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What simple cooking mistake inspires disproportionate rage?

So I am finishing up my oven breakfast potatoes this morning. The away I do it, after the potatoes are crispy and 99% done, I take the pan out the oven and crack a couple eggs over the top before putting it back in the oven for another 2 minutes. Done right, this produces a pile of golden brown, crispy home fries with two over easy eggs on top. When it's time to eat you fork the eggs and the liquid yolk spills down into the potatoes.... there is no better breakfast.

Anyway I crack the eggs and immediately the raw yolks break apart and run all over the pan, turning the potatoes into a congealed mass. GODDAMMIT! I gotta say that breaking the egg yolks when I want to keep them whole is the kitchen mistake that drives me crazier than anything else. Maybe it's because it happens in the morning, when I'm usually already in a bad mood? Anyway, what are yours?

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  1. LOL. Can you have someone shoot video of you in action next time, all the way to the GODDAMIT?

    My simple mistake is overcooking something -- anything, and I will go into fits. 10,000 hours of cooking experience, and I still do it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kaysyrahsyrah

      Anything I put under the broiler just for a few seconds....and then forget about it!!! It makes me so crazy!! How can I forget about something that needs to be there less than a minute??

      1. re: julesincoq

        ha ha! Yeah, me too. I always set a timer now, even if it's just for 60 seconds, because I know I'll be too distracted to remember. In fact, 90% of the time when the timer goes off, I'll be startled, having already forgotten that I had set the timer, much less the reason for the timer!

      2. re: kaysyrahsyrah

        Kay, believe me it sounds more entertaining than it probably looks.

      3. Overcooked pasta bugs the piss out of me. Even a minute too much and I'm annoyed for the rest of the evening. I always time my pasta, just for a general idea of doneness, but sometimes forget to check the clock when I first get the pasta in the water, so the timings off, and when testing it, drop the hot test piece back into the water a few times before I get it into my mouth, so by the time all is said and done, it's overdone. Grrrh.

        1. Hahaha! I loved that story! With that out of the way, I have two things. When I'm cooking with someone else and they have really bad knife skills, and when they don't use a high enough flame for frying/sautéing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jemon

            I'm guilty of frying/sauteeing at low temps. I'm slowly but surely overcoming my fear of the flame, though, as I upgrade my cookware to stuff that can handle the heat. :D

            Personally, the thing that makes me lose it is cookies where the dough was too warm. It's never plainly obvious to me when the dough is too warm and you end up with a flat, greasy mess the exact size of a half-sheet pan rather than chewy chocolate chip goodness. And by the time you realize the mistake has been made, it's far, far too late to do anything about it. :P

            1. re: Jemon

              Yup, the worst for me is definitely putting something in the pan and realizing the pan isn't hot enough.

            2. Another morning thing. I have a habit of inverting my breakfast plate over a burner (electric) and turning it on high for about 15 seconds. The residual heat from the burner warms the plate perfectly and keeps it warm 'till the eggs are ready. Being of an advanced age, I occasionally forget to turn the burner off. The sound of an exploding 10" piece of pottery 6" from where you're stirring your scrambled eggs will scare the crap out of you!

              6 Replies
              1. re: SonyBob

                THAT is FUNNY....!

                You win the contest! '-)

                1. re: SonyBob

                  Ouch! That's dangerous! You using gas, electric, etc etc? I have a vintage gas stove, so I put my plates in the oven when I start cooking because it sits at about 110F from the pilot.

                  1. re: Jemon

                    Electric - I hate it but the wife wins. No pilot light in the oven but usually a warm element with the plate inverted over (but not touching) works okay but it's a real waker-upper when I forget to turn off the burner and the whole thing goes nuclear!

                    1. re: SonyBob

                      Bob, assuming you have microwave, here's a trick that is MUCH safer! Dampen a paper towel until very moist but not dripping. Spread it over the surface of your plate and nuke for 30 to 45 seconds, depending on your microwave. Voila! A warm to hot plate and no explosions! And you;ll have a complete set of china a lot longer too. '-)

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Caroline, if Bob is anything like me, that's WAY too much work. But a good suggestion nonetheless.

                        1. re: Jemon

                          I just MW two plates for about 30 seconds. They're not truly warm but that takes the chill off.

                2. i'm with kaysyrahsyrah. overcooking (or over-baking) something *pisses me off* to no end. it doesn't happen that often, but when it does, i let the expletives fly!

                  1. about 20% of the time I cook rice I either burn the bottom or it ends up overcooked and mushy. I don't really understand how when I use the exact same proportion/method every time and 80% of the time it turns out fine... I'm convinced that my gas burners "low" setting is sometimes actually hotter than others.

                    stupid $*%&ing rice.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: CarmenR

                      Ha, ha, yeah, blame it on the rice! I blame the overcooked pasta every time...

                      1. re: CarmenR

                        Screwing up the rice drives me crazy! I bought a stainless steel chef's pot (with the rounded bottom) and it has a glass lid. Best thing in the world. You can see if it is simmering properly and when it has absorbed the water without lifting the lid. A small but very satisfying luxury.

                        1. re: cajundave

                          The glass lid was the key for me. Although mine is just a cheapy pan.

                          1. re: just_M

                            Almost every time I made rice from 14 until age 24, I burnt the stupid stuff! I ruined three pots. I even burnt rice in a rice cooker - following the directions exactly! I finally can make rice now, but it intimidates me still.

                        2. re: CarmenR

                          I always use one of those cast iron diffusers to keep the rice at a very low simmer

                        3. Very funny story, BUT... Serves you right for not breaking the eggs into a custard cup first!!! '-)

                          The above is meant as a gentle suggestion. Things that bug the bejeesus out of me in the kitchen? Someone sitting at the island chatting with me as I cook (my cook top is in the island) and reaching over and stirring something, or taking the lid off a pot to peek inside. Things like that. If I need help, I will ASK, and then ONLY do what I ask. I know a certain someone who must sit at the breakfast table instead of at the island.

                          The other thing that bugs the hell out of me (in spades!) is empty cartons/containers that people put back and then I think have something in them until I NEED it and all I have is AIR! If someone has a glass of milk and there's only 2 Tbsp left in the damned carton, DRINK it or TOSS it,! Don't put it back in the fridge for me to pour over cereal in the morning, then that's all the milk in the whole house.. I HATE it when that happens!

                          I'm not really cantankerous. Just grouchy about some things... '-)

                          17 Replies
                          1. re: Caroline1

                            I agree with you on those things. We had a guy living in the house for a while who was very helpful in many ways but he always interfered with my cooking (taking off the lid, stirring, turning the heat up, down, or off) without asking or telling me about it. Drove me crazy.

                            And the empty carton thing also bugs the hell out of me. Don't put an empty cereal or cracker box back on the counter or I will think we still have those things. Break the damn box down and put it into the recycling container. Don't leave two ounces of milk in the gallon container and put it back into the fridge just so you can pretend you don't have to go buy more milk!

                            Also grouchy about some things. ;-)

                            1. re: Caroline1

                              Caroline1, I will do it tomorrow morning. Eggs into saucer, then from saucer to oven pan. Thanks for the hint.

                              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                Okay. Did you do it? If you did, you have an excellent chance of living happily ever after! '-)

                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  Yep, no breakage today. I think I will always do this from now on.


                                  1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                    Hey! I wish at least one of my husbands had taken suggestions as good spritedly as you. Good on! Tell your spouse/lover/partner/puppy I said you're a keeper! '-)

                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      Husbands??? Plural??? What, they left one too many empty milk cartons in the fridge and you HAD to whack them??

                                      Too funny!!!

                                      1. re: Livingtoeat

                                        The empty milk cartons were nothing compared to the booze filled husbands! They both refused to try running on empty.

                                  2. re: Caroline1

                                    I was wondering how to do that. I THOUGHT it might have something to do with the incredible edible egg.

                                2. re: Caroline1

                                  Nicely phrased on all paragraphs C1 and jfood is right there next to you on them.

                                  Another one is grabbing a piece of meat while jfood is carving. One of jfood's college roommates received a bit of a cut the thrid time he tried one night (hey the stupidity of youth).

                                  Add another one. Jfood has a picture in his mind how theplate should look. Please do not start throwing food on the plate like a pot luck dinner when it is a sit-down plated event. Jfood got it covered, has a pretty good idea on how much food he has in his serving-mind, no your husband does NOT deserve 3 strip steaks when there are eight steaks for eight people. Want to take plates to the table? Jfood bows to that assistance, thank you.

