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Most memorable cooking disaster?

When I was first teaching myself to cook I tried to impress a boy by making some kind of chicken/mushroom fricassee. The very fresh mushrooms leaked all of their gill colour into the cream sauce and turned the dish into the exact colour of concrete. The massive chunks of chicken breast failed to pick up any flavour from the sauce, and to top it all off were half raw on the inside. I freaked out and threw the whole thing in the garbage and we got in a HUGE fight solely because I was so embarrassed. (This took place in Florence, Italy, so I had a lot to live up to...)

What were the cooking disasters that haunt you still?

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  1. I once tried to make a "no-bake" cheesecake and it didn't set. And I waited, and waited, and waited, and finally, I had to scrape the mixture off the crumb base, sieve it (to get out the crumbs) beat in some egg yolks, and fold in some whipped egg-whites for a nice, cheese souffle!


    1. After roasting a loin of pork and while it set, I started making the gravy. I began adding the thickening agent (cornstarch and water) and the gravy kept getting sweeter and sweeter but would not thicken, so i made another batch. the same thing happened and then I looked at the box- it was powdered sugar not cornstarch!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: RichK

        I did a similar thing; was making a chinese stirfry, and added the cornstarch, but it didn't thicken, kept adding more... In my case I was adding baking soda instead of cornstarch!

      2. The old clove/bulb of garlic mix up

        1 Reply
        1. re: amkirkland

          I think I posted this on the different thread once, but a good friend (cooking in an unfamiliar kitcken) once sauteed meat in green washing up liquid (in their defense, the liquid WAS contained in one of those long, thin, glass bottles with an oil pourer top!

          That same person also (but in a different meal) added a CUP of Bouillon POWDER, instead of a cup of Bouillon MADE UP with water!!!!!


        2. When I worked at a cook at a banquet hall, I accidentally used salt instead of sugar when mixing up the filling for the lemon meringue pies. Fortunately for everyone involved - and you may all take comfort in this fact - lemon meringue pie filling does not thicken properly when made with salt. If it had thickened, I wouldn't have ever known what I had done, and the pies would have been served. After all, I had done it so many times before that I didn't even bother tasting the filling anymore. Chucked 6 pies worth into the trash and started over.

          Gah. Horrible.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Nyleve

            haha that happened to me before also..but as a guest at a restuaurant eating a chocolate salt souffle!

            1. re: Nyleve

              I was helping my dad cater a small event recently, and one of the items on the menu was a dish of sweet, sugar-glazed carrots. We noticed after the main course that everybody had loved the entree, but the carrots were seemingly untouched. Upon tasting them, dad realized that the salt and sugar canisters were stored side-by-side and looked virtually identical. Lessons learned: always taste before you serve, and ALWAYS LABEL YOUR CONTAINERS.

            2. My boyfriend (now husband) was on a French national sports team, and when I suggested he invite a couple of friends to dinner he invited the WHOLE TEAM! So my very first dinner party meant cooking coq au vin for 30 people! At first all the fat rose to the top (coq au fat? I was able to skim it off), then it turned very purple from the cheap wine I used before it mellowed into a more palatable color. In the end it was edible and they had a great time but I aged ALOT that day...

              1. Mine was more of a serving disaster. I had 15 people at one long table, first course was a crab chowder, (which I really coudn't afford to make)After dishing up and passing the bowls, I was four short. Yup, had everyone pass their bowls back and served again. Lots of laughs, lots of wine later:)

                1. I had the bright idea for a Superbowl party menu to use duck wings instead of chicken wings. Good thing I tested out the recipe the day before. My husband still refers to it as "the time you tried to kill me by making me eat rubber bands".

                  1. at work i made a huge batch of cheesecakes...maybe 8. it was one of my first days working as a pastry chef (i had been a savoury cook previously) and i wasn't sure when exactly to take them out of the oven. instead of asking someone, for some reason i took them out when i thought they were done and put them in the fridge to chill overnight.
                    next day when i tried to unmould and cut them...

                    plop. mush!

                    threw away 8 huge marscapone cheesecakes!

                    1. I have 2 from my early early cooking stage at about age 12. I thought I pretty much knew it all having devoured cookbooks as others do novels or fashion magazines. The first was deciding to make cookies from my own recipe- I had never made cookies before, only assisted with Euro stype pastries. I took great-grandma's dough concept that she used to make the weekly egg noodles (flour, water, egg, salt) and added sugar and vanilla. They didn't look so bad but they were like rocks- literally cook not bite into them. The second was an attempt at pork chops in tomato sauce- I was determined to make tomato sauce from scratch and could find no recipe. Having rarely seen a real tomato and having no exposure to tomato product based food I attempted to use V8 juice. Got to the table and it smelled pretty good but the pork chops were raw inside and the "sauce" was just a funny colored liquid. The family refused to touch it and threw the chops under the broiler. I was inscensed! But that must have been hereditary, cuz when Mom made her traditional veggie soup with dumplings on Christmas eve one year and used cauliflower from the garden- she refused to believe that the black flecks in the soup were bugs- she insisted they were herb & pepper bits- NOT!

                      1. Read in the Cookbook of the Month Soup post--all about the pasta e fagioli.

                        Another time, my roommate and I were cooking for a guy friend. She decided she wanted to make Thai chicken, so she bought chiles, chicken, etc. After cooking the chiles for a bit, she started coughing so hard she couldn't breathe; then I couldn't breathe from the heat; and our male guest braved it over the stove. Meanwhile, I started yelling, "Turn on the ceiling fan!" in hopes of circulating some of the spicy air, and the friend climbed on a stool and knocked the cover off the light bulb, sending glass shattering over the floor. My roommate was in bare feet, gasping from the spicy air, and I had to throw shoes across the kitchen so she could walk back.

                        Our guest ended up cleaning up the glass and finishing the chicken. As we began eating (it was actually quite tasty), I asked Tracy what went so wrong. I began reading the recipe to her: "Chop and seed the chiles..." and she said, "What does seeding them mean?"

                        She then followed up by saying she thought Thai food was peanut butter, and couldn't get why a recipe that had no peanuts in it wouldn't taste like peanut butter.

                        1. Once, we had a dinner party for about 40 people, in a friends house. Myself and a friend were cooking, and had agonized over a great menu for days. After a whirlwind shopping spree (my friend HAD to buy a coffee grinder for fresh beans), we starting prepping tons of food for a menu composed, in part, of a vegetable-leek-potato soup, a corn "pudding" , coq au vin, etc. (I forget the exact menu).

