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Gaoics79
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That whole tangeant we got into in the other thread made me think it would be fun for some of us cooking types to share a few of our cooking catastrophes. Personally, I've had boiling oil exploded on my face, exploding baking dishes, melted plastic sheets in the oven, and lots of crazy stuff happen. What was the biggest, funniest screwup you've ever made in the kitchen? I'll start:

I had a chicken marinade that called for 12 cloves of garlic. I thought a clove was the same thing as a bulb... Needless to say, for at least two days, I had a wall of garlic around my body. I might as well have come right out of Chernobyl [Smile]

Not quite so amusing: a few months ago, I had a recipe for crescent rolls that called for you to preheat a baking dish in the oven, and then pour hot water into it just as you slide the rolls into the oven (to create steam). I thought I'd use a pyrex dish... BOOM! The thing exploded on contact with the water, shattering into thousands of pieces. No one told me that hot glass didn't get along with water [Frown]

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Lady Starkiller
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Let's see...

There was the time I was getting minced garlic out of the jar ('cause I was too lazy to chop some), and my brother startled me ... only to end up with minced garlic down the side of his face. That probably doesn't qualify as a catastrophe, though.

There was the time we attempted to make fudge, only to discover that we had made a rather thick, sticky liquid - that remained liquid even after four weeks in the freezer. To this day, I don't know what happened to it.

There was the time my grandmother and I were oven roasting turkeys for Thanksgiving - only to forget that Grandma uses the upper rack thing in the oven to store pot lids and screens. We remembered around the time we noticed the globs of melted gray plastic clinging to the turkey. On the upside, we rescued enough for the meal...

There was the time in cooking class my kitchenmate put six times the proper amount of baking soda (I think) in our biscuit mix. We caught the mistake in time - and decided to just increase all the other ingredients to match. For some reason, we baked the whole thing in one lump - and created the biggest biscuit I've ever seen. We had to call someone to help us lift it. It did taste good, though.

I have no doubt there've been others...

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cperry
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When I was around 4, my sister around 2, we woke up before our folks did. Hungry, we wandered downstairs and had the bright idea of making our own breakfasts. Found the Rice Krispies, poured appropriate amounts into bowls. Added milk, may have made a mess -- don't remember.

Then, because Mom and Dad weren't around to say "No," we poured tons and tons of sugar on the Rice Krispies. This was going to be yummy.

It was salt.

A few decades later, I made lemon bars. With salt, not sugar.

It pays to label those plastic containers in the cupboard!

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RickyB
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Last night I fried some chicken liver and onions. I took a bit to eat on the spot, and left the pan with the rest on the stove to cool down a bit before I put it in the fridge. Suddenly I hear a rustling sound from the kitchen. My @#$% dog has his front paws on the stove top, his freakin snout in the pan, and my sleeping wife's dinner (as well as my lunch for today) in his belly.

Lucky for him he's gorgeous. Of course, same can be said for junior over here (all praise be to the Goddess) and I'm sure that'll benefit him more than once as well. [Big Grin]

Oh, nearly forgot - proof of said brag. These are 2 months old.

http://www.notes.co.il/berman/13059.asp

Fresh pics tomorrow.

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OpsanusTau
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Once I let an eighteen-year-old college freshman direct all the twelve-year-olds I was in charge of in making their dinner.

"It's mac and cheese from a box!" I thought. "He'll be fine." And went about my other business.

So they made dinner, by dumping I think eight boxes of noodles and eight packets of cheese dust into a huge pot of water and putting it on to boil until it was done.

Surprisingly, the kids ate it anyway ("it" being the undifferentiated mass of cheese-flavored glop that resulted). I guess they were hungry, or something.