                                  Jfood is sure there are others but 7am, sweaty and only 1/2 cup of coffee

                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                    Oh, I'm with you Caroline! If there's less than a full serving of (insert item: milk, juice, wine, booze, mustard, soy sauce) in the name of all things Holy please, please remove the empty container, replace it with a full one (or, absent one available, write it clearly on the grocery list hanging from the clipboard in the kitchen).

                                    In a professional restaurant, it's downright offensive when I find a bottle of by-the-glass wine with about two ounces in it. Why should *I* be the one who has to whip out the corkscrew and open another bottle?

                                    And what's so difficult about opening another box of (salt, sugar, bar sugar, frosting sugar)? Don't leave me hangin' on, is all I wanna say...

                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      Yes to #2, definitely! I hate barely wetting the cereal.

                                      As #1 goes, when I was little, about 10 or so, I saw a pot on the stove and thought I'd help my mom out and stir it. I was so proud of myself. She lost it because it was tofu she had been making and that's a few days process from the beans. Oops.

                                      1. re: chowser

                                        Oooops! Your #1 sounds like what my mom used to call a "Hug or Slug Moment." Those times when mothers want to do both. '-)

                                      2. re: Caroline1

                                        I'm so with you about the almost-empty containers. Especially with liquor . . . chances are, it's expensive, so I get plenty annoyed. And when I go to make myself a drink, I usually already NEED one . . . then to find a teaspoon left in the bottle . . . grrrr.

                                        1. re: guilty

                                          Yeah, I just poured the last two sips from a bottle of wine. Hate that.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            Yes, lol, an empty bottle of wine gets to me also, even if I'm the one that emptied it.

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              And who was it who left just two sips in the bottle? That's almost worse than emptying the bottle.

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                LOL, one of the kids. I asked them to pour me a glass before and have taught them what a serving is. They poured me a glass and left the rest. So, I can't blame them.

                                        2. I hate when I let a frying pan get a bit too hot and my butter browns/burns. Don't get me wrong, brown butter can be great...but not with everything :s

                                          Now I usually mix a bit of olive oil in with the butter to prevent this from happening, because it drives me nutso.

                                          5 Replies
                                            1. re: lainekerr

                                              or when there's garlic involved with the butter. argh. Yes and I do the drop of oil mix too, and I still ended up throwing it all out. I know my kids, if there was a smidgeon of burnt garlic in their fresh sauteed spinach they'd never shut up. Easier to start over, but while alone the cursing was definitely going on.

                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                I know I should just turn off the heat under the pan when I realize it's taking me too long to chop my garlic, but I hate waiting. So inevitably, I throw my garlic in too-hot-oil and it instantly browns and then burns. :o(

                                                Conversely, I hate it when I haven't let the oil heat up long enough and the garlic just sits there in a pool of oil until my stove heats up. Even worse when this happens with fried eggs. By the time the pan and oil are hot enough to crisp the edges of the egg, the eggs have already completely cooked and risks overcooking. A girl just can't win, can she?

                                                1. re: soypower

                                                  I'll take all your cooked, non-crispy-edged eggs, thanks. that's my preferred style :)

                                                  1. re: soypower

                                                    Ditto to the either burning the garlic cause the pan was hot 5 minutes ago, or the not waiting long enough then restraining yourself from fishing the garlic out of the oil pool.

                                              2. Ooh, yeah, egg things piss me right off. I've *forgotten* about poached eggs a time or two, just walked away from the stove and come back to rubbery, sulfury, inedible crap instead of the beautiful unctuous breakfast I'd planned.

                                                Burning bread under the broiler is another of mine. Or burning bread at all, especially if it's lovely homemade bread that you slaved over.

                                                I've overcooked a REALLY expensive steak a time or two, and that definitely sends me into rage-blackout territory. BAAAAAAHHHH!!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: LauraGrace

                                                  Totally!! I think burning bread is up there for me. Just wanting it a little brown under the broiler and forgetting to turn on the timer OR setting the toaster higher b/c last bread toasted was higher in whole wheat then putting my whiter floured bread in and it being almost black when it pops up. I swear if I didn't have my little one the F bombs coming out of my mouth would be obscene!

                                                2. I whine when I burn the pine nuts or croutons as I am toasting them. Just annoys me tremendously!

                                                  12 Replies
                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                    I am guilty of burning too many pans of nuts - it pisses me off to no end.

                                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                                        me too. Nuts are expensive, once burnt taste nasty, and you have to hope that you have enough extra to start again! Plus, it totally screws up the timing of preparing the dish. _phew_

                                                        I didn't realize until this moment just how upset I get!

                                                          1. re: lynnlato

                                                            and I stand there and watch them and stir them because I know how easily they burn, and then I get bored, decide they'll be OK, turn away, and boom! they are burnt!

                                                            1. re: Bigley9

                                                              Wow, I have a lot of company. Can't count the number of times I have thrown out nuts.

                                                              1. re: Bigley9

                                                                It's like they are watching you, refusing to turn brown for hours on end until that five-second period when you glance away. Then they go from snow-white to coal-black in an instant. Evil, evil nuts.

                                                                1. re: Bigley9

                                                                  My problem is that they never brown, they never brown so I start easing the temp up and then, oh shit, they're TOO brown.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    Upside to having a tree nut allergy. It has been a long time since jfood burned his nut. :-))

                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                        If you'd like to relive the sensation, try toasting shredded coconut. It's almost as evil!

                                                                2. re: smtucker

                                                                  Oh, yes, to the pine nuts. First I think they're never going to get toasted. So I'm easing the heat up a smidge at a time and before I know it (sometimes) they past the point of no return.

                                                                3. lol truly, broken yolks can spoil any breakfast and then what kind of day can you have?? things that drive me up a kitchen wall:
                                                                  broken aioli/hollandaise! an expensive mistake!
                                                                  burning nuts or spices when toasting them-also expensive and the smell will remind you of it for a while.
                                                                  knocking over the olive oil cruet mid-sautee, holy slippery mess!
                                                                  and the one that really messes up my whole day- over salting a dish, after all that work (and by then i'm starving) i have to pucker up and force it down!
                                                                  great topic RMJ!

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: sarabean

                                                                    This thread is bringing up so many painful memories! :D

                                                                    My wife wanted some cookies to take into work a couple days ago, and I wasn't feeling particularly inspired (nor did I want to run to the store for anything not in the pantry), and so I decided to just make plain ol' nestle's chocolate chip cookies. What could go wrong? Somehow, and I swear I followed that recipe to a T just as I have a dozen times before, I oversalted the cookies. Like, really badly oversalted them.

                                                                    I *almost* sent them with her with instructions to say that they were chocolate-covered pretzel cookies ("the pretzels are ground up in the dough, honest!")...but I decided to just make another batch with the other bag of chips - and with half the salt that the recipe called for, just in case. The second batch tasted fine. :D

                                                                    1. re: sarabean

                                                                      Eggs are a huge frustration for me. I can never seem to get soft boiled eggs consistent, can't get poached eggs to stay intact, and I've read and tried (numerous times) all the suggestions.
                                                                      In any event, I actually "adapted" my broken yolk problem into a "new" way of cooking eggs that satisfies both me and my husband (he prefers scrambled, I like over-medium, poached, soft boiled, stuff with runny yolks).
                                                                      So when making breakfast, by the time I get to the eggs (after the potatoes, toast, bacon, chasing the cat back to the bedroom, etc.), I'm usually frazzled and can never seem to get my yolks to stay intact for a flip. So now I just start them as I would for sunny side up, cook the whites and pierce the yolks at the very last minute and give them one quick stir, allowing them to cook only slightly, basically on residual heat as I get it to the plate. I end up with "marbled" eggs that still have a distinctive yolky taste for me but the scrambled texture for my husband.

                                                                      1. re: Mestralle

                                                                        I'd say you've made lemonade out of lemons, but that just confuses things. Good solution, in any case!

                                                                        1. re: Mestralle

                                                                          tip for consistent soft boiled eggs: steam them! I wait until I get a good boil, put the eggs in the steamer basket, set the timer. I like mine at 8 minutes.
                                                                          For me this is more consistent that boiling water, and the shells are never damaged.