                          For some reason, I had put the root end of the leeks into the soup, but it was bubbling nicely, but we were a good HOUR behind on serving things and the cheese/crackers had run out.

                          Then, when about to cook the corn pudding, our friend the host says "oh... our OVEN DOES NOT WORK... we never cook at home so we never use it". Needless to say, we made quick friends with HIS neighbors, ringing their doorbell on a Saturday nite at 7pm, carrying large hotel pans full of soupy corn mixture down the middle of the street, to ask for their oven. As SOON as we walked in the door...>>> SPLOOSH there goes one tray of corn ALL OVER THEIR FLOOR.

                          As I ran back (deathly embarassed, leaving my friend to explain/clean up) to the kitchen, some guests were serving the soup.
                          All i can say is that i noticed bowls of soup being passed down the table WITH THE ROOTS OF THE LEEK SITTING IN THE SOUP.....
                          and the scary part is, we NEVER saw them again - no one threw them out.....


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Sethboy

                            Someone hosted a dinner party with an oven that didn't work?!? How on EARTH would that be a good idea?

                            1. re: Sethboy

                              gawd -- that one made me laugh out loud ... the mortification of spilling all over the neighbors' floor -- even worse than your own floor. Urgh.

                            2. Family and friends were awaiting my first Thanksgiving Turducken, made from scratch, including the de-boning. It was supposed to be served at about 5 PM. It wasn't done cooking until 9:30 PM. That was one grumpy group of starving diners but it was really tasty and most thought that it was worth the wait, except my ex-mother in law!

                              1. In college, for guests, I cooked a whole frozen duck w/out taking the neck out. I also had no idea what temp to cook it at. apparently duck does not cook like a chicken. the duck was completely inedible and my guest removed the neck and laughed.

                                Cooking for my mother's family never seems to work either, perhaps b/c it is always such a fiesta, and I can't focus - first time i was allowed to make the gravy for thanksgiving, used the drippings which actually had some burnt parts in them. we ended up with burnt tasting gravy w/all kinds of wine and seasoning i used to cover it up. Another time, I was just starting to get the hang of risotto and made it for about 8 people instead of the usual 2. afraid of overcooking it, i undercooked it. my cousin laughed and said "just cook it longer." it was quite crunchy.

                                1. I once tried to make rice wine from a recipe in the (Berkeley, CA) Co-op newsletter. It ended up smelling so terrible that we had to bury it in the backyard!

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: The Librarian

                                    Hahaha - that reminds me of the time I tried to make dandelion wine using a recipe that was in my one and only cookbook: a quite hippie-ish volume written by none other than Ruth Reichl herself. I was living in an urban apartment at the time and gathered the dandelions along a railway line that ran nearby. Unfortunately, the instructions were a little too brief, and after bottling and corking the newly-made wine, I went to bed. It was like a nuclear explosion in my living room when both jugs blew almost simultaneously. I recorked one bottle - the one that didn't burst - and let it age nicely. Several months later some friends and I tried to drink it. It was horrible.

                                    1. re: Nyleve

                                      HA! this also reminds of that one time my mom tried to make plum wine. she was told to keep the jar (big big costco pickle jar) in a warm place = coat closet. the thing was not sealed well enough or something. The whole thing exploded in the closet and we have to do A LOT of laundry!

                                      1. re: jeniyo

                                        I'd say it was sealed rather too well.

                                    2. re: The Librarian

                                      This one made me laugh out loud. Isn't it the same technique for "re-kosherizing" dishes, post-exposure to trayf?

                                      1. re: DC in DC

                                        I think that only works with cutlery. Did your fork touch both milchig & fleishig? Stick it in the dirt of the nearest houseplant. Problem solved!

                                    3. not so much disaster as embarrassment:

                                      many years ago I bought an unuually cheap duck from a butcher's stall at a street market in London. It wasn't till I began to prepare it for roasting that I discovered that it was still 'intact' and 'undrawn' and there was no alternative but to take a deep breath and 'plunge in', so to speak.
                                      The corollary of this is that, a year or so later, after buying a chicken from a travelling butcher in a remote village in France and being once bitten twice shy, I examined the bird closely and found no sign of apertures significant enough to indicate prior removal of entrails. So I asked the butcher if the chicken was 'vide' (the closest word I could think of) whereupon he looked astonished and exclaimed 'oui, bien sur' or somesuch while several local housewives laughed so uproariously that they practically rolled in the gutter. The chicken was, indeed totally oven-ready but you couldn't see how it had been done!

                                      1. Spent my college years cooking family style w/ my roommies... most of the time things worked out well. But one night in particular, I had a craving for those Vietnamese Peppered Beef & Tendon meatballs, and it was on a night I shared cooking duties with my Armenian roommate. So I popped open a package and boiled it, thinking I'll serve them plain or in an Asian stock of some sort. I had to step away for a moment, and when I returned, my dear roommie had decided to make a gravy for them -- she pulled out my cornstarch thinking its just like flour and proceeded to add water and mushrooms. When I explained the cornstarch & liquid mixture would congeal and turn goopey she didn't believe me. She attempted to dump the meatballs into the mixture in a saucepan but I convinced her to at least serve the "gravy" on the side. After we all sat down at the table, the first person to reach for the gravy discovered a congealed, goopey mass studded with mushrooms. At least I saved my beef & tendon balls; even plain they hit the spot!

                                        1. A cousin (a 'gentleman farmer' type) once offered me a goose he'd raised. I decided I was going to cook it in my Weber kettle, basically using Weber's turkey recipe, with the additional step of brining for a day ahead of time. I'd done a lot of turkeys, so I wasn't expecting any problems, but when the time came to carve it, I found it was like jerky!

                                          I learned that this goose wasn't really meant for eating...it had been a PET about which my cousin's neighbors had been complaining (too noisy), and it was about three years old. While it had good flavor, it was dry and tough. I ended up making jook out of it...the jook was quite tasty, but the goose was akin to a bay leaf...adding flavor, but not meant to be eaten.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. My mother makes the MOST delicious chocolate pudding and we always look forward to the occasional family dinner where she brings out the little ramekins with the telltale plastic wrap on top.

                                            Recently she brought out the ramekins and started giggling as we all ate it and commented on how this might have been her best batch ever. She and my father burst out laughing and when they finally caught their breath my mother confessed that when she was making the pudding she must have been distracted b/c instead of adding the vanilla she accidentally grabbed and poured from a bottle of fish sauce.

