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Old 02-16-2012, 12:16 AM   #1
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Epic Failures

I had some serious fails recently. In particular my tuna pastry (hot tuna was so gross and fishy - we ate pizza instead!) and my Gugelhupf was kind of dense and not very cake like.
Anyone make anything gross lately?

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Old 02-16-2012, 12:29 AM   #2
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I've often thought of my cooking hobbyist career and my fails, and I feel fortunate that the worst of my fails regarded overcooking something so bad that I had to cut off the burned part. A few other fails regarded camping and dropping my steak on the dirt. (You get to choose whether to go hungry or eat a bit of dirt. I chose the latter.)

My worst failures have been (1) not that good, (2) boring, (3) won't kill you but I won't cook this again.

I don't usually come up with "gross" that bad that I couldn't eat it. I've had a few microwave convenience foods lately that I would never buy again.

As far as I recall I've never cooked anything that I absolutely couldn't eat. Worst I've ever had is "tomorrow is another day." (At least I won't have to eat [u]this[/i] again.... ever.)


How about epic fails when you've been invited to dinner? (I'm not sure I should share this story.)
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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My best failure was a cake (?), if you could call it that. Frisbee was more like it. I forgot to put the leavening in and didn't set the thermostat on the stove. It was on 500ºF. If it hit you in the head, you could get a concussion. And if it killed you I would be arrested for murder with blunt force to the head. Unforunately everyone was home when I made that blunder in the kitchen and they do no let me forget it.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:49 AM   #4
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That reminds me of the only big failure my mom made, that I recall. She made a cake. It was good, but whatever frosting recipe she used, she invented plastic. The frosting was so tough we couldn't cut it with a knife, and we eventually just lifted the frosting off the cake and ate the cake without the frosting. I don't know what she did but you couldn't eat that frosting. Maybe science should have explored it and maybe DuPont might have paid good money for the recipe...
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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I've told about my biggest cooking failure here a couple times over the years, but it looks like time to dust it off again.

Fortunately I was the only one who had to eat the results of my epic failure!

I decided to try making my mom's recipe for cherries and dumplings (sour cherries in a sweet sauce, with big fluffy dumplings). Since it was just me, I decided to cut the recipe in half. It was going pretty well until I accidentally added the full amount of milk to the dumplings. All I could think to do was to back-track and add the full amounts of everything else.

Rather than cherries and dumplings I ended up with something more akin to cherries and tennis balls! I would bet anything that those dumplings would have bounced! They were pretty chewy, but all things considered, they were still pretty good!

I did learn a valuable lesson that day. Now, when I double or halve a recipe I write down the amounts I will need of each ingredient rather than just try to remember as I go.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:20 AM   #6
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My mother never taught me anything about how to cook, had to learn by trial and error. Since I had to babysit 5 brothers every afternoon and even ing I had to feed them. No experience cooking and 5 mouths to feed. I remember eggs exploded all over the kitchen ceiling, mashed potatoes so full of salt they were inedible and several cans of tuna and salmon that were thrown away because after they were opened they didn't look like the tuna fish you see in sandwiches. But that was 40 years ago..(Oh Lord!) These days my worst failures are bacon that gets a little too crisp in the oven. I love to bake it because then all of the fat gets crisp. I hate chewy bacon. But since every paackage of bacon seems to be sliced a little differently than the last one I can never quite seem to get the timing just right on it. Never know if it's going to be perfect or a little too crisp. There is a really fine line there.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:03 AM   #7
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Lemon meringue pie that looked beautiful and tasted fine but, was a curdled mess when cut.

Pineapple upside down cake that would not release.

I still only make a LMP when I am not having company. The PUDC now works every time but, I always have extra whipped cream on hand just in case!

I always think of Julia Child when I have a disaster in the kitchen.

Julia was from the never let them see you sweat and never apologize school of entertaining!
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:50 AM   #8
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I'm with Julia. One time a friend brought a pumpkin pie for her contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. For some reason it didn't set up as she expected and was a bit too runny to slice evenly. She and I were in the kitchen. I yelped, over there the wine glasses, give them to me. I proceeded to layer spoons full of pie filling, pie crust, and whipped cream into the wine glasses as a parfait. No one was the wiser, it was just a neat looking desert.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:54 AM   #9
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Another fun one was when a friend ate a beef rib I'd grilled at a barbecue and somehow bit into vein that was still full of blood. It squirted all over the four of us. It really wasn't a reflection on my cooking, and luckily we all had a sense of humor and just wiped up and kept on eating.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
That reminds me of the only big failure my mom made, that I recall. She made a cake. It was good, but whatever frosting recipe she used, she invented plastic. The frosting was so tough we couldn't cut it with a knife, and we eventually just lifted the frosting off the cake and ate the cake without the frosting. I don't know what she did but you couldn't eat that frosting. Maybe science should have explored it and maybe DuPont might have paid good money for the recipe...
Flubber?
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:21 AM   #11
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Neither fish nor fowl

