What is Your Worst Cooking Disaster?

The Late Night Gourmet

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A friend recently told me that he's quite proud of something he made last night - wet burritos - and I told him that I know the feeling of making something that turns out so good that you are proud of what you did. Then, in my usual weird way of looking at things, I immediately thought of times when things didn't turn out according to plan. At all. There are times when things went wrong, and I salvaged the meal. I'm actually prouder of those moments than I am of times when everything went flawlessly.

But, there's one time that stands out that was a complete disaster. I decided to make apple pie for a holiday meal 2 years ago. I had made apple pie before, and I didn't find it to be particularly difficult, so I decided to make it extra special. Since I had recently returned from New Orleans, I decided to make it a praline apple pie. People have made caramel apple pies before, so this seemed like a logical progression. For reference, here's what a praline looks like:

pralines-articleLarge.jpg


I had made a praline candies, and they were excellent. But, for some reason, I decided that the candy consistency was too thick to work in a pie, figuring that the pie would be too dry. So, I made a praline sauce instead. This turned out to be a crucial mistake. Apples have a lot of moisture that gets released as the pie cooks. Normally, all that joins the apple are seasoning, which doesn't increase the moisture. But, that sauce certainly did. It definitely wasn't too dry.

Instead, when the crust (which I handmade) was cut, a gush of liquid came pouring out. It looked more like apple pie soup than anything else. I actually tried dumping out the considerable amount of liquid, but it didn't help much. The taste wasn't bad, but the consistency was awful. Everyone else wisely stayed away, and I ended up throwing it out.

This makes me think that I should make the pie - properly - to cleanse my soul. But, with my focus on healthier eating, it hasn't happened.

Does anyone else have something they'd like share? It could be therapeutic. :)
 
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Morning Glory

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I think I actually blot out cooking disasters and I generally bin the results and delete all photos. I ought to keep them for future reference, really. However, today is fresh in my mind and for some reason I forgot all the rules I ever knew about cooking a Béchamel sauce.

I used oil instead of butter (which does work) and mixed the flour into the oil - then instead of cooking the oil and flour together I added the milk straight away. Then I heated it up. As I perfectly well know and anyone else who knows how to make a Béchamel knows, if you don't cook the flour and fat first then that raw flour taste will never go. Well, believe me, it doesn't go even if you simmer the sauce for 25 mins.

Horrible - binned. Started again
 

oddduck

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Not a lot i have made i would call unedible except one year at chrismas i was reading the back of a cheerios box and they had a recipe for some peanut butter/chocolate nobake concoction using cheerios. I like cheerios, i like peanut butter, and i like chocolate...what could go wrong. So i mixed it up like the recipe and put it in the fridge as instructed. And then took it out and sliced a piece and it was the greasiest, sweet soggy cheerio disaster, even my mom who hates to throw anything away was all for chucking that pan of goop away.
 

medtran49

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Don't know if this would count or not, but Fly's heads are something we will NEVER make again. We both hated it and ate something else that night.

While it wasn't a total failure, it pays to know the difference between items. Years ago, got a call from DD (who really didn't like or want to cook back then) that she and SIL were trying to make fudge and it wouldn't set. Asked her if they followed directions and cooked to correct temperature, yes to everything. Asked to read recipe to me, sounded like it should work. Then, a thought hit me, did you buy sweetened condensed milk (as recipe called for) or evaporated? Umm, evaporated, but J... (SIL) said they were the same thing. Uh,no they aren't. But at least they had good hot fudge sauce for ice cream.
 
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medtran49

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The name of the dish doesn't sound promising!

For some reason if I click on the link I only get the ingredients so don't know how its prepared.

The name is what it kinda of looks like, i.e. the black beans as the fly heads. All I get is the ingredients too, but trust me, you don't want to spend your time or money. It was just nasty. I picked the recipe because we came across garlic chives with buds at the big Asian market we go to. Huge mistake and it was actually a Bon Appetit recipe originally.
 
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impish

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As a kid, something caught fire.......either my Mother's or Sister's cooking disaster, not mine, but I loved the spectacular scene enough to go on in later years to explode toy balloons filled with natural gas atop my Mother's gas stove! It had a pilot light, tiny gas flame, which ignited the main burner, taking a number of seconds to work. The balloon, tied to the burner, exploded with a room-shaking "WHUMPP"!

Needless to say, doing it often was dis-allowed!
 

oddduck

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If we want to count cooking disasters we've witnessed. My sister blew up a ham one thanksgiving and my dad set fire to some pot of stuff he was warming at 3 am, there was the batch if potato salad mom made that smelled like feet and the batch of molasses cookies that were horrible due to her using olive oil instead of vegetable oil. And dad's corn bread was always a disaster but he liked that saw dust, dry, hard thing in a pan anyway.
 

Morning Glory

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As a kid, something caught fire.......either my Mother's or Sister's cooking disaster, not mine, but I loved the spectacular scene enough to go on in later years to explode toy balloons filled with natural gas atop my Mother's gas stove! It had a pilot light, tiny gas flame, which ignited the main burner, taking a number of seconds to work. The balloon, tied to the burner, exploded with a room-shaking "WHUMPP"!

:eek:
 

medtran49

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If we want to count cooking disasters we've witnessed. My sister blew up a ham one thanksgiving and my dad set fire to some pot of stuff he was warming at 3 am, there was the batch if potato salad mom made that smelled like feet and the batch of molasses cookies that were horrible due to her using olive oil instead of vegetable oil. And dad's corn bread was always a disaster but he liked that saw dust, dry, hard thing in a pan anyway.