                                            It was still deliciouc and we all licked our bowls clean!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: heathermb

                                              Wow- I knew fish sauce was awesome, but to replace vanilla? all I can say is I'll be damned!

                                            2. This thread certainly brings back some uncomfortable memories all right!

                                              In one of our first catering jobs (in the late 60's), my partner and I were hired to do a wedding luncheon for about 30 people. Only catch was that it was to take place on Mount Tamelpais near San Francisco.

                                              The bride wanted an apple cake for her wedding cake, and gave us a recipe. We thought it looked a bit bland and jazzed it up some. Since we had to hand carry the food the equiv. of a block, we decided to make several small cakes rather than one large one.

                                              The cakes looked gorgeous when we finished them. Frosted with a cream-cheese frosting and topped with fresh yellow and orange nasturtiums.

                                              As we unpacked them on Mt. Tam., however, I noticed that the cake had begun to leak through the frosting, the frosting started to crack and the cakes looked terrible. White frosting with brown rivulets across the top. I tried to smooth frosting over the cracks, but they'd appear in another spot. We were totally freaked. My partner noticed some flowers growing nearby and we picked them and stuck them on top, more effectively covering the cracks. Of course we had no idea what they were or if they were toxic or would cause sneezing fits. We held our breath for the next hour, waiting for guests to keel over, gasping for breath.

                                              Nothing happened and it was a great success.

                                              1. This thread proves what I've been saying for years: kitchen disasters may be painful at the time but BOY do they make great stories (and isn't that a great thing about life....the telling of a great, funny, self-deprecating story?)

                                                I can think of MANY but if you asked my husband he would say my worst was

                                                THE DISH THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED

                                                I don't know what went wrong but I tried to make pastistio one time with leftover roast that had been cooked in beer. I used a recipe and I followed it to the letter....but something was so amiss in this dish. I took two bites and had a feeling I should not eat any more - just a funny taste. My husband ate two bowls and tasted a horrible metalic/rotten food taste for two days. And yes, it is now known in my house as The Dish That Shall Not Be Named - purely for it's evil qualities.

                                                I have to admit. I love a good food disaster once in a while. Keeps ya humble and giggling.

                                                1. I've done the "leave the bag of giblets in the Thanksgiving turkey" thing too (although to be fair, I was a teenager at the time...unfortunately, as neither of my brothers has ever let me forget it!)

                                                  But my worst disaster was at a dinner party I threw for some friends when I was a grad student. I had this "fabulous" recipe out of one of the NYT cookbooks, for a pasta dish that used Fontina cheese in the sauce. To this day I cannot figure out what happened, i.e. was it me, or the recipe (I'm guessing the former)? It turned into a gluey mess, just gnarled shreds of fettucine entrapped in huge tangled wads of curdled cheese. Yum. Fortunately one friend had brought a big couscous salad so at least we had something to eat that night, ha ha!!

                                                  1. Early in our marriage my DW heard me say over and over again how I loved Canneloni. So one day when our first was a few months old she started making my request. I get home at 8'ish and the kitchen table is cover with a couple of hundred tortellini. Homemade pasta, homemade filling, each circle cut perfectly , and filled and shaped perfectly. When I asked her what posessed her to make such a wonderful treat (I love torts as well) she responded, "I thought you wanted them." I smiled and brought over Hazan's book and showed her Canneloni, had a great laugh, a big wet kiss and dived into a mound of wonderful torts.

                                                    We still have a chuckle 20+ years later.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                      1. One time, my now husband and I were making dinner together at my teeny tiny studio apartment. We were both doing new dishes... he was making his up as he went along and I was using two new recipes from Cooking Light. I made a bleu cheese pasta and some kind of a salad; both were equally awful. He was making some kind of a fish dish and wanted to use habaneros just to be tough, I think. He doesn't really know where it went wrong, but the dish ended up being as bad as mine and he was rubbing his face, trying to figure out what to do, when all the sudden, tears were streaming down his face! He'd gotten habanero all over his face! We spent the night rubbing aloe vera on his cheeks and eating Sonic cheeseburgers!!

                                                        1. When I was in middle school, I was making a chocolate cake from my mom's great recipe. It's a three layer cake, but I only had two layer pans. No problem, I thought: I'll just put the batter in the two pans I have, it all fits! Oh man, it turned into a cake volcano in the oven as they rose.

                                                          When I frosted the cake, though, it looked okay (with the layers upside down) and tasted fine. But it still makes me laugh.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: JasmineG

                                                            That happened to me once. Just slice the conical tops off and then slice the tops vertically and it'll look like pound cake:) That takes care of those.

                                                            That will leave you with two perfect rounds, which I split into two horizontally, making a four-layer cake!


                                                            1. re: TexasToast

                                                              Oh, the tops were not conical, in this case, the opposite! All of the rising and dripping had caused the cakes to fall, but when I frosted them with the top to top together, the frosting filled the inside dips, and it was okay. Now, though, I make sure I have enough layer pans.

                                                              1. re: JasmineG

                                                                I tried that and it overflowed the pans and got a mess all over the oven!

                                                          2. Our family birthday cake was a 1-2-3-4 cake with mace, if we were doing the white icing. One year my little sister wanted to make my cake. Instead of using mace, she used poultry seasoning! She said it looked the same.

                                                            1. My mom's "Vanilla Stew" became a family legend when she confused the two brown glass bottles and added vanilla to the beef stew instead of Gravymaster--then realized what she had done and served it anyway, not letting on till we had finished eating.

                                                              1. My brother is a sugarbaker, and the stuff he makes is actually delicous...but one day he decided it was cookie time. He whipped out a nice originally American recipe, started working, and when they were finished, they were just nasty...not sweet, grainy, just disguisting. My brother turned his brain upside down to find out his mistake but it was not until the next day when I wanted to make bulgur salad and discovered he had put in fine bulgur instead of brown sugar!

                                                                1. I once made a yummy chocolate layer cake for my cousin's birthday. I had finished icing it and was going to carry it from the counter to the table when, oops, splat! right onto the kitchen floor, frosting side down! No cake that day :(
                                                                  Another time, vanilla instead of soya sauce with bean sprouts (I was a teenager at that time though!). Still another time at a Japanese cooking class, the old salt-instead-of-sugar trick! Embarrasing.
                                                                  The cake was pretty funny...later on!