                                                                      2. Overcooked steaks or overcooked prime rib really bugs the out of me. On second thought, I don't think that would qualify as 'disproprtionate rage' because I believe it's completely justified and proportionate to be enraged at that violation done to the beef.

                                                                        1. This is all so recognizable.

                                                                          Separating eggs: even after so much cooking experience I still often ask my girlfriend to do this for me.

                                                                          Last week, I (tried) to make hollandaise sauce only to have it go bad at the very last moment after I put a little wine vinegar in. Having said that, the reason I did not use any lemon was because my girlfriend didn't think it was necessary to always have some lemons around when doing the groceries. (another mild irritation).

                                                                          Perhaps, what has not been mentioned yet, I sometimes try and do too much while cooking. Just this week I was making broccoli and sausage, and I thought, while I'm a it why don't I make some vegetable stock with all the leftover vegetables. As I was making the stock, my broccoli dish had already finished, and by the time I finished the stock to cook further on the stove my broccoli was overcooked!

                                                                          1. I roast A LOT of green chiles and poblanos in the oven broiler to blister and then to peel them, usually as I'm cooking supper. I hate it when, due to multi-tasking, or even worse take a break and scan chowhound, I forget about them and really char one side of the chiles, ruining them and making them unpeelable on one side. Grrrrr.

                                                                            1. #1 - Ignoring the telltale signs that my pizza isn't going to slide right off my peel and ending up with my toppings landing on the pizza stone before the dough.

                                                                              #2 - Not moving fast enough to at least salvage some of the above mess and turn it into an "ugly calzone".

                                                                              #3 - Overcooked bacon. Especially when I'm doing it "low and slow" in the oven.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                                                Pizza sticking to the peel is the worst. Especially being the dough I use slow rises in the fridge for three days, so I've invested three days and all i have to show for it is a bunch of scorched cheese and sauce on my ripping hot pizza stone.

                                                                                1. re: ESNY

                                                                                  Agree on the pizza sticking. I hate when it looks great on the peel, you pull in the oven, and even if only a small part sticks, you still get a big mess.

                                                                                  1. re: ESNY

                                                                                    I rage on this one too. So now I cheat. I use parchment paper with cornmeal on the peel. MOST of the time my pizza lands on the stone without the paper. Yay! But for the few times it doesn't -- well pizza saved, if not exactly the way I want it. And so far, no flaming paper. Scorched, but not afire. Yet...

                                                                                  2. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                                                    Uugh, I HATE over cooked bacon. Makes me sooo angry. Hubby will eat it any way but, for me when I only want one slice for my breakfast it's like a complete bust when it's so crispy it taste burnt.

                                                                                  3. Too much liquid all at once in old Sunbeam Mixmaster = liquidy batter flying around the kitchen and sticking to all the walls!

                                                                                    Burning the bottoms of the cookies is another very, very infuriating moment.

                                                                                    1. Good topic.

                                                                                      Over-salting something sends me into a complete rage. I want to throw the pot, pan, dish, whatever, out the window when I realized I've killed the final product.

                                                                                      This isn't per se a cooking mistake, but it sends me into a rage when my husband uses EVERY pot, dish, utensil, in the kitchen when he cooks. There is no need to get out 3 separate measuring cups, when 1 will do. Even if he does the clean up, I have to stay away from the kitchen when he cooks, because seeing the mess drives me insane.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: mrgdess

                                                                                        When we first lived in Norway, I kept our salt & sugar in unlabled Nescafe jars. I got them switched once when making sweet & sour cod. The salt & sour cod was totally inedible. The only thing to do was to laugh.

                                                                                        1. re: mrgdess

                                                                                          Yeah...my roommate does this. She is an adult but for some reason does not feel the need to clean up after herself(after using every kitchen item we have). I'm not sure why she thinks it's ok when 2 other people live in the house who a. do not want to look at her mess, and b. do not appreciate having to wash dishes in order to use them.

                                                                                          1. re: Fromageball

                                                                                            And when you tell her that it's unacceptable, what is her reply?

                                                                                        2. Failing to read a new recipe (or an old one that I haven't used in a while) slowly and thoroughly before beginning and then finding mid-way through that I'm missing an ingredient or a tool or that I've skipped a step. How hard is to to read first, cook later? Apparently too hard for me. Maybe I have ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyper-Cooking Disorder.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: mandycat

                                                                                            Going along with this one: The recipes that hide ingredients in the instructions. I don't understand why after listing ingredients at the top of a recipe, the author feels the need to insert additional ingredients into the recipe.

                                                                                            1. re: viperlush

                                                                                              Aww, I'm really guilty on that one. I'm the kind who reads a recipe through before setting everything out; so I just assume everyone else is like this. But I stand corrected, viperlush, and will change my style to the classic one you (and I'd hazard a guess lots of other 'hounds) adhere to.

                                                                                              1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                I don't know why, but when preparing my shopping list I don't read the recipe all the way through only the ingredient list, but when I go to set everything out and before I start cooking I do.

                                                                                              2. re: viperlush

                                                                                                I have this great cookie recipe that I stole from martha stewart and modified, and it calls for rolling the balls of dough in sugar before baking. Martha includes the quantity of sugar for rolling the dough with the quantity of sugar used in the dough. I'm the kind of person that scans a familiar type recipe once and then assembles the ingredients how they're always assembled (cookies are pretty simple) and more than a couple times, I've included way too much sugar because of the incorrect measurement in the ingredients list!!!

                                                                                              3. re: mandycat

                                                                                                Completely agree, when I don't read the recipe... I hate preheating the oven for something, and then realizing that it has to chill before baking. It's worse because I know it's all my fault :)

                                                                                              4. I have a few:

                                                                                                -overcooking soft-boiled eggs. it breaks DH's heart
                                                                                                -oversalting or overseasoning a dish I've put a lot of work into. I did this recently with a pastitsio "bolognese" I made a couple weeks ago---forgot how strong dried thyme is compared to fresh. I had to rise the meat in a colander and start over. thank god I had extra canned tomatoes on hand. I was getting cocky about what a great cook I thought I was, so this put me back in my place.
                                                                                                -making careless messes in my kitchen, from knocking over the entire container of toothpicks all over the floor, dusting the countertops with flour, or forgetting not to lift the immersion blender too high, splattering the entire kitchen. You name it; I've done it. Most recently, I flew into a rage after accidentally shattering the glass shelf in our (rented) fridge. Not good.

                                                                                                Lessons: don't get too big for your cooking apron; shake it off and move on.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                  I'm right there with you, the deceptive lightness of the salt shaker, the hands that move faster than my eyes, and the immersion blender . . . I'm going good, taking my time, getting in a groove, and then I have a face spattered with hot marinara (that was last week, when I also decided the oven-baked meatballs needed *just one more minute* and failed to set a timer).

                                                                                                  For me, the harder the kitchen task, the easier it is to shake off a failure. Those are learning lessons. The mistakes that make me shut everything off and stomp to the deck for a 'moment' are the ones that are so simply avoided. The over-flowing coffeepot because I failed to measure the beans correctly, the onions caramelized to a crisp, the thinking 'This just needs another minute' and then WALKING AWAY.

                                                                                                  Those meatballs looked good too, before I burned them.

                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                    That reminds me, I think coffee grounds spilled all over the floor pisses me off the most. I don't even get to drink the coffee!

                                                                                                    Burning onions is another good one.

                                                                                                  2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                    "I was getting cocky about what a great cook I thought I was, so this put me back in my place."

                                                                                                    Such a great line. Made me chuckle. I'm sure true for many of us...

                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                      A few months ago, I grabbed the cocoa powder by the top and the lid came off in my hand, sending cocoa flying all over the pantry as the container tumbled to the ground. In a carpeted area right off my kitchen. That was an epic one.

                                                                                                      I once blew up an eggplant in the oven because I forgot to prick it. I was so mad at myself I couldn't deal with it. I left the mess for the next day and just walked out of the kitchen.

                                                                                                    2. i should never cook when i'm sleep-deprived and also trying to rush. once i put vegetables into the food processor to chop finely, and poked my wooden spoon in there while it was still on. i was so mad that i decided we could eat bits of wood and anyone who commented on splinters in the sauce would get socked in the face. i'm just lucky that i didn't stupidly try to push the vegetables around with my finger.

