Share your memorable cooking disasters

:o :o :o

I like cooking. Once a week, on a Saturday or Sunday, I make a big meal and then enjoy the leftovers for a day or two afterwards. Unfortunately I am a total cookbook slave as I would have no idea what to make or how to make it without a recipe in front of me, and I pretty much have to follow those instructions to the letter. As an example Twisty is always making fun of me for having one bottle of every type of vinegar known to humankind, most of which I’ve only used once or twice, because if a recipe calls for a type of vinegar I don’t have I go out and buy it because I wouldn’t know what I could substitute.

Unsurprisingly my lack of natural cooking skills has led to a few memorable disasters. Such as today. When I have realised only after nearly emptying several jars from my spice rack that the recipe actually called for fresh herbs :smack:

Dopers, please help me out here and let me know I’m not the only Kitchen Moron around.

[sub]and if anyone has any suggestions on how to counterbalance a parsley overdose, 'twould be greatly appreciated as well.[/sub]

I remember being at the In laws and making potatoes au gratin. I wanted some white wine to thin the sacue so I reached in the fridge got out the bottle and noted it was cooking white wine with tarragon.
Cool! So it has some salt, its not perfect but the tarragon will go with the garlic and potatoes!

For some reason I did not taste it or smell it. Turns out it was White wine VINEGAR…the horror.

[ul][li]One (1) incident involving a knife left in a microwave;[/li][li]One (1) incident involving confusing the settings on a combination microwave/fan oven, with a nice melted plastic result;[/li][li]Two (2) incidents involving knives and toasters;[/li][li]One (1) incident involving an attempt to produce seared tuna with a stir fry, resulting in a mushy fish sludge;[/li]One (1) incident involving the mysterious disappearance of several pounds of mince while making chilli, later explained as a result of watching TV while cooking. The mince later turned up boiling nicely in the same pan as the rice.[/ul]A friend of mine once tried to make a baked potato. That’s all. He realised he didn’t have any foil, so wrapped it in toilet roll. The combination of the resulting mess, plus some baked beans he’d dropped down the back of the fridge, is an infamous story.

Oh … I remembered my most recent mistake.

Discovering that I love horseradish and wasabi, I decided to make fresh roast beef and horseradish sandwiches. Quick trip to the supermarket, grab the first jar with “horseradish” on the label, make food … and experience searing pain.

Why did nobody make it clear that you use lots of horseradish cream, not shaved horseradish?

Crusoe I only use fresh horseradish on my beef sammiches! Mmmmm tangy!

I’ve learned that hard way that fresh is good, but in moderation. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to confuse cloves and bulbs of garlic. Again.


I had a minor incident when I lived in a high-rise apartment building. We were having about 30 people over for a party and I was trying to deep-fry egg rolls. I got distracted, the oil caught fire, the apartment filled with smoke, we opened windows which was o.k., but someone opened the door to the hallway, which wasn’t o.k.

The building’s fire alarm went off, everybody had to evacuate, the fire department showed up…I have nightmares about it still!

What made it worse was our guests were mostly people I worked with.

My first home made apple pie ever, when I was around 19 or so. I slavishly followed a recipe written down by my SIL. For the filling, she accidentally wrote 3 cups of flour instead of 3 tablespoons.

When I could barely get it all in the pie shell, I vaguely realized something was wrong. I checked the recipe, knew I had followed it, shrugged and baked.

All that flour hardened into virtual cement. Cement pie.

I could’ve shellacked it and used it as a weird centerpiece or something.

Crusoe: I’ve got a pair of wooden tongs for getting stuck toast out of the toaster. You can get them from Lakeland Limited.

I may have to make a purchase, then. I’m currently relying on making sure the damn thing’s unplugged first.

My husband is a better cook than I, but his urge to innovate leads to great disasters.

His thought process goes:

  1. Apple and cheddar is a tasty combination.

  2. Apple is a fruit.

  3. Watermelon is a fruit.

  4. Ergo, a big bowl of watermelon and cheddar cheese chunks will be delicious.

I won’t go into the candied corn incident. Or the recipe for Christmas cookies that called only for baking powder, water, and salt (it was actually a recipe for Christmas cookie ornaments).

Keep 'em coming :slight_smile:

Meanwhile, there is a real Disaster In Progress in my kitchen. I am making ravioli, you see, but I was not able to get hold of either a ravioli cutter or a dough roller - local supermarket doesn’t stock them; kitchen-gadgets shop is closed Sundays; and I was too hungover to go into town for them. What the hell, I thought; a knife, and the round wooden handle to my (poor maltreated) wok should do well enough instead.