                                                                  1. Oh yes.

                                                                    There was the huge tennis racket cake I made for my nephew's Bar Mitzvah party that ended up squashed into the tailgate of our station wagon.

                                                                    And there was the time my kids wanted to make me a birthday cake from my own handwritten recipe and mistook 1 tsp. for 1 cup of baking powder (!!!).

                                                                    And there was the time I made a chocolate cheesecake for a friend's birthday which had the flavour and consistency of silly putty.

                                                                    I could go on. And probably will.

                                                                    1. My rbother and I as kids decided to make homemade pasta. Made a mess as expected, but spent all day and made some wonderful spaghetti.

                                                                      After it was all perfectly sliced and perfect we decided to clean and start making dinner for when my dad got home as a nice suprise

                                                                      So we put the freshly made pasta in a pot of water since that's where it'll go anyway.

                                                                      No, not boiling water, just regular water where it sat for half an hour waiting for my dad to arrive.

                                                                      Yes, that lovely glob of goo was worth the day making it. I don't think my brother and I have tried making pasta since that date 15 years ago....maybe this weekend.

                                                                      1. I was the lead saute cook for one of Stouffer's flagship restaurants. The VP of Stouffer's and a bunch of his friends came in for a meal and the GM wanted me to cook for them.

                                                                        I made a perfect shrimp alfredo (and was quite pleased with myself) for the VP. About 2 minutes after the meal was served, the GM ran in with a look of horror. He told me to hold up my hands. He studied them closely. Then he asked me if I had any cuts on my hands or fingers. I told him no.

                                                                        He told me that the VP was digging into his meal and came up with a bloodied band-aid.

                                                                        Turns out that one of the prep cooks that was bagging the fettucini had a cut and the band-aid slipped off his finger into the bag. I just put the pasta in the hot water and dropped it into the pan. The sauce covered the band-aid. I never saw it.

                                                                        Too funny.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: chesapeakesun

                                                                          eww... at least it is just the bandaid, not the finger!!!

                                                                          1. re: jeniyo

                                                                            lol, ditto to the ewwww. my sister baked a band-aid into a loaf of bread that was destined for visiting family.

                                                                            1. re: im_nomad

                                                                              The first time my daughter's (now former) boyfriend came for dinner, I served him a salad with a safety pin in it! Still puzzled about how it got there.

                                                                              1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                                                That's taking passive aggression to a new height, there, madam. (KIDDING!!!)

                                                                          2. I can't recall mine, but nothing as funny as my brother's. I once asked him what he had simmering in a wok. It had some soy sauce flavored broth up to the brim with potato slices floating. While he was working those uncut wings under the simmering broth, he replied, "Chicken adobo, but I don't think I got it right."

                                                                            1. Seems like I've only had the mundane disasters... undercooked pancakes, oversalted the gumbo, etc... but I do remember that the year I met my husband, he and his roommate decided to bake banana bread for me.

                                                                              They got started late, though, so his roommate decided to double the oven temperature and halve the baking time.

                                                                              Or at least my husband *claims* it was his roommate's idea to do that. He's never made banana bread for me since.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: redwood2bay

                                                                                8th grade Home Ec class...I got in a screaming fight with another student who was in my group trying to explain that, no, putting the same amount of blueberry muffin batter into twice as many muffin cups as the recipe called for was not a good idea. "But we'll have twice as many muffins!" was all he could say. I finally gave in and let science prove my point for me. Yes, Brandon, we have twice as many muffins...dry, burnt, nearly-inedible muffins. Thanks.

                                                                              2. I remember when I was 10 years old I made one of the biggest disasters in the kitchen. I try tp make ice cream with cream, almonds, sugar and milk. The ice cream didn't tighten and so I added flour to tighten. And indeed it became a very good foundation for a house. Strong like cement!

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: C00k1nAdd1ct10n

                                                                                  One 4th of July I ended up with twice as many people as I'd anticipated RSVP'ing "yes" to the party at my house. The other person who had a party every year had decided to go to the Mainland so no one who regularly went to her party had made plans - they were so happy to get the invite to my party at my house on the beach front. I had to make an extra entree in the oven (did Beef Burgundy and fettuccine al fredo and it was delicious) to go with what was going on the hibachi. I also made rice, a fruit salad and a green salad.
                                                                                  Then I had to make an extra dessert. I already had a 9x13 pan of strawberry stuff (everyone requested it - one of my faves) so decided to make a chocolate cheesecake for the chocoholics. I inadvertently doubled the amount of cream in the recipe so the center didn't set well at all. I called it "chocolate mousse" cheesecake, everyone loved it, I admitted my mistake, and ever since then it's been known and requested as my "f***ed up 4th of July cheesecake" - the recipe I wrote up for people who requested it even had that as the name on top. :-) Strangely enough, a couple of years later a friend of a friend told me he'd had that as a dessert at my friend's house. When dessert was served everyone was told the name of the cheesecake, with my name leading off! :-O

                                                                                  1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                    sounds ono, wanna post the recipe for us?

                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                      I just saw this. For some reason I haven't been getting any emails from Chowhound on new postings for ages! For the last couple of days my inbox has been filling up and I've been catching up. I have no idea what the change was.

                                                                                      As soon as I can dig out the recipe I'll post, KaimukiMan. :-)

                                                                                  2. re: C00k1nAdd1ct10n

                                                                                    The strawberry dessert provided yet another kitchen disaster on a different occasion. My father was having people over and asked me to make that for dessert. I did it, I thought as usual, but somehow managed to double the amount of sugar in the shortbread crust. It was like granite! Everyone ended up scraping the top 2 layers off the dessert and leaving the crust behind. We couldn't chop or soak it out of the pyrex pan so ended up throwing the whole thing out the next day.

                                                                                  3. Aside from the usual I-effed-up-oops stuff, one Thanksgiving I was making dinner for my sis & husband and my dad (mom had put her nose up and deided to go elsewhere, but that's another story). I made this nice gravy from necks and gizzards and wings and backs because we grilled the turkey. I had this odd gravy tureen, one piece pour and tray. I filled it up with this carefully crafted gravy. It sat there for a few seconds, then there was a 'zzzeeeet' noise and the g-damn gravy boat split right down the middle front to back and gravy tidal waved all over the cooktop. It was weird, like a cartoon- it split, and the gravy sat there for a millisecond before it spread all over the damn place. Next Thanksgiving my sis gave me a new gravy boat, bless her heart.