                                                                                                      1. Overcooking steak, especially as I eat it infrequently and so splurge when I do buy it. Overcooking burgers is a close second, although the pain is lessened by the cost difference.

                                                                                                        Burning anything under the broiler, but especially bread---and especially if I have to run to the store for more while people are waiting to eat.

                                                                                                        1. At work, usually my chef makes my dinner. Every week, at least once, however, I enjoy cooking one of our prime steaks for myself.

                                                                                                          More often than not, I'll have perfectly marinated the steak, and probably stuffed it with blue cheese. One side of the meat's already done (I use a Japanese teppan-yaki to griddle my steak) because I've poured myself a Scotch or a glass of wine and am sauteeing mushrooms and onions right next to the steak.

                                                                                                          Then the phone rings. It's almost always some thoughtless vapor-head with foolish questions that could be easily answered by consulting our website... or even better, using common sense. (Example: "is the bar still open?" a: yes, 'cause I bothered to answer the phone and it's only 10:00 on a Friday night) Then they go on... "do you serve [insert name of drink]?" Yes, we do. we serve nearly all of 'em. "Can we eat at the bar?" Yes, but not any more tonight 'cause the kitchen's closed. "Why is that?" (see what I mean...)

                                                                                                          Because I focus on the needs of *all* of my customers whether rational or irrational, the steak slips from my consciousness, no matter how simple the question.

                                                                                                          I return to the griddle to find onions, mushrooms and steak that are extra-well-done on one side and all but raw on the other. Then, the dilemma... how long should I cook the un-done side when I've got a steak that's half pot-roast and half tartare? (In case you're wondering, no, I cannot expect my staff to interrupt their closing/clean-up procedure to occasionally check on my own personal meal).

                                                                                                          Sometimes I'm so disgusted I whip up a little melted butter and say a prayer of thanks to Julia Child's spirit. Even cardboard would be palatable with enough butter on it...

                                                                                                          When I was growing up, we couldn't afford steak. And I thank God that today, I can have a steak for dinner once in a while. I would never throw out a steak that I'd personally over-cooked. So I gotta tell you, I've eaten some pretty incinerated pieces of meat...

                                                                                                          Finally, the other thing that really irks me is when I salt my food while it's cooking, and then fail to *taste* it and yet I salt it again 'cause I've forgotten. Boy, have I eaten some saline-style veggies, soups and salads 'cause of that.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                            Seriously Shaogo - Good story! Sorry for the loss but glad that you didn't waste the meal.

                                                                                                            My biggest pissed-off-id-ness is when I burn the garlic toast when I'm serving the salad and starting to plate the spaghetti and sauce. It's usually the fire alarm that alerts me and I always feel that I've ruined the whole meal.

                                                                                                            1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                              I find I cannot live w/out the little Polder timer; it's attached to a cord you can hang around your neck, if you wish. Everyday, I time my tea leaves for 4 minutes.


                                                                                                              It's $15 (I think I paid $20 a couple years ago). I had to order mine from Amazon because I never found it in any cookware store -- and I live in big city of San Francisco. I saw them using it on America's Test Kitchen.

                                                                                                              Anyway, I really love it.

                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                I'm going to look into that. My timer shuts off after one minute; I continue to be shocked how I could miss that weakly-urgent sound from the other end of my long apartment.

                                                                                                                But I would probably keep leaving the timer by the stove, cord and all. But my people are always looking for under-twenty-dollar kitchen gadgets for me (given my usual Christmas haul), and I really don't need another set of shrimp forks.

                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                  It's easy enough to hang around your neck; if you don't like to do that, hopefully, you can stick it into a shirt pocket. When I make tea, I don't leave the kitchen since it's only 4 minutes.

                                                                                                            2. re: shaogo

                                                                                                              This happens to me too, those darn customers who keep you on the phone. Just burnt a pot of curry the other day, and forced myself to eat it anyway so I will remember next time to always turn off whatever I'm cooking when the phone rings. The calls are always longer than you think they will be, never fails.

                                                                                                            3. Overcooking my fried eggs, deciding the 25 cents is expendable and tossing them out and then overcooking THE SECOND SET immediately afterwards. I've done that about four or five times. Now I see it as a sign from the kitchen gods that I just need to get over it and eat that first damn set of rubbery eggs because I'm not going to be any better at it that particular morning.

                                                                                                              1. The flip.

                                                                                                                90+ percent of the time, I'll turn hash browns, eggs, a steak, or whatever by just flicking the pan. And 90+ percent of the time, it works just fine. All it takes is two seconds of undivided attention.

                                                                                                                But every once in a while, I'll start the motion and then glance away or wonder whether the coffee's ready or think about a phone call I need to make. And every. single. time. some or all of the food ends up on the stove. Two seconds. Why can't I just pay attention for TWO SECONDS? GAAAAHHH!!!

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                  Oh, I'm with you alanbarnes.

                                                                                                                  I'm such a klutz I've basically given up on the wrist-flick technique of turning a saute pan's contents (except when there're people watching and I feel compelled to show-off). In that case, I concentrate a lot but still manage to slop things up a bit...

                                                                                                                2. Can I just say all of the above, especially overcooking food. Not just overcooking food but when I've scorched it so the pans are hard to clean because nothing is harder to clean than scorched pans.

                                                                                                                  1. When it comes to cooking, and things don't turn out "just right" or the way that I wanted, I too, would get all worked up and fly into a rage.

                                                                                                                    Maybe that's why I am taking blood-pressure medication now !!!

                                                                                                                    Don't let small, minor things get to 'ya ! Most culinary mistakes are still edible, so learn from the experience and try to improve next time around. With age comes wisdom. I'm a lot calmer these days, but I still can't do anything to "perfecton".....still usually make a boo-boo, or two!!!

                                                                                                                    1. living with a teen or just out of teens is my bugbear. I just went to make eggs for my breakfast this morning and 20 yo daughter has gone through a dozen eggs since last sunday night. How can she eat so many eggs in less than a week!!? And time and time again we have had the conversation - replace what you eat. Her clean washed dishes are always on the drainer, her half opened tofu spills into the fridge and barely anything left in the rice bag, cereal boxes, milk cartons are in the pantry and fridge.

                                                                                                                      Anyone want a part trained 20 year old medical student? Free to good home - hell I'll even pay someone!

                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: smartie


                                                                                                                        Go to Flakowitz, buy 2 bagels, 1/4 pound novey, 2 herring filets with cream sauce and some cream cheese. And 2 of the chocolate babka "cupcakes." Go home, make the novey-bagels, have some herring, a babka and a cup of coffee. Then go to that hardware store and buy a lock and chain. On the way home go to a pharmacy (jfood thinks there are one or two in SE FL) and buy a birthday card. Go home, take the chain and lock the fridge closed. Take the b'day card, write a nice saying inside, put DD name on front and leave on the table.

                                                                                                                        Your daughter will think you have lost it and ask you if everything is OK. Then you have that chat with her and tell her the issue and she is causing you to lose it. A Med-In-Training may then understand. If not at least you had a good breakfast and a good story for the poker game.

                                                                                                                        Good luck.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                          jfood, that is the single most hilarious thing I've ever read on Chow.

                                                                                                                          We don't have kids, but there are lots of my wife's relatives in the house. I'm going to the Home Depot right now to buy a lock and some chains, not only for the fridge but for some of the kitchen cabinets, too!

                                                                                                                          And while I'm at it I may hire "Merry Maids" or "Polly Pop-Ins" and then put the bills in my relatives pay envelopes...

                                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                            sigh if only that will work! we are moving at the end of August and DD is NOT coming (she only asked to move in for 3 weeks when transferring from Tallahassee it will be 8 months when she finally leaves). I am counting the weeks - 11.

                                                                                                                            Meanwhile hubby and I are going to the Keys next weekend for a well deserved break.

                                                                                                                            1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                              Be careful of leaving for any length of time. We hosted my niece every weekend while she was taking classes (in her mid 30's). She had her own room with bathroom, and the only thing we asked of her when we went out of town for R&R once on Friday to Sunday at the beach was no strangers in the house. We came home to find she not only had a bunch of friends over (left take-out pizza boxes on the counter, pop and beer cans galore), but every bed in the house had been slept in (including ours) and didn't bother to make any beds! (And, they didn't even leave a slice of pizza)!

                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                That's cold behavior, especially not leaving any pizza! I would have at least cleaned up, believe me.

