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Author Topic: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters  (Read 147916 times)

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athersgeo

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #195 on: February 06, 2013, 04:44:34 AM »
I'm a mostly-decent cook. In general, if my recipes don't work, it's usually because the recipe calls for too much spice. However...

1) I'm a great clipper of recipes from newspapers and magazines. This particular one came from a newspaper. It was for an Italian desert that involved some form of grain (I can't remember what it was originally; I ended up having to substitute Quinoa), dried crystalised fruit and milk. It all seemed very simple. I followed the instructions to the letter, and yet...I ended up with about three times as much filling as I should have had, and the end result was sufficiently disgusting, texture-wise, that I couldn't eat more than a mouthful. Ooops...

2) My FSIL is a great sweet baker - mostly in the line of brownies and muffins, but she also does various cakes and whatnot too. My brother has a sweet tooth. So, for Valentine's Day last year she decided to try her hand at Kendal Mint Cake...and set fire to their kitchen. I don't believe any serious damage was done (other than to the pan she'd been using) - but I do know she's never planning to try THAT again!

3) When I was a very, VERY small person, my mother was making chips (fries) in her chip pan. As chip pans are wont to do, the dingdangity thing caught fire. My father's response to this? Sling the whole flaming mass out of the back door and down the back garden...! (Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this one isn't that we didn't burn down either the house or the garden, but the fact that after this mum continued to use a chip pan up until my father died in 2009... And yes, there were a couple of other near-misses with the darn things.)

4) Then there's gone-wrong-again apple sponge - mum decided to make an apple sponge for desert one Sunday lunch. Unfortunately, for reasons that we've never been adequately able to explain, the sponge didn't cook all the way through and was, in fact, quite soggy and batter-like in the middle. Mum was upset. She was even MORE upset when my brother and I demanded she make it go wrong again next time! (One person's kitchen disaster; another person's kitchen triumph...)

5) My late father fancied himself as a cook. And while he didn't do a lot of it in later life, I can remember eating quite a wide variety of dishes on a Saturday night (his night to cook). However, one he never repeated was making Steak and Kidney Pie with stout added to the gravy. He'd had it that way in a high class London restaurant and enjoyed it and thought it would be an okay thing to try at home - and it might have been, had he not used Guinness that was well beyond its use-by date...

6) When I was in my late teens, I worked as a kitchen assistant in a nursing home. The actual chef at the nursing home...wasn't. Notoriously, on one occasion, he made cupcakes that, when dropped, bounced right back up to your hand... Anyway. For the evening meals (which is what I saw to), there was a set of four weekly menus, which we rotated through and generally, chef made whatever it was supposed to be that night and I reheated it. (Or made sandwiches and soup, if that's what the evening called for.) So we get to bubble and squeak night, very early on in my career there. It's in this big, huge tray that has to go into the oven to reheat. I get it in there, stick it on and, fifteen minutes later, as the residents are filing into the dining room, I go to pull it out and...splat. The whole contents of the tray end up on the floor. I am absolutely mortified. One of the nursing staff asks what's happened; I explain. She stares at me for a moment. I think "I'm about to get the sack". Then she says "Wait, he did WHAT?!?" Turns out, what the chef had left me to heat up as bubble and squeak wasn't, in fact, anything remotely like bubble and squeak; it shouldn't have gone in the oven...and any way, none of the residents liked the stuff! I also learned that night that I could make soup and sandwiches for forty people inside fifteen minutes...

The sequel to this occured a month later. Chef had done exactly the same thing for bubble and squeak. When I arrived, one of the nursing staff took me off to one side and said "Don't suppose you could arrange for another accident to happen to the bubble and squeak, could you?" The NEXT month, there was no bubble and squeak on the menu - the nursing staff had finally got it changed!

Twik

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #196 on: February 06, 2013, 09:24:41 AM »
Not me, but a roommate.

Rice Crispy Squares. A recipe on every box. A recipe, I always thought, that *no* one could mess up. Well, here's how to do it.

1. Go to store for marshmallows and rice crispies. Instead of regular rice crispies, buy the "holiday" kind with tiny green marshmallows already in it as decoration.
2. When mixing the marshmallows and butter together, eat half of the marshmallows, instead of adding them to the mix.
3. Since the melted mixture doesn't look right with half of the marshmallows missing, add 1/2 cup of water "because I think that's what Mom did to make it melt better".
4. Add the hot mixture to the rice crispies. The tiny marshmallows will also start to melt, turning the mixture an interesting blue-green colour, very similar to that found in the mold on month-old leftovers. Or the walking dead.
5. Put the zombie squares in a pan, and let cool.
6. Cut the squares and serve to your friends, who will note that the uncalled-for addition of water has made the square no longer crispy. In fact, the recipe could be renamed Zombie Rice Soggy Squares.
7. Wonder why you get to eat ALL the squares.
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #197 on: February 06, 2013, 09:29:39 AM »
Not me, but a roommate.