                                                                                    1. It is Thanksgiving and this is timely...

                                                                                      Jfood's firstT'gicing married to Mrs. They are invited over to the IL's house for dinner and they walk in around 1'ish. Jfood leans over to Mrs Jfood and asks if they are having turkey. Of course. Then why is there no turkey aroma in the house...

                                                                                      They walk into the kitchen and notice that someone had moved the lever on the oven to the position reserved for when you are cleaning the oven so noone opens it. What this does (they eventually learned) is that it shuts the oven off when the setting is "bake" versus "clean." So the turkey was in an oven with no heat. And it is a 20-pounder.

                                                                                      So jfood's first job as a guest at his first T'giving at his in-laws was to "fix it."

                                                                                      Dinner was served at 5PM

                                                                                      1. The first time I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, I had about 15 guests. I bought a frozen 20-ish pound turkey that I thawed, per the directions, for several days in the refrigerator. Thanksgiving morning, it was still frozen. They all know the story (now) but I can't believe how embarrassed I am to tell it here...even 20-some years later.

                                                                                        It was far too large a turkey to thaw in the sink so I scoured my bathtub three times, rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, and rinsed then filled it with cold water and thawed the bird there. I called everyone and told them that dinner would be a little bit later than planned. Many hours later, when the turkey had been in the oven for quite a while, guests began arriving. I'd been basting the turkey every 30 minutes because the Butterball "I bet the turkey's dry" commercial had me terrified that my MIL would be critical. My mother was to make the gravy (see note). She came out to the kitchen and asked where the giblets were.

                                                                                        "The what?" I asked.

                                                                                        "The giblets. You know, the stuff in the little package tucked inside the bird."

                                                                                        She could tell by the look of horror on my face that I hadn't found this little present from the turkey butcher. I hadn't discovered the neck, either. We pulled the bird from the oven and rescued the packet and the neck.

                                                                                        My constant opening of the oven had also delayed the cooking of the turkey, as well. When it looked like my guests were going to pass out from hunger, I pulled my beautifully golden brown bird from the oven and Dad came out to do the carving (fortunately, not in front of everyone). It was still nearly raw in the center. We put the turkey on plates and nuked it. No one got sick. I count that as partial success.

                                                                                        Note: I wasn't about to try to make the gravy. My prior attempt at gravy making proved that I couldn't make gravy; however, I could make some pretty awesome, vaguely chicken-y, paper mache paste.

                                                                                        1. Mine is more of an after dinner story …

                                                                                          We had just finished a pile of Maine Lobsters we had imported we decided to opened the back door (we had a couple of smokers who wanted to stand outside) and we all sat around the kitchen table, drinking port having a lovely time until Mr. Rat decided to run in the kitchen from the back door we had opened.

                                                                                          One friend went running outside screaming her head off, another grabbed the kitchen mat and tried to guard the entrance way ensure it did not get the rest of the house, another friend is up on a chair screaming (he said he was giving directions to where Mr. Rat was at) the dog is running around crazy, the friend is still outside still screaming, my husband, myself and another friend are running around trying to “trap” Mr. Rat.

                                                                                          Well we finally got Mr. Rat trapped! The friend outside finally stopped screaming, but then we had to scream to the neighborhood not to call the cops, we all ready had one at the house….he was the one standing on the chair screaming!

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                            1. First dinner party hosted in college, roomie and I hadn't mastered the art of the roux yet, so when making the pasta sauce, we just kept throwing in handfuls of flour to thicken it, and then handfuls of cheese to try and overpower the flour flavor. Dinner took much much longer to bring to the table than we'd expected, so by the time we ate all of our guests (and us too) were completely obliterated on (cheap) wine. Eventually, we all thought that drinking the chocolate liquer we'd bought to go into the dessert fondue was a great plan -- many people got sick.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: chitodc

                                                                                                Chitodc, your dinner party story sounds awfully much like mine. Great (young, stupid) minds obviously think alike.

                                                                                                My best friend and I had travelled to Europe together the summer before. So sometime during the following year, we decided to have a dinner party. Our first ever. Brilliant menu plan: all the dishes we had loved during our travels. This basically boiled down to pasta carbonara and moussaka, neither of which we had ever tasted before this trip. We dragooned my friend's mother into making her famous cheesecake for dessert. I'm sure there was a salad in there somewhere. And probably garlic bread (because there's always garlic bread). So try to imagine how we all felt after eating egg-and-cheese heavy carbonara, oil-soaked eggplant layered with dense bechamel sauce, and then thick New York style cheesecake. Add to this picture your average 20-year-old's idea of wine (and how much of it to drink) and you can just imagine. One of the guests kept laughing at his own stupid jokes which then started everyone else hysterically laughing (because we were plastered) and that's when the emergency bathroom trips began.

                                                                                                That was almost 40 years ago. I can remember it like it was, er, only 25 years ago.

                                                                                              2. The time my husband, who was back then just my housemate, decided to bake pies in the middle of the night. Normally, I did the cooking for us, and I stored a few frying pans in the oven, separated by tea towels, so they wouldn't get scratched. His bedroom was downstairs, mine upstairs. Lying in bed, I detected a smoky smell, and figured, "he's cooking". The next morning, I found the oven raging at 500F, flour and pie preparation stuff everywhere, evidence of flames on the lip of the oven door, melted frypan handles, scorched tea towels, but no pie, and no housemate/husband. I screamed his name, and he came running. The explanation: I decided to go lie down while the oven preheated. My response: After all these years of living with yourself, you haven't figured out that if you go lie down on your bed in the middle of the night you'll fall asleep??? (Of course, I've had my share of teasing about fryingpans and tea towels in the oven, but, hey, they were never a problem for me...) Now that we're married, well, he's not living the bachelor life anymore, and that means no more midnight baking, hahaha.

                                                                                                1. Oh, and I have one more story about my husband, call it chapter 2. I always do the cooking, but once I mentioned I would really like it if he made me breakfast in bed. So, he did, the sweetheart that he is. Brought me up two rubbery, solid fried eggs. Didn't ask for a while after that, but one day I went on epicurious.com and did a search for a fried egg recipe. There was one!!! It uses a slow-cooking approach, wherein the pan is kept on a relatively low heat, a lid is put on top to cook the top of the yolk, but it is timed so it is not overdone. And it had four forks!!! A winner for sure. I printed it out for Hubby, and he went off to make me breakfast. The eggs were quite good!!! So, we went back to check the reviews on epicurious to see what people had actually said. There were two, one from a husband who was so grateful to have a recipe for fried eggs, so that "now, after 20 years of marriage, I can finally make my wife breakfast in bed." (I am paraphrasing.) The second, from a mother who was thrilled that now her seven-year-old can make breakfast. Hahahah, we had a good laugh. The recipe's still on the fridge.