                                                                                                                        2. I just made hash for dinner last night - and broke my yolk. I'm right there with you, and this was my first thought when I read your title.

                                                                                                                          Even worse? Knowing if I cracked my eggs into a bowl like I *usually* do, I'd have had my perfectly over-medium egg yolk oozing over everything.

                                                                                                                          Also, overcooking bacon. I've made about 49,435 pieces of bacon in my life. I'm pretty good at it. WHY do I walk away right as it's about to be perfect?

                                                                                                                          1. Can I post another? This one is not a common mistake but the rage factor is so high that I think it deserves to be here. Hungover breakfast today. Missing the restorative powers of Midwestern diner food in China I decided to make sausage gravy over toast. Brown ground pork in the iron pan, add plenty of sage, black pepper, and thyme, then toast flour in the pork grease, so far so good. Open a new milk packet and pour it in the pan, stirring to thicken.

                                                                                                                            Wow this looks great. It's thickening really nicely. Maybe too nicely. Wait a minute what the hell? Why is it so thick already, it usually takes some simmering... and why does it smell like vanilla? I read the characters on the milk label a little more closely and it's not milk it's CHINESE YOGURT

                                                                                                                            Dry toast on a hungover morning. If hunger is the best sauce well then pure anger must surely be the worst.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                              Chinese yogurt comes in packets? I'm too intrigued to feel sorry for you, here in the Midwest, where I, four days ago, made my hung-over boyfriend a breakfast sandwich of medium scrambled eggs (I fold them perfectly for cohesiveness), bacon, and sharp Wisconsin cheddar on a toasted everything bagel from NY Bagel and Bialy.

                                                                                                                              Of course, the bacon on which package I read something like 'maple-hard-wood-smoked-genuine' was really 'maple flavored'. Maple 'flavored' bacon. Is that the Midwest you're missing?

                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                Onceadaylily, you are a good girlfriend. Yogurt does come in plastic packets over here. The consistency is about as liquid as heavy cream, therefore it can be mistaken for milk at first glance.

                                                                                                                                1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                  Ah, I see. When you said 'packet' I immediately thought the yogurt was a dry mix, akin to powdered milk. I thought that the Chinese had found a way to make a yogurt powder that could make 'real' yogurt with the simple addition of a liquid. I had visions ordering online and being able to make taziki just by adding water.

                                                                                                                                  I feel a little silly right now. Instant taziki? Why would I even want it?

                                                                                                                              2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                Hmmm. That reminds me of a situation not too long ago for my better half. I refuse to make biscuits and gravy and so when we were out and about the other morn he decides we will be hitting the diner and that he will be having a full plate of b&g. It came. it was sweet. Like sugary sweet. Never has a man displayed such a downtrodden puss. The only thing that could cheer him was my ordering him a plate of bacon.

                                                                                                                              3. Flipping eggs in my little saute pan - they fly up in the air and... land on the burner. Nummy breakfast kaput at the mere flick of an overly confident - nay - cocky wrist.

                                                                                                                                A metaphor for life.

                                                                                                                                1. The minute in the broiler always gets me!

                                                                                                                                  But the thing that really gets my dander up is when the SO makes the coffee the previous morning but forgets to mention we are out of coffee until I try to make some the next morning. That, and having the french press coffee maker spurt coffee through the spout when pressing down. Coffee all over the counter! And down the white cabinets! UGH!

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                    I use a French press - beware and a good lesson, do not push plunger when the other hand is not holding the pot handle. I once got a nasty burn on my hand when boiling hot coffee went whoosh out of the spout and onto my hand. It was 3 days of pure agony and peeled skin!!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                      Haha! Thanks for the imagery of the squirting french press! I've done that too many times to count. (Fortunately, no burns - sorry smartie - that sounds horrible).
                                                                                                                                      In reading all of these posts, I have to agree with you about coffee. The only time I get really pissed is when the coffee comes out too weak. Everything else - the spills, burinng food, the oversalting - I can handle b/c I'm well-caffeinated by then. But if anything messes up my morning coffee, that's when the bear emerges.

                                                                                                                                    2. Oh, I'm a total nut in the kitchen, so I try to do most of my tasks before guests arrive (my man's used to it). Pretty much anything can piss me off - knocking things over and having them spill all over the floor (coffee comes to mind, but thankfully, in our house making coffee is man work), oversalting the salad that I just wanted to wilt a bit, burning pine nuts (those little f∞ckers burn rather quickly), undercooking eggs... the list is endless.

                                                                                                                                      A recent mistake that pissed me off was making Indian-inspired yogurt & spice marinated chicken thighs. I had already wondered why I kept having to add salt and spices when I finally notiiced I had bought sweetened yogurt, not plain. It's hard enough to find regular, full-fat yogurt in a big tub, and the 'sweetened' part was written in, oh, maybe 6 point font. Damn. The thighs were still edible, but seriously.

                                                                                                                                      1. Here's a good one I forgot: accidentally brushing a plastic bag with a hot pot or tea kettle, so that a hole burns through. Really pisses me off! I had a bag of chili flakes that I did this to, which caused my other kitchen pet peeve: spilling messy little things all over the floor and counter!

                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                          Oh yes I know what you mean about floor mess and let me tell you that jasmine rice in a pouring tupperware container is ideal. All but the part that when you forget to burp the sucker, go to grab for it and the whole thing spills on the floor with company 5 mins away. Perfect.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                            Have you ever tried refilling those little sweetener tab dispensers? Well, I did that one morning before work (it was my first job, things weren't going well, and I was already anxious about a conversation with my supervisor)... I managed to knock the dispenser over, spilling those little shits ALL over the kitchen floor. I was already fuming.

                                                                                                                                            Got myself a broom and dustpan and started to collect them, only realizing that the good majority of them went under the pan and into the living room. That's when I kinda lost it. I threw the dustpan which shattered, prompting me to scream for about a minute. I lost my voice about 2 hrs later for a day or so, unfortunately not soon enough for the supervisor meeting.... good times.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                              LOL! OMG, forgive me but you made me laugh, you gave me a perfect visual!
                                                                                                                                              (I'm in such a sour mood today and actually I could use it so thanks.)

                                                                                                                                              But....I KNOW!!!!! What is up with that stuff? I don't use that kind of dispenser, I use free range Splenda which I keep in a sugar bowl. Yes and like you, I will go to re- fill the bowl, & a dribble of splenda spits out of the bag. The house ghost needs a laugh I guess and my arm will twitch, then like an avalanche it comes pouring out exactly at the same time a rogue breeze will come out of nowhere, PFFFFFFT! and there's a Splenda blizzard all over the freakin' kitchen!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                Yeah, nowadays I use the single package Splenda (I put half of it in my coffee). Much less craziness. Oh, and I leave the whole coffee-prep up to the man. No need for aggravation first thing after I get up '-D

                                                                                                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                When kitchen disaster happens and I lose it -- screaming the way you describe you do -- invariably I do something *else* that concatenates the problem. Then I'm howling and I'll lash out and knock something over -- most dependably it's the beverage I've had in my hand so then there's some sort of sticky mess and broken glass in the corner.

                                                                                                                                                When I do this in our restaurant, the staff just backs away from me and waits for the storm to subside; except for our wonderful dishwasher, Teddy, who jumps up and down and laughs at my antics... he told me the best was when I tried standing on an overturned bucket to get to a high shelf, and my foot plunged through the thing. So I was screaming and shaking the leg to which the punctured bucket had become attached. Then the bucket, on my leg, plows into a large wire-type storage rack and most of it's contents fell over onto the floor; and then I fell, bucket still attached to my leg, atop the dishes and containers that were on the rack.

                                                                                                                                                I think Teddy took a photo of me lying on the floor in the middle of the mess, my face beet-red and my mouth open wide like a baby's... but he never bothered to post it on Facebook or whatever he does with pictures.

                                                                                                                                                What a scream.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                                                                  That would make one hell of a funny cartoon! But happening to a real live person is scary! Has Teddy dubbed you "Donald Duck?" Oh, and Teddy is a gem! '-)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                                                                    shaogo, you just made my week.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                                                                      OMG!!!! what we do to ourselves!!! That is so funny! talk about the domino affect! LOL!

                                                                                                                                              3. Cutting myself, usually with a vegetable peeler. I have no idea how I do this, since I don't notice the cut 'til it's time to slice a lemon or something (ow! ow!). But I do it a lot. I'm sitting here right now with two nice gouges on my hand.