On a cold winter afternoon at dusk in the late 1950's, I shot my first waterfowl over a freezing salt water creek. My friend and I stripped down to our long johns and swam out to retrieve the birds. Then, while our long johns stiffened with ice, we had to wait for my friend's mom to come and drive us home. That night, after a warm up and change into something dry, I gutted and skinned the Brant.
Late the next afternoon the bird was put in the oven. After about an hour the kitchen started to smell foul and the bird was moved to the back porch. Overnight some hapless critter dragged the Brant some 100 feet from the porch before abandoning it uneaten. Not even the Crows were interested in feasting on it.
That experience was enough to delay my next encounter with waterfowl for nearly a decade until I was treated to a tasty meal on the NS Savannah.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:33 AM   #12
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I've had a couple,

Invited over to my neigbors house for Thanksgiving, cooked a lovely pumpkin pie, while walking the scant few feet I tripped, and the pie hit the dirt.

Goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts..........don't do this at home folks.

Lastly, ground turkey stuffed portabellos.......not inedible, just not good.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:41 AM   #13
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"Fails" were my cooking instructor! Being self taught, I made some pretty bad tasting stuff and ate it anyway. Got better real fast.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:58 AM   #14
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Failures? Never had one---cuz I call them learning experiences.

And, as St. Julia used to say, "don't be afraid. You can always eat your mistakes."
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:02 AM   #15
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I turned a cooked frosting into marshmallow once, it was an epic fail, but everyone wanted me to repeat it. Never have been able to...
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:42 AM   #16
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I have had a few doozies, but the funniest one, to me anyway, was a work related one. I used to be the buffet man at a restaurant for a few years. It was a Sunday brunch with tons of hot items. One item was these boil-in-a-bag honey garlic ribs. I used to keep a few bags in the steam table ready to go whenever they needed them. One Sunday we were really busy and the owner, who worked the floor also, was running food out to the buffet. He was standing there with a steam table insert for me to put the ribs in so he could take them out. I cut the corner off of the bag, pivoted, and poured the whole 5 lb bag into the garbage pail right beside us. We just sort of stared at each other in a moment of silent disbelief. I don't know what I was thinking, maybe tired or pre occupied, momentary laps of brain function. Dunno. Good thing, he liked me and I was good at my job, otherwise I may have been thrown out then and there. He still teased me about it for a few months after.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
On a cold winter afternoon at dusk in the late 1950's, I shot my first waterfowl over a freezing salt water creek. My friend and I stripped down to our long johns and swam out to retrieve the birds. Then, while our long johns stiffened with ice, we had to wait for my friend's mom to come and drive us home. That night, after a warm up and change into something dry, I gutted and skinned the Brant.
Late the next afternoon the bird was put in the oven. After about an hour the kitchen started to smell foul and the bird was moved to the back porch. Overnight some hapless critter dragged the Brant some 100 feet from the porch before abandoning it uneaten. Not even the Crows were interested in feasting on it.
That experience was enough to delay my next encounter with waterfowl for nearly a decade until I was treated to a tasty meal on the NS Savannah.
Hahahah not just humans "are what we eat"
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:38 AM   #18
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I've had more than a few but the most epic one happened many moons ago.

I decided to try Cajun Blackened fish, don't recall what it was, I think it was tilapia.

Anywho, instead of lightly rolling the fillets in the spice mixture, I decided to press them. Big mistake.

The house was evacuated and all windows were opened. It was like someone tossed a pepper spray grenade into the kitchen.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #19
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I've had a few minor disasters, but rarely is stuff inedible. The one I remember best is the baking powder biscuits I made when we were first married. I made a lovely dinner of roast chicken, potatoes, lovely salad etc. The biscuits LOOKED amazing. My husband was manfully choking one down, but had to get up to get the jam. I thought that was a bit odd til I tasted my own. BLECH!!! Some idiot accidentally used baking SODA instead of POWDER. Oh so bad. Completely inedible.

(Edit: Nice to see you DampCharcoal! You gotta come around more than once every 2 years dude, we miss you!)
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:04 AM   #20
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I missed y'all too! ;)
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