OMG, that reminded me of a story my mom used to tell on my dad. When I was very young, he used to work the night shift, so would come home, sleep a few hours, then get up and take care of me when she went to work her 9 to 5, then he would nap when I did. One day, he put a pot of water on to boil to make us lunch, then went to the "reading room," AKA the bathroom. Well, he got engrossed in whatever he was reading and forgot about the pot until he smelled something burning. All the water had boiled away and the pot had literally begun to melt onto the stove. She never let him forget that.
 

smellycat

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what a great topic. WHATS MY WORST COOKING DISASTER! Forgive me, Sheila, a long time friend(now, we've known each other for 40 plus yrs): we almost burned down her parents's kitchen. A lot was in play that day. Mostly just stupid teenage behavior.... Unforgettable, though. I cannot say in words how terrifying that was. DISASTER!!!! now as adults and children of our own we rarely tell the story. so now that its in print on the internet..... Grateful to come out of being a teenager alive.
 

impish

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@smellycat "Grateful to come out of being a teenager alive."

In the 8th. grade, late Autumn, having been deeply interested in Chemistry, and the recipient of a home chemistry set at age 11, I had discovered myself that certain constituents reacted together spectacularly, just as I imagined, like the POOF and smoke scenes from movies. But, that early, I didn't understand many of the basics. I somehow found that Sodium Nitrite (that dreaded meat preservative) mixed with Sulfur burned ferociously. I watched earlier as a neighbor celebrating some holiday, shot firecrackers dropped into a hand-held "pistol" he had made of a short length of water pipe, an elbow on one end plugged with a wad of paper, the firecracker dropped into the open "barrel". Impressive report, little else. I made one up, and quickly learned that 1/2 inch standard pipe accomodated children's glass marbles closely. Soon, my little hand-held "cannon" was shooting marbles all over the neighborhood! Firecrackers were then easily obtained by mail, ordered by anyone able to provide payment. One fireworks company, I forget their name, was located in Ohio. I ordered a very large assortment from them at age 11, that being unknown by my parents. My Mother, upon seeing the delivered contents, dunked much of them into buckets of water in the basement. She failed to understand those small, flat, packages, however, containing the firecrackers, which escaped unscathed by drowning!

Thus, in the 8th. grade, I endeavored to make up a batch in my basement "laboratory" of "Berge's Blasting Powder" from a recipe in my beloved old book, "Henley's Book of Formulas and Recipes", originally printed early in the 20th. Century, I think. A big, "Whoof!", mixing the stuff, instant blinding huge flash of orange light, searing pain in the hand doing the mixing in my big porcelain mortar & pestle, face feeling very hot, touched, it felt leathery, I ran upstairs, peered into the bathroom mirror thinking, well, I forget by now.....the smoke followed me up the stairs. My Mother was the first to respond from our parlor, imploring my dad to take me to the hospital.......

My eyesight was unaffected. Over time, it all healed, excepting the mental scars which prompted classmates to shun me, referring to "Frankenstein", my face looking like a plum for months. Chemistry fell by the wayside (temporarily), as high voltage experimentation replaced it.

What must my parents have imagined? What would you have done?
 

smellycat

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@smellycat "Grateful to come out of being a teenager alive."

In the 8th. grade, late Autumn, having been deeply interested in Chemistry, and the recipient of a home chemistry set at age 11, I had discovered myself that certain constituents reacted together spectacularly, just as I imagined, like the POOF and smoke scenes from movies. But, that early, I didn't understand many of the basics. I somehow found that Sodium Nitrite (that dreaded meat preservative) mixed with Sulfur burned ferociously. I watched earlier as a neighbor celebrating some holiday, shot firecrackers dropped into a hand-held "pistol" he had made of a short length of water pipe, an elbow on one end plugged with a wad of paper, the firecracker dropped into the open "barrel". Impressive report, little else. I made one up, and quickly learned that 1/2 inch standard pipe accomodated children's glass marbles closely. Soon, my little hand-held "cannon" was shooting marbles all over the neighborhood! Firecrackers were then easily obtained by mail, ordered by anyone able to provide payment. One fireworks company, I forget their name, was located in Ohio. I ordered a very large assortment from them at age 11, that being unknown by my parents. My Mother, upon seeing the delivered contents, dunked much of them into buckets of water in the basement. She failed to understand those small, flat, packages, however, containing the firecrackers, which escaped unscathed by drowning!

Thus, in the 8th. grade, I endeavored to make up a batch in my basement "laboratory" of "Berge's Blasting Powder" from a recipe in my beloved old book, "Henley's Book of Formulas and Recipes", originally printed early in the 20th. Century, I think. A big, "Whoof!", mixing the stuff, instant blinding huge flash of orange light, searing pain in the hand doing the mixing in my big porcelain mortar & pestle, face feeling very hot, touched, it felt leathery, I ran upstairs, peered into the bathroom mirror thinking, well, I forget by now.....the smoke followed me up the stairs. My Mother was the first to respond from our parlor, imploring my dad to take me to the hospital.......

My eyesight was unaffected. Over time, it all healed, excepting the mental scars which prompted classmates to shun me, referring to "Frankenstein", my face looking like a plum for months. Chemistry fell by the wayside (temporarily), as high voltage experimentation replaced it.

What must my parents have imagined? What would you have done?
 
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