                                                                                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                  My left thumb is lopsided. I think it stopped trying to grow the skin back, evolving to become a smaller target.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                    I'm trying to grow an extra, non-sensate digit, to act as a decoy.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                      I sliced the middle finger of my left hand deep enough to do permanent nerve damage. Trust me, an insensate digit is not the solution.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                        So, the smaller target *is* the way to go. I'm shaving mine in careful sections, around the holiday calendar's use of the potato.

                                                                                                                                                        The fourth of July is coming up. Potato salad. *Sigh*.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                          "Guess what, everybody? I've been checking out these fancy potato salad recipes, and they all say to leave the peel on! Oh, and by the way - my recipe never really included ketchup."

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                            At least it is getting to the time of year where new, fresh potatoes are in season! And I don't like "ketchup" in mine either.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                              You hit the nail on the head - A perfect topper to any self respecting potato salad BTW. And pretty much all potato salad is self respecting - except the German version which is always hot and piggy.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                Nope. Maybe what is called German potato salad in the US. The warm, piggy version is a southern German version. There are plenty w/out speck that use yogurt, or just oil & vinegar, and are served cold.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                I've found that hinting that there may be sundried tomatoes is a better cover. Thanksgiving 2007, I never did find that little bit of thumb.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                              But this is a surplus, disposable (maybe even replaceable) digit. My hands would go up to eleven! It's one louder!

                                                                                                                                                              Sorry about your finger. That sucks.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                          Oh you are spot on, small h!! I get so mad when I cut or burn myself. And I've done both hundreds of times. It's like I'll never learn - perhaps that's why I get so mad? I KNOW HOW TO SLICE A BAGEL IN HALF! I KNOW WHERE WE KEEP THE POTHOLDERS! I KNOW! I KNOW I KNOW!!! and yet, it somehow makes no difference. I am covered with a thousand little scars, each one further damning evidence of my own ineptitude.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Foodielicious

                                                                                                                                                            Sigh. Seriously, the oven mitt is RIGHT THERE. But it's just too damn much trouble to stick my hand in it before grabbing a pot handle. How hot can it be? Pretty hot!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                              My oven mitt is usually *right* there, a good half inch from the flame under my sautee.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                So...you've set fire to your oven mitt? Exciting! You win.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                  Twice. Can my prize be doubled?

                                                                                                                                                                  I'd like to add that it happened after I read on Chowhound that a poster had done so. I *laughed*, wondering what confluence of events had made such a person so unaware of their surroundings. Within a week . . . *poof*. It was such a weird coincidence that I thought the universe was just playing fair, which made me laugh again. *It* happened again a few weeks later, making me wonder who I had been in a past life that the universe was intent upon keeping me humble.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                    For cooking on my outdoor propane stove I finally gave up on cloth mitts and went with leather. They're slightly blackened, but I haven't managed to set them ablaze. Yet.

                                                                                                                                                        3. Not wearing my glasses while cooking, which I still foolishly do on occasion, has caused me to make some pretty wild mistakes. A couple of months ago we were eating a quick marinara sauce that I had thrown together to go with calzones. I became a bit concerned because a few minutes after my first bite of sauce, my lips started to burn and tingle, and my husband thought there was an odd citrus flavor to the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                          Lets just say that szechuan peppercorns and crushed red pepper look a lot alike to me when I can't read labels. A reinvention of "fusion" cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                            In a similar vein, I HATE it when I mis-read the directions on a recipe; particularly when I should know better!

                                                                                                                                                            Case in point: home Thursday from a long day, we had picked up CSA box but otherwise kitchen pantry and fridge were fairly empty. Lo and behold, found a recipe for stir-fried Thai eggplant that used many of the types of veggies from the box, and we had all the other ingredients (the fridge may have been fairly empty, but fish sauce is a staple in my house....)

                                                                                                                                                            Started rice to go with it, and chopping and cooking the veggies, lots of corn in the CSA also so started grilling that to go on the side. It was looking to be an easy and easily available meal, and very tasty too: until the very last step of adding a bit of corn starch to the sauce at the end: recipe called for 2teaspoons and I read it to be 2 tablespoons! ARGHH! Double ARGHH since the moment the cornstarch was in the sauce and stirred in I thought to myself, 'that seems like waaayyy too much' followed immediately by 'wow: that sauce is getting awfully thick and gloppy awfully quickly'.

                                                                                                                                                            Sigh. those were such nice eggplants too and up till then my technique had been perfect. I can hear my sister from here, telling me that is why bifocals, or at least reading glasses, were invented. But I should have known better even without the glasses.

                                                                                                                                                            The good news is that hubby is not a picky eater and if I make it and it involves veggies from the CSA box, he is happy....

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                              ummmm....yeah. Using the proper tools, including those necessary to read the recipe, helps...but you knew that.....

                                                                                                                                                              I hate it when I have something pre-prepared for a meal I'm cooking and forget it. Its the little things: I had some friends over for dinner and we made an Indian chicken dish. DH, who was the chief cook for the meal, instructed me to chop some cilantro and sprinkle it on the last minute before serving. It wasn't until I was cleaning up that I noticed the neatly chopped cilantro...still sitting in a little bowl. I have to admit that the leftovers tonight tasted better with the damn cilantro sprinkled on top. To my guests, who may be reading this, I am sorry....

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah I just did this. Had some friends over for a dorm-room dinner, realized as soon as someone took their first bite of spinach salad that I had forgot to add the chopped boiled egg.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                                  I almost forgot the basil on the tomatoes the other night. Like you, it's that little touch that will get overlooked in the last minute scurry.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                                    Never mind leaving out an ingredient, I can't count the number of times I've left an entire dish in the refrigerator or oven and forgot to serve.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                      We rarely serve bread so when we do, we have to put a guest "in charge" of the bread or it doesn't get served. I've even made a sign that said "bread" to no effect.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Overfilling a damn cake pan with the damn cake batter. Oh, surely this won't rise that much. Surely, it does! Overbaking cookies and having to sand the bottoms off with a microplane. Dropping an egg on the floor (meeting with feline utter disdain, why don't we have a dog???).

                                                                                                                                                                1. First and foremost, the dang recipes that don't work. A reason I have struggled with baking. I just hate it when I really follow the recipe to the letter and the recipe fails. I mean who is so full of themselves to publish unworkable recipes? That pisses me off.

                                                                                                                                                                  My own mistakes that drive me gaga is when I've cooked something too long. Not when its burnt but when you can tell the cooking process is still going on. You know, the food is removed from the fire and there is not a darn thing you can do but watch your fish get dry and/or the overdone steak turn icky gray (well done). ARGH! don't you just get your mouth all ready for something, your favorite meal or steak and wham! Your bubbles burst and what a let down. Yup, that calls for a cuss word.

                                                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                    Who is so full of themselves to publish unworkable recipes? Superstar chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                      So true, I stay away from chefs' cookbooks for this reason, have never found a truly satisfactory one.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting. I would guess in the last couple of years, almost every cookbook I've gotten or used has been a chef's book. Hazan, Kennedy, Nuguyen (?sp), Harumi, Batali, Judy Rogers. I'm not at home right now so I can't actually look but I'm pretty solid on that. And a few months ago I had a bit of "found money" which I designated for cookbooks. I have some Chow-buddieswho I asked for advice. It seems everyone recommended books authored by chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                          By chefs' books I (and I thnk souschef) meant the ones by people who run professional restaurant kitchens - Batali and Rodgers from your list for example. (I'm not even crazy about the Zuni book although I love that restaurant.) People like Hazan, Harumi, Nguyen etc I thnk of as cookbook authors, not chefs as such. I prefer books by the latter.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                            Ah, thanks for the clarification. One of my favorite Chow-friends who is Italian and an amazing cook thinks the Batali books are the closest to what she grew up eating. She was kinda apologetic for admitting it though :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                              Haven't tried any of his books in particular, will take a look!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                I've cooked a fair amount from Molto Italiano and haven't found a loser yet. But I'm no expert by any means.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                  I've heard good things about that book, must pick it up and have a look.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart


                                                                                                                                                                                    Scroll all the way down to the asparagus recipe. That dressing is so good I can just eat it with a spoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, recipes are very appealing, thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                        I made an all-Italian dinner for a little party a couple of months ago. Mario and Marcella were in charge :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                          Marcella's my favorite of all the Italian cookbook writers, by a lot. Those recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                            Check out this:


                                                                                                                                                                                            For nonsweet lover, this was the perfect finish to that meal and leftovers. Can't find an online version that's exactly the same recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                              Man that looks good, must have been nice with the wine. What book?

