I have to confess that I have a lot of cooking fails. When we cook together at family get togethers we always eat really well, I loved making that Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk from the July 4th reunion and making strawberry pies is my jam (hah. hah.).
This might make you think that I always cook perfectly at home. Not so. I’m a great special occasion cook, twice a week or so I plan a delicious meal that I can’t wait to make and eat. Last Friday we had lime and chipotle chicken sausage burgers with asian cucumber salad, kale chips, watermelon, and cherry clafoutis and I couldn’t wait to make it all. But for all the other meals, the boring lunches and hurried dinners, I can sometimes get a bit sloppy. One day last week I was really craving homemade mac and cheese and since I hadn’t gotten groceries since coming back from NY and I had tons of cheese I dove right in and made Alton Brown’s stovetop mac n cheese. I didn’t want to wait for it to bake in the oven. I wanted it NOW! The only problem was I didn’t have a lot of one type of cheese–I had some gouda, sharp cheddar, and an italian style hard cheese I’d gotten by Cabot (supposed to be a blend of aged swiss and hard italian cheese). I made it according to the recipe and it looked so creamy and delicious. I couldn’t wait.
I took a bite and was immediately disappointed. The swiss cheese had overpowered all the others. Or maybe it was the 3/4 tsp of mustard in it that I didn’t like. Whatever it was, the taste was off. I ate a serving and packaged the rest up for the freezer. The next time I’m craving mac and cheese and need a quick lunch I’ll eat one and remind myself not to be so hasty when cooking.
I think most of my cooking problems come from impatience and a lack of experience. I’m starting to make things without recipes, last week I made an edamame, feta, pepper and corn salad that I made “off book” and it was just alright. Luckily Kevin loved it. My successes still come from recipes I’ve learned from my favorite blogs or from family recipes–there’s no way I could screw up spaghetti carbonara, sloppy joes, cashew chicken curry, Grandma Grastorf’s Shortbread and I have Smitten Kitchen’s crispy chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe memorized. Day to day though I tend to make it up a bit more, I guess it shows I’m growing up as a cook and learning what I like. However, my taste testing is still pretty hesitant. I’ll try something and think, “That’s pretty good” but after I’ve eaten a serving of it I don’t really like it. Or something like the mac n cheese incident will happen and I won’t realize I don’t like it until it is too late.
Confession time sisters/blog readers, have you ever had a kitchen fail?