You really want to see these ravioli, folks. They look like small potatoes … small, misshapen, parsley-drenched potatoes.


My most memorable cooking disaster comes from the first time I made brownies. As I was making the frosting, I realized we didn’t have enough powdered sugar. What the hell, I thought, I’ll just substitute the regular stuff!

Mmmm… crunchy brownie frosting!

Well, not a disaster as such, but another painful lesson: toasted sandwiches with chicken and salsa are A Bad Idea. I never realised that superheated salsa is actually hotter than the surface of the sun until that day.

Just a few words: Shake N Bake hotdogs

Yes, you heard right. I didn’t do this but I have heard the tales from my friends. They were all hungry and bored of just regular hotdogs. They decided that since they had shake n bake… well they may as well use it!

Ugh… makes me ill just thinking on it.

Funny you should mention this, Crusoe–it brings back an awful memory for me. My first time cooking a meal was going to be a nice surprise for my mom on Mother’s Day. I found a recipe for lasagna and garlic bread and decided to just go for it! I’d never cooked with whole garlic before and instead of five cloves in the lasagna I put five bulbs. The bread got three bulbs. The meal was inedible–although mom, trying to be sweet and encouraging, actually gave it a try but then had to make a sudden dash for the bathroom. This stuff was so awful even our dogs wouldn’t touch it.

The experience put me off garlic so much that just the smell of it would make me nauseous for years afterwards. It’s only been in the past three years or so that I’ve been able to eat the stuff again.

Pan of oil. Once it’s hot, I’m going to fry something in it. I forget what.
Most of my cooking disasters stem from my refusal to suffer boredom. So, while doing something else while waiting for oil to get hot, I hear a “whoomph”, and see my first grease fire. Grab a pot-holder. Carry pan outside and set on cement porch.
All is well, now. I clean the pan, and start again.
Ditto. Whoooooomph!
But this time, I move too fast and the flaming oil hits my hand (index finger and rude finger). The door’s still open from the last experience, so I fling the pan onto the porch. Bingo! The best shot in my life! Lands perfectly!
Spent hours alternating between a pan of icy water and normal air. Discovered a new product: 2nd Skin. It saved my fingers. Yes, maybe I should have gone to the emergency room.
Three weeks later, a disk golf tournament. I was able to play with the help of another new, really cool, product: New Skin.
Painting the disk side of my index finger (and repainting) got me through just fine.

I’d just like to announce that the ravioli actually turned out pretty tasty (good thing it was the parsley I drenched it in and not the mace). I’m really glad I hadn’t invited anyone over to share it, though, it’s still just about the funniest looking thing I’ve ever cooked.

Oh, and can I just mention how much I hate electric stoves? Yet another “Is this thing o-OOOOUCH!” injury on my fingertip :frowning:

Let’s see which one of my cooking disasters should I talk about.

Okay so I went to this restauraunt. I ordered a dish called southwest fetucini. It was really good. A mediumish cream sauce with finely chopped onions, peppersand southwest spices. I also detected white wine and a citrusy flavor. I’m not sure how good I described it, but trust me it was mouthwatering.

A while after that I decided to try to make something simlar myself. Mediumish cream sauce: check. Onions and peppers chopped and cooked: check. White wine… Hmm, no white white, just red. Well I’ve gone this far put a little red wine in. Citrusy flavor… crap no lime juice… no lemon juice… no extract… Just Orange juice. What the hell, put a little in, what harm can it do. Wow. what an unappetizing color. The red wine and orange juice and have turned it into a toxic looking sludge with colorful specs in it. Oh well, it can’t taste too bad right?
I’m not quite sure how to desribe the taste. First of all, even a little but of orange juice has much more sugar that I realized, and there is a good reason most cream sauces don’t have much sugar. It tasted really syrupy, and orangey. Something also really brought out the onion flavor. The red wine was also way to strong, and combined with the sugar to produce a flavor reminicent of crap wines like Mad Dog. So basically it turned out as Fetucini covered with a toxic-waste looking oniony-orangey-Mad Dog syrup.
I am so glad I was eating alone that day, cause if anybody else had tasted this crap they would have gotten a judge to issue a restraining order preventing me from ever going within 50 yards of a kitchen.

Picked the meat out of 4 dozen Chesapeake Blue crabs. Gathered the perfect meat together to make crab cakes. Followed the recipe pretty closely, except I added a tablespoon of Baking Soda instead of Baking Powder.

The resultant crabcakes tasted like alka-seltzer tablets.

The pain. The humiliation. The loss of a precious 4 dozen crabs, which my wife and I had caught ourselves using a trot line.

That was 20 years ago. I still feel the pain.