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the link. I think I love M.B.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, that's what I meant. I have books by Trotter, Robuchon, etc, and am not terribly impressed. I also bought a bunch by the Roux brothers because the food looked so good, but found some of the recipes unreliable; that said, some were okay.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I have a bunch - I always overcook boiled eggs to the point of cracking sizzling and burning - I make myself mad that I always forget they are on - time to get a dinging timer!

                                                                                                                                                                        the dishwasher - why can't anyone stack it - it's just as much work to clear into the sink as it is to bend over and fill the dishwasher, nobody else ever thinks to run it, and nobody else ever empties it unless I stand in the kitchen like a sergeant major, because then we go back to filling the sink with dirty dishes!! Talk about full cycle.

                                                                                                                                                                        Not putting things back where I keep them in the pantry or cupboards. While I may not have a system I know exactly which shelf the flour, the salt, the pasta etc is, I know where cheese and sugar is, which spice is where. So I am cooking and running over to the pantry and dang it I can't find the breadcrumbs for looking cos someone has replaced them on the wrong shelf.
                                                                                                                                                                        Empty ketchup bottles in the fridge, empty jam jars - nobody can throw things out in my house or write on the fridge list what they have finished. Sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                          I can solve your boiled egg dilemma. Cover with cold water, bring to a rolling boil, cover and turn off heat. Let sit for about 20 minutes (or 2 hours, if you're like me). Works every time, and no baby sitting.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                                            Could also try soft boiling them, so the yolks are still runny.. I think same idea as Shanagain said, but only leave them in the water for 7-8 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. I always enjoy forgetting which spices are in shaker-top jars and which are wide open -- grab jar, unscrew top, shake, and.... spend a few horrified seconds staring at four tablespoons' worth of what should have been a pinch, bubbling happily atop my stew/rice/sauce/dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                            (From the language he hears, my husband always thinks I've finally lopped off a thumb.)

                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                                                                                              My favorite and most-often used place to swear is in the kitchen. So when I attempted to slice off my finger recently with the mandoline, my husband didn't react to my cursing. Cry wolf indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                Ow, I've done the same. It amazed me how some parts can kind of regenerate. But, I got strangely quiet which is how my husband knew something was wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                  When I worked in a deli I sliced off the very tip of my fingertip while cutting bologna....it took a few seconds to even realize the difference. So I said to the cop that came in every day, well now I don't have a fingerprint, how about that! and he said "It'll grow back" and guess what, within a few days there it was again!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                    I didn't know fingerprints grew back. Interesting! Mine is on the side and is all scar tissue.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                      I know, it surprised me too but I guess that's why police use them for ID.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                                                                                                Or you know it's a shaker top, but the top falls off into the dish along with a pile of whatever herb or pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. trying to get honey, molasses or treacle out of the jar or tin is one that gets me niggled. That sticky stuff always runs down the sides, the jar gets stuck to the counter, there's never the right place to put the spoon down and you want to keep the spoon clean because you don't know if you've added enough of the sticky stuff yet. It's a juggling trick of sorts.

                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                  Color me frugal but I get the last of those tricky things out with some hot water. But you can only do that if your recipe calls for water.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                                                                                                    You can also microwave the jar briefly to liquefy the contents and pour them right out. Works like a charm!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                    A small silicone spatula works well, too, since the gooey stuff doesn't stick to it very much.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Using the food processor for multiple things, and in between, after i've taken something out, washed the blade, and put the new food items in - HAVING FORGOTTEN TO PUT THE BLADE BACK IN!!! drives me nuts! because it usually happens when it's something messy or liquidy or gooey.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I've been enjoying these replies mightily. As much as I love my father, he has imparted to me a terrible habit of overreaction to ultimately minor irritations. I'm working on it as diligently as humanly possible -- but it's really difficult.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The angriest I've ever been was the time I burned the living daylights out of an otherwise absolutely perfect grilled pizza -- probably one of the best (and most expensive) specimens I've (almost) produced. I'm mortified to this day to admit I actually flung the thing across the counter tops, where it smacked into the backsplash and made a mess. I'm still beating myself up over that, and it was over a decade ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Another one I've done more times than I can remember: Dropping and breaking glass, especially a light bulb, in the kitchen. I'm EXTREMELY paranoid about shards of glass (not that unreasonable, I guess). In my previous house, I once dropped a heavy glass spice jar onto the one-inch glass mosaic tile floor. The jar and two tiles absolutely pulverized immediately, and the debris went absolutely everywhere -- including all the way up to the counter tops, where I had three different dishes working. Needless to say, all that went into the trash, and we ordered a pizza (after at least 30 minutes of vacuuming, mopping, vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, then vacuuming some more).

                                                                                                                                                                                      I have cork floors in the new house. Waterproofing be damned, there's no way in a million years I'd cook on tile again.

                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                        You just opened up a memory I keep in a pad-locked dark corner of my mind. I once broke a stack of glass plates *on* the prep station during lunch rush. I think my cursing was heard out onto the sidewalk before I finally felt mute with horror.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I got there early every morning, and spent hours washing and chopping the vegetables, makes the spreads, and so forth, and it was gone, every last little scrap. We had a line of tickets, and there were just two of us working that day, and every bit of that food had to be thrown away. I can still remember how all of those bins of food *sparkled*.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, your post brought back a similar bad broken glass memory for me, as well. 6 PM, Saturday night, dining room full, waiter in walk-in breaks tempered glass salad bowls over and into large 50 gal lined trash bin of salad greens, only greens prepped for service. Boo hoo.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                            I once managed to break a glass in the restaurant's only ice well. Talk about an effective way to completely disrupt beverage service...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow, that sure brings me back to my days of waiting tables! I can hear the bartender perfectly in my head screaming to <insert name of hapless new waitress here> to USE THE SCOOP!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mestralle

                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, I used the scoop, all right. I used it to knock a water glass into the ice well, where it shattered into approximately 14,326 pieces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did this once, too---fortunately it only fell into one of the ice wells in the bar. It was really a pain in the a**, but enough boiling water got it emptied and we were back in service reasonably quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Not making sure I have enough of "X" before I start cooking. Case in point, last weekend, I made pizza dough. After letting it sit out on the counter all night, proofiing/rising, whatever and then folding it and letting it rise again, preheating my oven on 550 degrees for an hour (in a tiny NYC kitchen), I was about to start stretching the dough when I opened the refrigerator door and realized... i had no cheese. MOTHERF&(@#&ER. It was sweltering in my kitchen, I wasted 24 hours prepping the pizza dough and it was raining outside. no chance I was going out to buy cheese at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Stretched the dough, threw some olive oil and sea salt on it and have the most time consuming breadsticks every.

                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ESNY

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oooh, that reminds me. A few months ago I was proofing bread. The house was a bit chilly, so I set the bowl in the oven. I like to use the element for 30 seconds or so to warm things up, so I switched the oven on ... and got distracted. By the time I remembered, the top was starting to harden and the yeast were dead as could be. Argh.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                              Eh, that's nothing. I once did the same thing, but with the dough in a plastic bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Needless to say, the bowl melted down over the grates and onto the electric coils. That oven stunk to high heaven for MONTHS afterwards. GRRRRR!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                HAHAHA!!! Okay That's the funniest one I've read yet and I've read this whole thread so far. The things we do, like seriously :P

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I made a mistake a few days ago that I still can't believe -- cooked a whole chicken without taking the little paper packet of gizzards and stuff out of the middle!! Is that straight out of a 1970's domestic sit-com or what? I saw something on another post here about a better way to do whole chickens in a pressure cooker and wanted to try it right away. I'm not sure if the cooked chicken would have been edible or not but what I found when I opened the pressure cooker put me totally off that particular bird so out it went. What an embarassing fowl-up.