Rice Crispy Squares. A recipe on every box. A recipe, I always thought, that *no* one could mess up. Well, here's how to do it.

1. Go to store for marshmallows and rice crispies. Instead of regular rice crispies, buy the "holiday" kind with tiny green marshmallows already in it as decoration.
2. When mixing the marshmallows and butter together, eat half of the marshmallows, instead of adding them to the mix.
3. Since the melted mixture doesn't look right with half of the marshmallows missing, add 1/2 cup of water "because I think that's what Mom did to make it melt better".
4. Add the hot mixture to the rice crispies. The tiny marshmallows will also start to melt, turning the mixture an interesting blue-green colour, very similar to that found in the mold on month-old leftovers. Or the walking dead.
5. Put the zombie squares in a pan, and let cool.
6. Cut the squares and serve to your friends, who will note that the uncalled-for addition of water has made the square no longer crispy. In fact, the recipe could be renamed Zombie Rice Soggy Squares.
7. Wonder why you get to eat ALL the squares.

I'm totally making Rice Crispie treats with bluish food coloring for Halloween!
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GreenHall

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #198 on: February 06, 2013, 12:20:59 PM »
Well, I think that beats my Rice VERY Crispy Squares from this weekend.
I LIKE making Rice Crispy treats using the microwave to melt the butter and marshmallows.  This time, the marshmallows weren't looking right, so I added extra time.
Apparently I got the melted marshmallows all the way to hard crack before I started adding the Rice Crispies.
Still tasty, just very very crispy/crunchy.

jedikaiti

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #199 on: February 06, 2013, 12:34:10 PM »
I am going to be giggling over Zombie Rice Krispie Squares for the rest of the day.

What is Bubble & Squeak?
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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Twik

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #200 on: February 06, 2013, 01:25:06 PM »
Quote
4) Then there's gone-wrong-again apple sponge - mum decided to make an apple sponge for desert one Sunday lunch. Unfortunately, for reasons that we've never been adequately able to explain, the sponge didn't cook all the way through and was, in fact, quite soggy and batter-like in the middle. Mum was upset. She was even MORE upset when my brother and I demanded she make it go wrong again next time! (One person's kitchen disaster; another person's kitchen triumph...)

Apparently the idea for Molten Chocolate Cake had a very similar genesis, although by a professional chef.
"The sky's the limit. Your sky. Your limit. Now, let's dance!"

Thipu1

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #201 on: February 06, 2013, 01:37:19 PM »
I am going to be giggling over Zombie Rice Krispie Squares for the rest of the day.

What is Bubble & Squeak?

When I was a child, Bubble & Squeak was something served on the day or so after a meal of corned beef and cabbage.  Left-over boiled potatoes were mashed up, mixed with left-over cabbage and bits of corned beef. The whole thing was then fried into a cake and served up. 

It was delicious but it was a sure-fire artery killer.  We always assumed that the name of the dish came from reactions of the human digestive tract a few hours after the meal. 

I can understand why this would not be popular with older adults.     

Snooks

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #202 on: February 06, 2013, 01:54:37 PM »
2) My FSIL is a great sweet baker - mostly in the line of brownies and muffins, but she also does various cakes and whatnot too. My brother has a sweet tooth. So, for Valentine's Day last year she decided to try her hand at Kendal Mint Cake...and set fire to their kitchen. I don't believe any serious damage was done (other than to the pan she'd been using) - but I do know she's never planning to try THAT again!

Isn't Kendal Mint Cake just peppermint creams covered in chocolate?  Where did the fire come from? :o

blue2000

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #203 on: February 06, 2013, 02:06:26 PM »
I am going to be giggling over Zombie Rice Krispie Squares for the rest of the day.

What is Bubble & Squeak?

When I was a child, Bubble & Squeak was something served on the day or so after a meal of corned beef and cabbage.  Left-over boiled potatoes were mashed up, mixed with left-over cabbage and bits of corned beef. The whole thing was then fried into a cake and served up. 

It was delicious but it was a sure-fire artery killer.  We always assumed that the name of the dish came from reactions of the human digestive tract a few hours after the meal. 

I can understand why this would not be popular with older adults.     

I've heard it described as fried Brussels sprouts, bacon and potatoes. :-X Supposedly the name is the noise it makes as it is cooking. Your version actually sounds tasty!