                                                                                                  1. As a teenager I volunteered to make the family breakfast one Saturday morning. I found a recipe for puffy omelets I thought would be impressive. The recipe directed you to separate the eggs and "lightly" beat the whites before folding in the yolks. I grabbled a hand mixer and proceeded to beat those bad boys into stiff peaks The result was more Frisbee than omelets. It was so dense it wouldn't fold in half.

                                                                                                    We had scrambled eggs.

                                                                                                    1. as a child - attempting to reheat a plate of french fries in one of those pressed paper trays, right on top of the burner (nearly burned the kitchen down)

                                                                                                      probably my first attempt at a "dinner party" when i'd become interested in cooking around the age of 19-20. Decided to be all fancy-like and cook cornish hens, which I proceeded to nearly give my guests food-poisoning by serving them undercooked. I think i'd not defrosted them, as soon as they were cut into, they were raw in the centre. I think they went into the microwave and were still served.

                                                                                                      1. We use an RO DI unit for our water. We also keep fish, fresh and salt water. In the kitchen, we have two large barrels as reservoirs, one for fresh water (for my tank and cooking/drinking), one for the salt water. This morning, I had a brain fart and couldn't figure out WHY my coffee was SOOOOOOOO salty! I grabbed water from the wrong bin :P

                                                                                                        1. I was probably 10 years old and I was by-God going to make these huge, elaborate, Santa cookies from my mom's Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

                                                                                                          They were as big as a sheet of the magazine, probably 11 to 12 inches high and 6 or 7 across. So a BIG batch of dough...

                                                                                                          Got them out of the oven and they shattered on the cooling racks. I had forgetten to add the butter.

                                                                                                          Probably have had worse, but none more memorable.

                                                                                                          Taught me:
                                                                                                          - Read the recipe and RE read the recipe
                                                                                                          - Some recipes will fail
                                                                                                          - My mother is a saint....what a fit I threw....

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Monch

                                                                                                            I remember something similar from a long time ago. Pancakes were like stone. No baking powder, haha!!!

                                                                                                            1. re: Monch

                                                                                                              i've had a few...in my younger days...my mom and dad phoned and said they would be right over...being younger and more of a slob than i am now...my sink was full of dirty dishes...tupperware...casserole dishes etc...i thought...hmm...no time to do dishes so i will "hide" them in the oven...no prob...the next day i went to preheat the oven for something...oops...i forgot the stuff was in there...10 min or so after i turned the oven on...the kitchen started filling up with acrid smoke...wutta freakin mess!...
                                                                                                              another time...in one restaurant i worked at...the day shift cook asked me to monitor a turkey she put in the oven...i poked it with a meat thermometer after an hour or so and the temperature actually dropped...i pulled the bird out and let the outside cool to where i could handle it...i reach in and found all the gizzards still inside...i was scratchin my head...next day i asked her why she didnt empty the carcass...she said...i couldnt...it was frozen...

                                                                                                            2. Decided to make the Georgian chicken with walnut and garlic sauce I saw in the NYT (this was in the late '80's) for dinner for a friend of my husband's and his girlfriend (the freind and we had been in Taipei together, the GF not - apparently this rankled - they were visiting SF for a scholarly meeting). Going with the Soviet theme God only knows why, decided to make cold fruit soup to start (cranberry). I forget what the other dishes were, probably because the following befell us:
                                                                                                              1. During predinner drinks, the GF took the whiskey bottle out of the friend's hand and insisted we put it away (GF apparently not pleased that we had become good friends in Taiwan, and bonded over a dram or two from time to time). Set the tone.
                                                                                                              2. The fruit soup tasted like runny canned cranvberry sauce (it wasn't, but might as well have been).
                                                                                                              3. It was winter and our apartment in Berkeley was not terribly well heated, so cold soup followed by cold entrée was not quite the ticket.
                                                                                                              4. The Circassian chicken was dreadful: I had bought the garlic from a guy who was hawking bags of it on Market Street in SF and it was not the best - the massive quantity called for by the recipe chopped in the food processor and used raw gave the dish an appalling metallic/fishy taste.
                                                                                                              5. Friend and GF decamped very quickly after dinner after major pouting session on her part.
                                                                                                              It was a perfectly dreadful evening. But good for a laugh now.

                                                                                                              1. Adventures in Drunk Cooking--back in my twenties I came home from a long night of clubbing and decided I wanted french fries, so I got out the pan and the oil and put it on to heat. I went to the bathroom and passed out for about fifteen minutes and when I came out the oil was pouring off smoke. Undeterred, I slammed in a handful of frozen french fries--and the resulting fireball had me diving for cover. I ended up throwing the blazing pan out the window into the January snow. My landlady had quite the lecture for me the next day as she'd been up and saw the flaming pan go by.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                  You're not alone in this. My neighbour did the same thing - except that the fries were cooking when he fell asleep and he didn't throw the pan out the window (the house was on fire) - and almost burned his house down.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                    ohhh, this just reminded me of a college days disaster. However, I can't blame it on being drunk. I got up one morning before class and everyone else was left the apartment. We didn't have a toaster, so i'd decided to make some in the oven. Except I completely forgot about it (how I don't know) and went off to class, also leaving the dog at home (she was fine). The fire department showed up at that one, and my sister, who was one of my room-mates at the time, got called home from work. Ooops. Thankfully, no damage, just a LOT of smoke.

                                                                                                                    1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                      Yes, toast seems so innocuous, doesn't it. We have had problems with burnt toast setting off the electric smoke detector (that sends a signal to one of those security companies) and we weren't able to call fast enough to cancel the fire department... Also, microwave popcorn... that can turn into a whole whack of smoke in seconds... Luckily it was just a bit of toast, though, and not something with a little more fuel for the fire...

                                                                                                                  2. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                    This made me laugh out loud. Just picturing your landlady seeing a flaming pan fly out of the window into the snow is fantastic.

