Argh! Careless cooking errors

I’m making my Very Famous French Onion Soup tonight, because my mom is out of town and my dad’s all by himself and I thought he’d like a treat. (It’s best the next day.) So I go through this huge pain in the ass - cut up four pounds of onions, roast them in the oven for hours, deglaze and deglaze and deglaze (the deglazing takes about an hour of actual standing-by-the-stove cooking) and then throw in the broth… and I wasn’t looking and put chicken in instead of beef. Now, there’s supposed to be some chicken broth in there, but BEEF is the taste you want to taste. Just reached out and picked up the wrong box.

It’s… chickeny. I threw in some Better than Bullion and some MSG (don’t tell) and am hoping for the best. I’ve spent three hours on this stuff and didn’t pay attention and fucked it up in the home stretch.

Make me feel better - what enormous effort have you wasted lately? (I mean, Dad will love it. But I’ll know.)

I made meat glop instead of meat loaf. Too much liquid. But, I could serve it with an ice cream scoop.

I don’t know if this counts as careless, or just a newbie mistake, but I’ll share.

I was 18, had my first appartment, and was cooking my mom’s wonderful chicken and dumplings for my boyfriend. I’d never made the dish before (in fact, I hadn’t really ever made anything more complicated than a grilled cheese sandwich,) but had seen it done a lot and have the recipe in hand.

So the chicken is cooking and I start to make the dumplings. I get my tuperware container of flour and add the appropriate amount to the liquid portion. And it disolves into a thin soupy mixture. Baffled, I start over. Same thing. I’m getting upset at this point. I can’t imagine what is wrong here–I’m folowing the directions exactly!

So my boyfriend decides to help. I thought maybe the flour was old/bad, so we open a new bag of flour, and, low and behold, perfect dumpling dough. Yeah. So I’m still kind of upset. He did the exact thing I did! Exactly! Except, you know, using flour instead of powdered sugar. Won’t make that mistake again. :slight_smile:

I once used Cook’s Illustrated’s very good mac & cheese recipe to make for a potluck BBQ. Except, instead of evaporated milk, I accidentally used… sweetened condensed milk. retch :smack:

Fortunately, I was making the night before, so had enough time to go to the store (at midnight!) to buy another pound of cheese, etc., etc.

Heh, evaporated vs. condensed is a classic mistake, and one that genius me almost made in the grocery store yesterday. (As it is I should have brought the recipe with me, since I assumed it was one regular tiny can of evaporated, not one big 12 oz can. The onion pie turned out awesome anyway.)

Ah, it wasn’t a complete waste… I saved the abomination, and took it, too, to the potluck. To no end of amusement when I presented that as my masterpiece, and watched my friends frantically try to think of something nice to say whilst keeping their gorge from rising and trying to figure out how to surreptitiously spit the crud out.

All the kids thought it was a magnificent prank – and then devoured the real stuff like hungry wolves when I 'fessed up. :smiley:

When I was a kid, my mom was making a lasagne for company, and it was my job to assemble it. I put the entire thing together, and then noticed I hadn’t used the big bowl of shredded cheese sitting on the other counter. Have you ever unlayered and rebuilt and entire lasagne? It’s not fun, and it’s a mess.

I also can’t count the number of times I’ve set eggs to boil, forgotten about them, and some time later wondered what the weird exploding noise coming from the kitchen was. I always mean to set an egg timer, but sometimes I forget to do that. Now I use a bigger pan and more water so I have a wider margin of error before the eggs go nuclear.

The last one was chocolate chip cookies with a missing cup of flour. I thought it was a bit off and only did one pan. They spread into a pan of chips and bubbling butter flour, which had to be scraped into the garbage. I added flour to the rest and finished what I still had. I hate trying to cook on a bad memory day. I had problems with the next thing burning so that was it for cooking that day.

Recent careless cooking error–bad cornbread (not a huge waste of time and energy).

The recipe was for low-fat moist cornbread. Calls for a Jiffy Muffin mix, creamed corn, yogurt, fresh or fozen corn . . .