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Lisa M.
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Most of my stories are the standard "Hot liquid exploded all over my face" variety. But my dad likes to fix computers, and will sometimes leave his projects laying around the house for about a week (making us have to work around him and secretly seethe as he leaves it there to play video games on the working computer). We used to have a kitchen island that had the stove on it. Dad had stuff all over the table, and eventually agreed to move it so that we at least had one burner to work with. My sister went to turn on that burner to cook something, and turned on the wrong one. So now we have a monitor that never sits level because one side of the base is all melty.
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Hannibal
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this is such a funny thread!
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Everard
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" To this day, I don't know what happened to it"

It was too humid in the kitchen, is my guess. When baking certain high sugar foods (candy, mostly), the mixture is highly sensitive to environmental factors. I did this once when making mints.

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Lisa M.
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Bread can do that, too. If the weather isn't right it won't rise properly. And that's sad.
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Lady Starkiller
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quote:
It was too humid in the kitchen, is my guess. When baking certain high sugar foods (candy, mostly), the mixture is highly sensitive to environmental factors.
Thanks. (Note to self: never make fudge in the summer.)

We still managed to make my brother eat it. And it was fun to watch it ooze...

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OpsanusTau
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Yeah, and puff pastry only works if you can keep the butter cold while you work it - so in the summertime, you can only make croissants in the middle of the night.
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Hannibal
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nothing so mundain on my part, but once i wanted to make popcorn in my microwave. now that micro wave had some sort of glass base.

while i was waiting for the popcorn, there was suddnely a powerfull BOOOM, it felt like the experience of a shell exploding near by. i was completly shocked, it took me a while to get my bearings strait, turned out the glass exploded inside the microwave.

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Esarel
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I was making a casserole which used layers of phyllo-dough, and planning to serve it to a group of friends. For whatever reason, I neither remember to take it out of the freezer a day in advance, nor even realise that is a problem (and I had used it before). Anyway, When I try to unroll the dough into convenient sheets, it comes apart into a bunch of 1/2"-1.5" strips, and tons of little chunks and flakes. Not having a good backup plan, I spent the next forty five minutes or so building layers out of tiny little chunky of phyllo, and trying to get them to not stick to the brush, as I try to brush butter onto them.
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Lady Starkiller
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So many exploding glass stories...

The only time I've blown up glass was actually in a science lab - when I exploded a mercury thermometer in my instructor's face. Fortunately, he understood it was an accident...

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Hannibal
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oooo!! isnt mercury extremely toxic, and not to be in touvh with skin?
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Oh, nearly forgot - proof of said brag. These are 2 months old.
That dog looks more like a wolf. I hope he doesn't like the taste of babies [Smile]

quote:
Most of my stories are the standard "Hot liquid exploded all over my face" variety.
LOL. This happens to you on a regular basis? I learned my lesson after the second degree burns [Smile]

quote:
Yeah, and puff pastry only works if you can keep the butter cold while you work it - so in the summertime, you can only make croissants in the middle of the night.
Laminated dough is a bitch. The other day, my danish turned to mush while I was laminating it (I guess my hands were too hot) so I tore it to shreds in a fit of rage. You wouldn't think you'd get satisfaction from taking revenge on an inanimate piece of unbaked pastry, but it felf surprisingly giood [Smile]
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Esarel
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Mercury isn't that toxic, similar to lead, or other heavy metals from what I understand. I know my dad has told me he used to play with globs of it when he was a kid. That said, the above does not in any way condone drinking, or fully dunking oneself in mercury (both of which I have heard of happening).
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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Laminated dough is a bitch. The other day, my danish turned to mush while I was laminating it (I guess my hands were too hot) so I tore it to shreds in a fit of rage. You wouldn't think you'd get satisfaction from taking revenge on an inanimate piece of unbaked pastry, but it felf surprisingly giood
I've done that!
I used to be a cook on a sailing ship, and I *loved* to make fancy breakfasts and elaborate chocolate cakes for the other sailors, but it's really, really hard in August when your "refrigerator" doesn't keep things particularly cold and the humidity is ~104% because you're below the waterline, and moreover you are in an 8x8 foot wooden cube with a propane oven, and everthing slides off the counter every time the boat tacks.

