how to make conserves, chutneys, pickles, etc. We started with strawberry jam and orange marmalade - both of which I managed to burn because I was talking too much.
If Iīve got a new recipe, I follow it to the letter - and the next time, moderate it if necessary.
What you DO need to do in the kitchen is be watchful. No putting the pot on to boil then going off to do something else. Itīs a guaranteed way of spoiling the food!
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by karadekoolaid View Post
***
What you DO need to do in the kitchen is be watchful. No putting the pot on to boil then going off to do something else. Itīs a guaranteed way of spoiling the food!
Believe I posted somewhere else on the forum the picture of my pan with eggs boiling... after I had forgotten them for about an hour or even more.
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:37 AM   #12
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Too expand on above, in most cases, cooking is an interactive activity. Rarely can you just set a timer and disappear. My wife does this all the time and wonders why things are sometimes under or overcooked ( usually burnt in her case). She'll set the timer then putz around with her phone or do crossword puzzles and not attend to the food until the timer goes off. Then she does the good old " I dont understand how that happened " I set the timer exactly to what the recipe called for". There are so many variables to consider especially the fact that the oven temp is not always what its says it is ( all vary). Different parts of the oven get hotter than others. Opening and closing the oven to check on it 100 times affects the temp. So using recipes and instructions as a guideline is fine, but need to account for all the other things that may affect the outcome, and even then, things get screwed up sometimes

She gets angry sometimes when I give detailed instructions like Stir the pit in 10 minutes, but make sure you stir and scrape the bottom of the pots , so nothing sticks and burns. Common sense for me, but if not said, she would just give it a quick swirl and go back to her puzzles and then wonder why all the stuff is stuck to the bottom of the pan.
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:44 AM   #13
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" I dont understand how that happened " I set the timer exactly to what the recipe called for".
Common sense for me, but if not said, ....
my girlfriend exactly!
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:49 AM   #14
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my girlfriend exactly!
If it just happened once, I'd understand, but every single time. And I try not to get argumentative, but Ill often check on what she is cooking to make sure its not burning, and she'll sometimes get offended that Im checking up on her. She'll say " Im right here doing at the table doing a puzzle ( or reading the paper, or looking at the phone ...). Nothing is going to happen. Every single time. ( and she has a good track record of burning stuff)**

Cooking isn't an exact science . Things have to be tended to with a watchful eye ( In my opinion). Thats why I cant use slow cookers or crock pots. Those are the few examples where you can just dump things in, set a timer , come back hours later , season a little and your done. Thats perfect for my wife. For me, Im doing everything you shouldn't do, opening the lid, tasting, seasoning ( for the whole 6 - 8 hours ). For that, Im guilty.

**Case in point. A few months ago there were fumes coming from our instant pot and we had to cal the fire department to check things out, as we didnt feel comfortable going to sleep until we knew everything was safe. Of course, I took pics of all the fire trucks on the street and a selfie with one of the firemen. Sent the pics to my kids who dont lie home. Their first reply back to my post was " What did mom burn "
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Old 11-22-2021, 03:41 PM   #15
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I think most of my failures are in the past. I sometimes fail to make the gravy as good as I would like, little things like that still happen.

Oh yeah, I had a failure a few weeks ago. I steamed some eggs. I have that down for six eggs. I get perfectly hard cooked eggs every time. I tried doing that in a larger pot with more eggs. They were under cooked - still runny in the middle, white and yolk. I didn't have the energy to do anything with them at the time, so I just put them in the fridge. I had intended to figure out a way to rescue them. Eventually, I threw them all out. I did successfully steam six eggs in the smaller pot about a week ago. I'm still trying to figure out what went wrong with the bigger batch. Maybe it needs longer. I wouldn't have thought that would be relevant with steaming.
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