I subbed low fat sour cream for the yogurt, didn’t thaw the frozen corn, threw in a few extra ounces creamed corn, put it in a 9 by 13 rather than 9 by 9 inch pan (made of glass) and undercooked the whole thing. *

I think if I reheat it properly and top it with enough cheddar cheese the rest will be edible.

*Recipe called for baking 30-40 minutes, but I couldn’t figure out why it was not getting brown. I forgot the extra corn and still frozen corn (and glass pan)and just focused on the flatter cornbread.

I suggest looking up Alton Brown’s recipe for FOS to see if you can incorporate his methods to remove the rectal discomfort without altering Very Famous greatly.
Almost hassle free.

There is a big difference between a 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin and a 15 oz can.

That bread was tasty, if spooned up from the pan.

What’s up with that? Deglazing usually only takes a few minutes… even when cooking up tons o’ caramelized onions. I’m curious about what you do for an hour.

I was making a lemon meringue pie for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. The recipe I use calls for a cornstarch/water paste to be added to the meringue at the last minute, to help it keep its structure and stop it from “weeping.” So I made up the cornstarch/water paste and had it ready to go, and beat the egg whites for like 15 minutes until they were forming stiff peaks. Went to drizzle in the cornstarch paste and… suddenly the meringue started foaming up out of the pan! I had to drop it in the sink, where it continued to foam and spit for the next several minutes.

I usually buy store-brand baking necessities. The store-brand baking soda and the store-brand cornstarch come in the same shape and color box. Guess which one I mixed into the meringue? :smack:

No no, you made corn pudding instead!

It’s all about the spin, people. I never tell my family what we’re having for dinner until it’s done and I can name it appropriately.

It’s the “so you want to REALLY make great onion soup” recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. You let it go in the oven on its own for two and a half hours and then you bring it up to the stovetop and carmelize the living crap out of it (you keep stirring but you’ll be sure it’s burned.) You deglaze it with a bit of water, cook it down again, deglaze, etc, three or four times, and then you do it once with sherry and then you can add the liquid. It’s a multi-deglazing process. I’ve made onion soup plenty of other ways and I can tell you that when you really want to do it right this thing is a prizewinner. Just sort of labor-intensive.

My cooking skills are limited, so anything I’m willing to cook is going to be pretty hard to mess up. But just last night I went out and, when I asked about the dessert of the day, out very entertaining waiter explained that the only dessert options that day were those on the regular menu because there’d been a Bad Mistake with the daily special.

Apparently the dessert prepared earlier that day had been a delicious looking pie, butterscotch I believe, topped with whipped cream mixed with bittersweet chocolate chips. But when this pie was served, the customer said it was terrible and sent it back. The staff tasted the pie and found that it was indeed revolting. The waiter said it was “a taste I will never forget”. So they sampled the different elements that had gone into the pie to see where they’d gone wrong. Butterscotch: fine. Whipped cream: fine. Chocolate chips: not fine. Very, very not fine.

It turns out the chocolate chips had been stored in a container that was normally used to hold garlic. They had absorbed the garlic flavor, and apparently garlic and chocolate are two great taste sensations that DO NOT go great together.

What I want to know is how you keep your broth in boxes.

Broth in boxes.

Oh, okay, then. I was nervous that it was gonna be a box of boullion cubes.

Zsofia - I don’t think your error is a big deal. Sure, beef is traditionally the broth (and I use 100% beef broth in my French Onion soup), but chicken broth will still make a perfectly good soup. I mean, hell, they make it with vegetable broth for vegetarians, too, and the soup comes out fine.

It’s not like the time I spent hours roasting and mashing pumpkin for pumpkin pie, only to, at the last second, grab the unmarked container of salt instead of sugar. My excuse is I was cooking at somebody else’s kitchen, and who in the hell keeps their salt and sugar in clear containers right next to each other. Had to go out to the market, buy more pumpkins, and start again.