I know that I've had decent luck with periodically submerging my hands in cold water (or even wrapping them around bags of frozen things, or in a pinch cartons of milk or something).
Also I think it helps that I have very poor circulation. [Wink]

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Gaoics79
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I have my air conditioning set to about 60-65 degrees, so my ambient temperature is ok, but my body tends to run pretty hot. (hence my need to live in a refrigerator [Smile] I find with some recipes I can make the dough work pretty consistently, while other recipes almost always fail.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
I've done that!
I used to be a cook on a sailing ship, and I *loved* to make fancy breakfasts and elaborate chocolate cakes for the other sailors, but it's really, really hard in August when your "refrigerator" doesn't keep things particularly cold and the humidity is ~104% because you're below the waterline, and moreover you are in an 8x8 foot wooden cube with a propane oven, and everthing slides off the counter every time the boat tacks.

Cool. You were a sailor. Did you say AAAAR alot? Or is that only pirates?
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javelin
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I have plenty of campfire cook stories. In general, however, it took awhile for me to figure out how to cook stuff. One year, in Boy Scouts, I was sent by my troop to a leader grooming camp thing, and was paired with about seven other boys from various places around the area. We were there for a week, and put through a lot of training and challenges, etc. Well, the first night we were given the ingredients to make spaghetti, along with a camp stove, and appropriate implements. Unfortunately, we quickly found out that none of us had the slightest idea of how to cook spaghetti. Well, we tried anyway - and ended up throwing away the pot, 'cause the spaghetti was so burnt and stuck to the sides (yes, we had it in water - but we never brought the water to a boil), that we couldn't get it off. Each group was assigned an adult leader, and ours brought us some of that Sugar Bear cereal stuff (I think it's this ) so we wouldn't starve - and he ended up having to do that many times that week.

Good news is that I've learned to cook, and can put together a pretty impressive meal or twenty over a campfire and/or campfire stove after hiking in twenty or so miles now. Whoohoo. Live and learn!

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Cool. You were a sailor. Did you say AAAAR alot? Or is that only pirates?
I yam a sailor. (Once, always, etc - the incipient breath of fall that Virginia is getting this week makes me miss the smell of bilges and pine tar)

I said Aaar a lot, yeah.
And I still talk in annoying nautical terminology (this tendency is not helped by living with another erstwhile sailor).

*sigh*
Now I am all boat-miss-y.

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The Drake
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Most memborable injury:

In the restaurant where I worked, we had a pot of boiling water to reheat pasta in a little basket that you hung over the side. I was in a rush, and the basket slipped off its mooring and plunged to the depths, followed closely by my hand, which was locked in an instinctive reaction to try and catch that which has fallen. By the time my brain got back in control, I had a nice scalding.


My most memorable error was baking some bread for Thanksgiving, and I set an alarm went upstairs and read some email. Well, the alarm wasn't as loud as I thought it would be. So we had 1/2 the amount of planned bread, and the next day I dug out the good bread from the cinder loafs and ate it by the fistful. I was left with a tray of perfectly serviceable miniature canoes made of burned bread.

Best Transport story:

My wife was a chef, and she got a job making a wedding cake. Not being a professional caterer, she had no refrigeration - we just had a cake in the trunk. She was already upset because I refused to drive (no WAY am I being responsible for a cake like that, not with my driving). We got stuck in traffic going to Cape Cod, became seriously late as the frosting got seriously melty. She had to reconstruct some of the more delicate frosting work while the guests were arriving and trying to ask her questions.

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Lisa M.
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I can't wait to get my own kitchen.
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RickyB
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There have, of course, been tons of actual cooking disasters. There was the time, age 17, when I fancied myself an accomplished cook and we had a friend's house for the weekend. We had a whole chicken, which I attempted to de-bone without knowing the actual way to do this. We were left with about 1/4 of the meat that chicken originally had.

I once put too much clove in a stew. Too much being one or too cloves too many. Damn, that spice is strong.