                                                                                                                    1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                      Drunk cooking story: I decided I'd make the fancy carrot cake mix form williams sonoma my aunt had bought me for x-mas when I got home from LOTS of beer. I just got home from vacation and only had blueberry yogurt in my fridge, so I used that instead of milk.

                                                                                                                      Very moist, but not a good combo AT ALL.

                                                                                                                    2. Back in the no-meat-on-Fridays era, I made tuna noodle casserole (my mom hated most fish with a passion--we alternated between fish sticks and tuna noodle). We sat down to eat and mom said "this tastes funny". I had forgotten the TUNA. So we ate mushroom soup and noodles for dinner!

                                                                                                                      1. I'd like to first say that this thread is making my morning.

                                                                                                                        When I was 18, I tried to impress a friend of mine with cooking by making an apple pie for the first time at her house. I had been successful with hot food, but before that had never baked a pie before. We also used a cake tin instead of a pie tin, out of necessity. When it came to sealing the pie, I did the best I could, put it in the oven straight on the rack, and we left to do other stuff.

                                                                                                                        Thirty minutes later, the sugar from the filling had oozed out of the pie, down the tin, and since we didn't put a cookie sheet or tray, onto the coils on the bottom.

                                                                                                                        A fire ensued (thankfully only in her oven). Her parents were not pleased. They moved it to the toaster oven to finish while they cleaned the original oven... but again in their/our haste, we forgot to put a tray underneath again.

                                                                                                                        And it caught on fire as well. (Again, thankfully only on the inside).

                                                                                                                        Since then, I've been scared of her dad.

                                                                                                                        1. I'm generally a fan of silicone kitchen gadgets for their heat-resistance, and for not scratching my non-stick cookware. So, for my first attempt at chipotle peanut brittle, I decided a non-stick pot and my favorite blue silicone spatula were the way to go. Everything was coming together nicely, and almost at the temp where you add the finishing touches, then pour it out to cool (295, if I remember correctly), when I noticed little strands of blue bubbling up from the bottom of the pot. My spatula was melting into the brittle. Fortunately, I thought quickly enough to dump the whole mess into a paper bowl so I could just throw it away when it cooled. Unfortunately, I was making the brittle for an event at work the next day, and the grocery store was already closed, so I ended up re-making it with about 7 of those single-serving packages of peanuts from the gas station...and a wooden spoon. :)

                                                                                                                          1. I added an entire jar of thai red curry paste to my thai chicken curry recipe I was making for my boyfriend. Might not sound awful but I had cut the recipe in half and so seriously the entire jar was about 6T+ too many...now we both like heat but our heads were on fire! The funny thing was we were both like, "Wow this is hot" after bite #1...then bite #2, "Really hot"....bite #3,and we were tearing up in agony! He was trying to act like it wasn't that bad... but he finally gave in! He still married me.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: care11

                                                                                                                              I did something similar the other night cooking green curry for my husband. I followed the directions, but it was way too hot (needed about double the coconut milk called for). Fortunately for me, it was too late for him to reconsider the whole marriage thing.

                                                                                                                              1. re: care11

                                                                                                                                I made a similar mistake with Shrimp and Chipotle in Adobo Sauce. Even after rinsing it 3 times it was still an inferno.

                                                                                                                              2. Boiling up a few carcases to make stock. Add a few spices and a bit of turmeric. I put it in the pressure cooker, pooped the lid on but didn't lock it up. Unfortunately it was just locked a little. My wife noticed I hadn't switched it on - she did that for me. Some time later I heard the chattering of the weight bouncing round on its little column of steam. It was a ceramic top, so I couldn't 'turn down the gas", but tried to slide it across to another ring holding the upper handle. The little nudge was enough to release the complete top...

                                                                                                                                The top flew up to the ceiling, cranking my wrist in the process. It ripped a hole in the ceiling drywall. The little weight vanished somewhere deep between the joists never to be see again. The bottom of the pan somehow smashed the ceramic top, embedding itself in the glass. Tiny shards were blown across the room.

                                                                                                                                And now the contents. They instantly exploded all over me, all over my walls, floor, ceilings, cupboards. I instantly sprayed the complete room yellow, apart from those areas that were in the shadow of the blast. For some reason I wasn't burnt even though I was covered with boiling liquid. And I wore glasses. But that was the total of the good news. In hindsight it reminds me of that scene where Mr Bean is painting his room. I'll have to go find it now....


                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                  OMG...at first I was horrified thinking that you were horribly disfigured with boiling stock. And then you had to bring up the mental image of Mr. Bean and his grand idea to paint his room. That is my all time favorite Mr. Bean skit!! Well, that one and the one where he is changing into his bathing trunks while on the beach. I still can't figure out how he did that..

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                    Best (and most horrifying) account of a kitchen disaster, ever.

                                                                                                                                  2. Several years ago my parents drove down from PA to Virginia Beach, my sister flew in as a surprise to all of us, my cousin and his wife were over and my sister-in-law and her girls were over for Easter dinner. I took the lemon merengue pie out of the oven and put the ham in to bake. Several hours later my sister asks if we should check the ham. I respond yes and we move to the oven. When I open the oven I realize it is cold as stone! I freak out inside while trouble shooting the problem. When I check the control I find that it is in the off position. A split second later I realize my mistake. When I took the pie out of the oven I automatically shut the oven off. Didn't even realize it. Thankfully I had started cooking the ham way too early. I turned the oven on and proceeded to bake the ham. It turned out beautiful, as most hams do and was done exactly when I wanted it to be. My cousin's wife will often tease me about this.

                                                                                                                                    1. Sigh, I wish I could say this happened years ago, but it happened yesterday. During the course of making vanilla ice cream, I poured the custard into the ice cream maker without first having put the frozen bowl into the machine. And I've made ice cream many times in this thing. I'm watching it, thinking, why isn't it churning? Then it hit me. In the end, husband salvaged the batch sans judgment or even playful ribbing while I ran around kitchen kicking myself. I love that guy.

                                                                                                                                      1. There are some great stories out there.

                                                                                                                                        My tales of disaster...had just moved into a brand new house with a brand new oven. Decided I wanted to make lemon squares one day and had just bought some new silicone bakeware that I wanted to test out. Was going really great, baked the shortbread bottom and pulled it out to pour the lemon curd on top. Picked it up to put it back in the oven and slosh slosh slosh...all over the floor, the open oven and all. Sizzling lemon smell all through the house and what a great way to christen the oven.

