Stupid Cooking Stories

I’m supposed to be writing a paper that is due tomorrow, so naturally I am starting a thread.

Sometime last year I was making Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies (the best chocolate cookies you will ever have. Even people who don’t like marshmallows like these) when the recipe called for 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar.

Very straightforward. I get out my measuring cup, then I looked for the 3/4 cup. Ok, I found the 1/4 cup easily enough, but where is the 3/4? I looked in the dishwasher, cabinets, pantry, everywhere. I just could not find my 3/4 cup.

I had already put on my sweater and grabbed my keys to go buy when when I realized how stupid I was.

They do sell sets with 2/3 cup and 3/4 cup included in the set. You just have to look. At least you didn’t measure out 3/4 cup by tablespoons.

I woulda just used the one cup size, and guesstimated 3/4 of it.

I set spaghetti on fire once.

I don’t like cooking. I am happy to eat (and clean up afterwards) other people’s delicious cooking but stay far away from any preparation not involving a microwave. I also don’t really care for pasta.

The combination of hate to cook and don’t like pasta meant I didn’t realize you boiled the water before putting in the spaghetti (why I actually decided to make the spaghetti has been lost to time).

So, I put the spaghetti into the water, cranked up the (gas) burner all the way, left for a second and came back to a fiery torch buring merrily away in the pot. As far as I can, the window was wide open and a gust of wind must have pushed the flames near enough so the pasta caught fire. Dowsed the flames and ordered in.

I think I envy you…:slight_smile:

I just used a 1/4 cup three times. That’s why I nearly slapped myself, the solution was so easy.

I once amazed my husband who was keeping me company in the kitchen, by making the entire (whatever it was, I forget now) using only the 1/4 cup measure. I needed 1/4 cup of something, 1/2 cup of something else and then cups of flour I think. It took him way too long to understand how I did that, when I really just wanted to save myself some dishes to clean.:wink:

My own stupid cooking stories are boring, all involving misreading measurements or switching the sugar and salt…yes, I have put 1/4 cup of salt into custards and teaspoons of sugar into sauces.

That seems straightforward; but how would you make my sweet and sour sauce that calls for 1/3 cup of rice vinegar? :slight_smile:

Me, I get the chicken part of the S&W chicken ready to come out of the oil and wonder where the tongs are.
And aren’t most measuring cups calibrated in various volumes? I have some of Mrs. Plant’s uncalibrated cups, but being an engineer I use only the glass ones that are marked for various volumes.

Once on a Boy Scouts camping trip, it fell to me to bake a cake in a Dutch oven. I followed the directions to the letter. They didn’t say to grease the oven, so I didn’t.

If it was anything other than a baked good, I’d agree with this. My handy mnemonic: Cooking = art (take liberties if you want, or if it makes life easier on you); Baking = science (reproducibility is key).

I have a dumb cooking story to tell on myself. I wanted to make a bechamel sauce, but I had no liquid milk in the house. Powdered millk aplenty, though. But I didn’t want to mix it up, and have to deal with a bunch of lumps.

So I made the roux (cooking two TBSP of flour in two TBSP of butter), and incorporated the dry powdered milk into it, with the intention of adding water when the flour was cooked. Let’s just say it didn’t work.

Cookies taste different when the measurements for sugar and salt are reversed. They also turn out shinier.

When I was sharing an apartment senior year of college with a couple of guys, we were making scallops or something, and the one roommate heated up a pan–just the pan–THEN added the oil. It made a scary sputtering noise, but thankfully nothing caught on fire. Then there was the time when we heated up the oil, rinsed our seafood, then put it in the hot pan with the seafood still dripping. More scary sputtering ensued. Then we decided that since our other roommate was better at cooking seafood, maybe we’d better let him take care of it.

There was also the time when my mom made scones with baking soda instead of baking powder. They tasted terrible. Mom made a new batch, and we fed the other ones to the birds. :smiley:

Three of us shared an apartment at University in Edinburgh. We used to cook up a pot of something for the weekend (stew, curry, thick soup…) that we could reheat and eat over the next couple of days.

Pete made Chili one week and it was pretty good, but had a slightly sweet taste and a smell we didn’t recognize. He confessed that the recipe had 6 cloves of garlic in it, which was probably OK given there were a couple of gallons of chili bubbling away.

“They were a bugger to peel”, he added spicily :p, “All those little pieces to separate out from the clove”

Turns out the non-gastronomic idiot had put in 6 heads of garlic, and we had by this time eaten heartily of his chili. We were safe from vampires for a month or two. Worse, for a few days any activity which caused us to work up a sweat made the place smell like a French taxicab.

I’ve a recipe for garlic soup that uses four heads of garlic. I haven’t made it yet.

Oh, the OP. I forgot to add the spices to sweet potato pie until it was to go into the oven and stirred it into the goop in the pie shell. It turned out ok. :slight_smile:

That is how you do it, you heat the pan until it is so hot that water drops will dance across the surface, then you add the cold oil, let that get hot enough, but not hot enough to get to the smoke point, then add the stuff to be cooked.

How much oil?
Are you stir frying, deep frying or something in between?

I have made (and eaten!) chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. While most recipes say that is about 3 heads of garlic I usually find it to be a bit more. The last time I made it I seem to recall using at least 4, possibly 5 heads of garlic (to two pounds of chicken). Not date-night food, but not bad enough to be considered a mistake or stupid cooking by any means.

I have a lot of bad cooking stories. I would forget them but my kids remind me.

Probably the worst was the time I simultaneously burned and didn’t thaw frozen ravioli. Okay, you’re asking, frozen ravioli, how hard could that be?

First, at the time I had two ovens. I turned on one and put the ravioli in the other one.

At the appointed time, with hungry children sitting at the table, I opened the oven. Hmm, not hot. Touched the ravioli pan. Hmm, not hot. Not at all.

At this point, I turned on the correct oven, leaving the ravioli there, and turned off the other oven. ::stupid smiley:: Naturally it was on preheat, so a few minutes later, the edges of the ravioli were burned. (Not on fire; I guess I’m not that talented.) But the insides were still pretty cold. And my kids were still hungry. In fact by then they looked downright distraught.

I guess it could have been worse, had I taken the interim step of turning on the oven the ravioli was in, turning off the oven the ravioli wasn’t in, and then moving the pan to the oven that was off. I can’t imagine why I didn’t go there.

Maybe my kids would have stopped me. Poor little things. Sitting at the table clutching their forks and looking at their empty plates.

Fortunately at the time we had a Burger King right across the alley.

I think the stupidest thing I do in the kitchen (and it’s more than once) is get my supper all in the pots and on the stove, then wander off for an hour or so. Anybody catch the problem with that list? Yes - food cooks better when you turn the burners on. :slight_smile:

Actually, the wandering off is a problem all of its own - I use two timers now, and I set them for EVERYTHING - lost too many dinners to burning.

I seldom deep fry, but the principle of hot pan, cold oil is one I used no matter how I fry. Usually I am just using a bit of fat in an iron skillet, but some times I stir fry in my wok (actual wok, not a flat bottomed wok).