But, yes, some people may not be a big fan of that. Especially cold. Eww! :P
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

athersgeo

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #204 on: February 06, 2013, 02:43:00 PM »
2) My FSIL is a great sweet baker - mostly in the line of brownies and muffins, but she also does various cakes and whatnot too. My brother has a sweet tooth. So, for Valentine's Day last year she decided to try her hand at Kendal Mint Cake...and set fire to their kitchen. I don't believe any serious damage was done (other than to the pan she'd been using) - but I do know she's never planning to try THAT again!

Isn't Kendal Mint Cake just peppermint creams covered in chocolate?  Where did the fire come from? :o

It involved sugar syrup, which is what I assume caught fire. Kendal mint cake (the stuff you get actually in the Lake District, at any rate) is rather more dense than a peppermint cream, and doesn't feature chocolate (as far as I remember!)

As for bubble and squeak, it's supposed to be pretty much what Thipu1 said, but what the chef had left me with (to rehear in the oven) was a tray of broccoli, sliced cooked potato and maybe a couple of slivers of cabbage. It looked vile, smelled worse and should in now way have been inflicted on anyone, much less the inmates of a nursing home!

NyaChan

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #205 on: February 06, 2013, 02:55:25 PM »
Is a Kendal Mint Cake like a York Peppermint Patty?

Twik

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #206 on: February 06, 2013, 03:04:35 PM »
Bubble and squeak described here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_and_squeak.

It does sound like a good way to use leftover vegetables, and the calories were probably of less concern when more people were manual labourers.
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andi

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #207 on: February 06, 2013, 06:29:18 PM »
Oh - just in case it wasn't well known - expiration dates on dried foods should be taken into account, especially when it's over 2 years past

I accidentally made cornbread that was 2 years past due - oh very very bad. The one bite left a horrid taste in my mouth for days. 

Same goes for Durkees French Fried onions. Rancid oil is not good for you.  That mistake meant a last minute trip to the grocery store 5 minutes before they cooed on Thanksgiving Day

Twik

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #208 on: February 06, 2013, 09:23:48 PM »
This is a story about my best friend, who was a truly inspired cook. Dinners at her place were always a true joy. However, once she went a step too far.

It was a simple recipe, for chocolate mousse. To create a fancy presentation, the recipe suggested making chocolate cups. The method they recommended was to blow up balloons, and dip them in melted chocolate. Then, after the chocolate cooled, you pop the balloons, and end up with the cups in the shape of the bottom of the balloons.

So, my friend was in the kitchen creating these cups for dessert. She's so confident of her skills, she's wearing a white silk blouse while handling chocolate. But there was a fatal flaw in the plan - apparently, all balloons are not created equal. It appears that she had chosen balloons that were not heat-resistant. About 5 minutes after dipping, all four balloons burst, spraying molten chocolate all over the kitchen.

We guests heard the pops, and the shriek, and walked in, to a truly amazing scene. It was like a 3-dimensional Jackson Pollack painting, done in chocolate. After a few minutes of stunned silence, one guest asked, "I never thought I'd say this ... but can I lick your walls?"

When she moved out two years later, there were still chocolate stains on the stucco ceiling. The silk blouse was ruined. And we ate our chocolate mousse out of glass bowls that night.
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Kaora

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Re: S/O Proud kitchen moments -- Kitchen disasters
« Reply #209 on: February 06, 2013, 11:28:41 PM »
Also, never let me near syrups...

I once tried making some absolutely delicious sounding chocolate syrup out of one of Alton Brown's books.  It came out delicious, then I stuck it in a thin necked, glass bottle.  I think it was a salad dressing bottle.

I put it in the fridge, and when I went to have some more later, it froze.  I mean, it was a solid brown chunk stuck in a bottle where it was impossible to get to. O_o

My mum eventually helped me get it out (lots of warm water), but never again.

Of course, you think I would've learned from my first time...

I once heard of sugar syrup on Good Eats.  I decided I would make some for some iced tea, because I have a real sweet tooth.  I followed the directions, put it in a Pyrex glass cup and left in the fridge for later.

Went to retrieve it, and it also froze solid.  I couldn't get it out except hours of work washing it, chipping it, hoping I could fix it before my parents would get home.  Thankfully, they were away on a trip for a couple weeks. :o

Also, Dulce de Leche.  Geeze, is Alton Brown a bad influence on me. :P

I love love love the stuff, and have gotten plenty of it canned before.  Mum got the condensed milk for me, and let me try to make it while they were out for the day.

I followed the directions, only my mum said I could microwave it, so that is what I did.  I was stirring it every couple of minutes while it went around the microwave, and around 15 minutes in to its 20 minute time, it started smoldering.  Whoops.

I yanked it out and all was well, but no tastiness for me that day.  Smelled like badly burnt sugar for a few days, though.