                                                                                                                                        Second story, had just moved to a new city with new roommates and all. Had a bunch of co-workers coming over for Christmas dinner, my contribution was this fabulous chocolate cake I had seen in Bon Appetit magazine. Cake turned out great and frosting was made but I couldn't frost the cake. The frosting kept melting off the cake because the house was way too warm from having the oven on for the entire day. Kept throwing it in the freezer but alas, finally gave up and just served it up with no frosting. Oh well, it still tasted great.

                                                                                                                                        Always fun!!!

                                                                                                                                        1. Not my story, but still very funny (actually, my piano teacher told me this one about one of her students a few years ago)

                                                                                                                                          So this young lady was oging to make a coffee cake. Apparently she didn't have much experiencewith coffee cakes (not that she wasn't a good cook, though). When my piano teacher tried it, she knew something had gone wrong. She politely made somne comment to the effect that it tasted a bit different from the coffee cake she was used to. The young lady who'd made it said that there'd been a mistake in the recipe: it had called for cinnamon instead of coffee, so she'd had to change it and had put ground coffee in it instead.

                                                                                                                                          1. I've got more of these stories that I thought!

                                                                                                                                            Homemade candy is ripe with opportunities for horrific disasters.

                                                                                                                                            I tried making molasses taffy once... WITHOUT a candy thermometer. Suffice to say that the first batch was still partly stuck to the pot the next day and the second batch was just about rock hard (but still edible, thank goodness).
                                                                                                                                            Another (later)time i was making turkish delight and I'd got my mom to help me with it since I needed to be stirring two pots at the same time and making sure neither one burned. One pot had a pectin solution and the other had a sugar syrup (I don't care if the recipe was authentic by the way because when I made it properly it was delicious!). When the sugar syrup started to turn golden, she thought she'd burned it and we took it off the heat immediately and promtly went to check online whether that was supposed to happen .Apparently it was, but the cookbook had failed to say anything about it. We started to heat it back up again... and burned it for real that time. Once again, we were cleaning it off the pot the next day after soaking it (somewhat unsuccessfully) overnight.

                                                                                                                                            Now being older and wiser, I have in my possession a fully functional candy thermometer. I do learn from my mistakes!

                                                                                                                                            1. I was in high school and decided to make fudge for a boyfriend.

                                                                                                                                              When I looked for "canned" milk, I thought it would be a good idea to splurge and get the expensive milk, becasue I wanted the candy to be extra good.

                                                                                                                                              Back at home, I mixed up the fudge ingredients and began stirring.

                                                                                                                                              My middle school brother who was a good cook came in and asked what I was doing, so I told him that I was making fudge and waiting for it to come to a boil. My brother looked at the giant ball of chocolate in the pan which was starting to scorch and told me that I should come get him if that ball started boiling.

                                                                                                                                              And, that is how I learned the difference between evaporated and condensed milk.

                                                                                                                                              1. We ignited an entire salmon in my sister-in-law's oven once.

                                                                                                                                                1. One disaster that comes to mind wasn't my doing but happened in my apartment by a visiting friend. I was getting ready for an invasion of several friends who were visiting from all over the country and had spent WEEKS prior cleaning the apartment and getting it spotless. The first visitor arrived a day ahead of everyone else and since both of us love baking, we decided to make a selection of cakes for the upcoming week. We're had loads of fun mixing up various batters and then I stepped out of my tiny kitchen for a minute for something. All of a sudden I hear a string of obscenities from the kitchen. I hurry back to see her standing by the oven, door open, and chocolate raspberry cake batter EVERYWHERE. Apparently she dropped it while trying to place the cake pan in the oven, and the pan landed right in the space where the oven door met the oven and then splattered.

                                                                                                                                                  I have to confess, it wasn't my proudest moment when I took one look and told her I refuse to clean that up. I just couldn't handle more cleaning. Especially not a mess of that scale. There was batter dripping from the open oven door to the floor below it, and batter burning in the oven. My poor friend spent the next quite a while cleaning the floor, the oven, and anywhere else the batter reached. The kicker? She was wearing a white hand knit blouse during all this and emerged from the mess without a speck of it on her clothing. I was in the kitchen only a few minutes after the batter explosion and several hours later in the day discovered I'd been going around all day with chocolate cake batter on the back of my shirt.

                                                                                                                                                  Oh.. and every time I used that oven after that I swore it smelled vaguely of chocolate cake in my kitchen, no matter what I was making.

                                                                                                                                                  1. I remembered another one...a couple of years ago, my husband and I hosted a poker tournament for about 10 of our friends in honor of his birthday. I had been cooking all day...a couple of dips, curried chicken salad wraps, a few other things I can't remember, and the piece de resistance - a triple layer banana cake with mascarpone frosting, completely from scratch. We were expecting our guests any minute, and I trust my husband's knife skills much more than my own, so I asked if he could cut the cake into 3 even slices while I whipped up the frosting...and when I got back to my cake, he had in fact cut it evenly...into thirds. I literally plopped down in the middle of my kitchen and cried for a moment before I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and thanked the culinary gods that frosting can double as glue. We don't cook together anymore...

                                                                                                                                                    1. New one for me. A week ago Sunday's cooking tip: When you're making the sauce for your main coursed, and you slip and drop your immersion blender, do not, I repeat, do NOT allow yourself to reflexively grab for it. Because those blades don't come to a dead stop.

                                                                                                                                                      1. My late father-in-law liked to cook in his retirement. He usually made desserts, and he liked to be creative, so everything would be the exact item with a lot of bonuses, like rice crispy treats with peanut butter and maybe butterscotch chips and icing, so that one bite was wonderful but we felt sick from too much sweet after half a serving.

                                                                                                                                                        Once he made a kind of eggplant casserole for dinner at their house. It was wonderful, eggplanty and tomato-saucy and cheesy. He sent us home lots of leftovers. I don't know whether we'd been eating the top layer at their house, or what, but the leftovers had 1. whole peppercorns and 2. what seemed like whole slices of white bread in there. what??

                                                                                                                                                        1. Years ago, my dear husband wanted to make Caesar Salad. He was working on the dressing when I heard him screaming from the kitchen, "How do you get this stupid egg in the water???" The instructions called for him to "put an egg in a spoon and gently lower it into a pot of boiling water." In his defense, the instructions did NOT say to keep the egg intact. It was a great sight to see him trying to keep the gloopy egg whites in that little spoon!