I once tried to bake a pizza. It was my first weekend alone with my beloved and I had planned a huge feast of sexy and yummy foods. The steaks were devine (I take an inordinate amount of pride in my steak) and the sweet potato fries turned out awesome. The salad and dressing made from scratch rocked. The pizza...suffice it to say it was utterly inedible, even as glop.

I once made the error of smoking while I was cooking something I wasn't well drilled at cooking, for dinner guests. Ruined the roast beef.

I once made a glorious huge pot of chicken and beef soup, then left it outside for the night, underestimating the warmth of the late autumn night. Gallons of great soup were rendered inedible by morning.

I haven't had any dishes actually explode in my face that I recall. I once had a toaster-oven's window explode in my face, but that was because I messed with the wire.

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cperry
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
I once made the error of smoking while I was cooking something I wasn't well drilled at cooking, for dinner guests. Ruined the roast beef.

Smoking?
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cperry
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quote:
Originally posted by Lady Starkiller:
quote:
It was too humid in the kitchen, is my guess. When baking certain high sugar foods (candy, mostly), the mixture is highly sensitive to environmental factors.
Thanks. (Note to self: never make fudge in the summer.)

We still managed to make my brother eat it. And it was fun to watch it ooze...

Coul also be that the mixture didn't get hot enough. Fudge must be boiled to the "forms a ball when dropped in water" stage. It's easy to get impatient stirring and waiting for that!
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RickyB
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Smoking weed, cperry. Getting high, hence absentminded [Smile] If it's a dish I know, I can toke as I cook, but this was a new one, so I screwed up.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
I can't wait to get my own kitchen.
Watch out. You can gain alot of weight. When I had my own kitchen for the first time, I put on about 10 pounds in a few months. (a cake a week will do that to you) I lost the weight, but you have to be careful [Smile] Now me, I have my own kitchen; I just can't wait to get my own woman to cook for. But I'm thinking I'd need two women: one for sex, and the other for eating my food [Big Grin]
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ender wiggin
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There was that time I was cutting up hot peppers and rubbed my eye afterwards....

The chili was good though.

(b.t.w. Mercury is not that bad but mercury compounds can be extremely poisonous.)

[ August 18, 2005, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: ender wiggin ]

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RickyB
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Oy, I hate that [Smile]
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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Now me, I have my own kitchen; I just can't wait to get my own woman to cook for. But I'm thinking I'd need two women: one for sex, and the other for eating my food
That presupposes a separation of things that I'm not sure you need to take for granted.
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Funean
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Exercise is key, jasonr. [Smile]
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Zyne
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Mozz-y-fondu and waterchestnuts. It sounded good at the time.
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Everard
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Well, the girl I had a date with tonight really enjoyed my taco salad...we had a nice picnic on boston common. Good stuff.
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Lisa M.
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I was making cookies today, and greased the pan. Now I have very flat, but still tasty, cookies.
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OpsanusTau
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I learned last weekend that yoghurt, when substituted for sour cream in recipes for baked things calling for sour cream, is Much Better. Whole milk yoghurt, of course, so as to not lose any milk fat. But anyway, same nice moist texture, much more interesting flavor.
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Lisa M.
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I love sour cream. It's good on eggs.
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OpsanusTau
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Yes.
I'd always been pleased with sour-cream-y baked things, but I was too lazy to go to the store and had oodles of yoghurt and no sour cream.
I am pleasantly surprised by the difference.
Like the time I added applesauce to the bran muffins, or when I learned that flour + baking soda + salt + sugar + beer = yummy bread.

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Quaestor
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Any success stories on mixing alcohol/liquor into recipes? Oh wait...that's not the point of the thread...Well, there was this one time that I had the brilliant notion of making bourbon chicken except all I had was at the time was Jack Daniels. For some reason, the alcohol wouldn't burn off so i kept adding more and more...needless to say, when i eventually gave up and got down to eating it was a *very* nice time... [Big Grin]

[ August 22, 2005, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: Quaestor ]

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