                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mandycat

                                                                                                                                                                                              Nah, nah, no problem, do you know how many people have "fowled-up" and roasted chickens/turkeys with the giblet packet still inside, and lived to tell? Many, many, many.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've done it a few times, including recently, no way I'm throwing a whole chicken out! What's there to hurt you, some paper?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I'd roasted the chicken with its innards still inside, I probably would have gone ahead and tried it. In a pressure cooker it looked like something Freddie Krueger would have dreamed up for supper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mandycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                    For what did you pressure cook the chicken? I can imagine the chicken/Freddie Krueger connection, lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mandycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                      A pressure-cooked bird is definitely not going to win any beauty pageants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Makes some wicked good stock, however.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. When I think I put just enough cake batter for it to have room to rise....but upon opening the oven I find and overflowed mess!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hate when that happens as I am eagerly waiting (aka starving) for say 2 hours so i dont feel guilty after eating a lot of fresh baked cake!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I was just reminded of another one. It's embarrassing, and a little stupid. People who hate to cook, or who rarely cook, don't seem to have this problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can't get foil to behave. I can't get it to tent without tearing, or stay on the edges of a pie crust for longer than thirty seconds. Whenever I read a recipe and see the words 'tent with foil', my lip curls. Thanksgiving requires a strict and brutally honest inventory of both foil and confidence. I buy 'emergency' foil before Thanksgiving. Some people run to the store the night before for more milk, or fresh sage: I go for foil. It's ridiculous. I am irritated right now, just thinking about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Foil and plastic wrap used to be so much thicker, they really are hard to handle now. Don't think they can make it any thinner at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Whenever I read a recipe and see the words 'tent with foil', my lip curls."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        For me, it's when I see the words "roll up jelly roll fashion." Actual jelly rolls, Buche de Noel, Argentine Stuffed Flank Steak -- not going to happen. And suggestions in the recipe that you use that invention of the devil, plastic wrap, to make the roll up easier are just adding insult to injury.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. LEAVING OUT AN INGREDIENT IN A CAKE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jfood is no baker but once he tried a chocolate cake from epi and was very proud of himself when he placed the three round tins in the oven...success.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        returned to the counter to clean up and wouldn't you know he found the chocolate still in the bowl. Oh crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Go to the pantry and grab some flour and start again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My daughter just made chocolate chip cookies and left out the brown sugar. They turned out great--nice and tall, almost like scones. Cakes aren't nearly as forgiving. But, that might be a good idea for another thread...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                            What simple cooking mistake inspires disproportionate rage, or how you discovered something new and great?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I did this just last week. Ever since I became the proud owner of a thermomix baking has never been so easy. So why, oh why did I forget to put the flour in? Seriously, I had all my ingredients out on the bench and for some reason I put the flour away without actually using it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I felt so stupid it was a week before I could try that apple spice cake again - which turned out beautifully, with flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I can't believe I did something similar the other day. For a change, I was really organized with everything out on counter, read to go. I was making a ricotta lemon pound cake. Got it all mixed up and into the loaf pan, into the oven. As I added the ingredients, I was putting away each item. Suddenly, I was looking at my sugar container, wondering why it was still on the counter. -- How could I have forgotten to add in the sugar??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I knew it'd be worthless w/out the sugar so I took the pan out, stirred in the sugar, and finished it. It was okay -- others thought it was fine. At first, I was just going to throw it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Forgetting that I'm wearing contact lenses when I chop hot peppers. The ensuing pain comes when I pop my lenses out a couple hours later. The rage comes when I realize I have thereby trashed yet another pair of contact lenses. I found out the hard and painful way, that you really can't get them oil-free again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: thinks too much

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Aaaaamen. I wear contacts and peel green chiles twice a day. I fell like a masochist! In the morning I usually put the lenses in before I peel, but that is a newly learned trick. Two nights ago I diced 15+ jalapenos for pico de gallo (salsa fresca) and the next morning, wow! Onions and lemons/limes too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Two words: latex gloves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I finally got my eyes done a few years back, but the memories of capsicum-laced contact lenses are still vivid. Yikes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yea, I know I should, but I'm such a macho Pollack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I know that responsible people put latex gloves on before chopping pepper and peeling beets. I just forget sometimes and pay the price. My error - my disproportionate rage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I over salted my gravlax! ARRGH!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Here is the absolute worst! I often put plates on the unused burners of my stove so I can turn food right from the pans into the plate, especially things like scramble eggs, where I want to preserver their exact doneness. Sometimes they are plasstic. My electric stove vents out the back left burner. Sometimes I accidently leave a plate on it and don't realize it is melting until I smell it. Sometimes I set one down on a burner that is cooling down, but still pretty hot. Nothing is worse than that smell unless it is trying to clean the plastic off the burner. What is the only thing worse than burning a hole in a plastic bag with a hot pan? Having said bag melt and adhere to the bottom of the pan!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My rage is aimed at my husband who does "kitchen things" that drive me into a crazy rage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here are a few:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cuts onions and tomatoes that "wrong" way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Salts the pan, not the meat, before cooking his burgers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And the most RAGE inducing action, he cleans his golf shoes and clubs with my dish brush.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So my fellow chows, is this grounds for divorce?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kimmieokc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is he a fussy eater? Then no. I clean my hunting guns on the kitchen table, hang dead deer in the garage, leave tools on the counters and am a general guy slob. But I do all the cooking, we live in the land of serendipity. Don't sweat the small stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My daddy always scaled his fish on the picnic table in the backyard. Hosed it off but there were always scales left. All I remember was the great fish - and the memories most of all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I got a buddy who rebuilt a car engine on the kitchen table; needless to say, he is now single.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: kimmieokc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My husband destroys my paring knives by using them as screwdrivers because he can't be bothered to go find his screwdrivers which he never puts back in the proper place. Grrrr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hey, men are from Mars and women are from Venus! My wife leaves dirty dishes all over my food prep area instead of stacking them in the sink. She leaves stuff all over the kitchen table; like it's her filing cabinet. On the other hand, she is one of the least fussy, enthusiastic fans of my cooking. I think I'll keep her.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            edit; I just went to cook supper and 2 huge English ivy plants were siting in the sink!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ha! Ok, I can relate to that. *Sheepish grin*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I knew 20 years ago what I was getting into when his room mate told me he had used his wok to change the oill in his car.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Similarly, I do the dishwashing in my house, and my husband does most of the cooking. In this sub-thread, he'd likely complain that I end up taking away "dirty" bowls, spoons and plates to put them in the dishwasher while he is still using them to cook!!! Fortunately, he hasn't thrown me out yet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Are we married? My wife does the same. What bugs me, is she'll take the dish towel hanging on the oven door on which I wipe my greasy hands and not replace it w/ a clean one. I walk around w/ goopey hands pointed up in the air and wonder where to wipe them. Is this the real reason Levi Strauss invented blue jeans?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Egads! Towels are for drying clean hands, not for wiping goopy hands on! At least, I keep trying to tell this to my husband (the paring knife thief). My poor towels...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought they invented jeans so that 150 years later, my Levi's retiree husband can have a (small) pension. Thanks for your support.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But, P-keg, it's a little dangerous to hang a towel on the oven door, ya know. Don't want it and you to catch on fire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Guilty of that one also...I think I'd like your wife.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. A tinge too much salt is always aggravating! Especially after working everything else to perfection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. What I love most about this thread is that, really I thought I was the only one, and now I know I'm just part of one big happy family of ... hounds!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Group Hug!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. two things:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. When I drop something, especially when it's the sugar or salt container. During a recent dinner prep, my husband and I managed to drop the salt container not one, not two, but three times. The worst part was that we had filled it up after each time. I still find salt every time I sweep. I guess that's what you get when someone with a degenerating nerve condition marries someone with a degenerating motor neuron disease. Sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. When I drop cooking utensils on the floor, or fruit/vegetables I'm washing into the dirty sink. Sometimes, I just use it anyway. And often when I don't, I end up dropping the replacement too. Double sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And it's not a "culinary mistake," but I do hate it when my husband fills the entire sink with dishes instead of loading it into the dishwasher, or worst case, onto the counter next to the sink. Then he's starving and I have to wait to prepare dinner until I have cleaned the entire kitchen because the kitchen is so small that it can't hold dinner prep and dirty dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At least he's good about taking over when I start crying after dropping my third potato into the sink. And I know I drive him crazy when I so much as stir something he is "in charge of." So we're even. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: guster4lovers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not sure dropping the salt container inspires disproportionate rage - the rage is entirely proportionate! Darn salt. The only thing that might inspire more proportionate rage in my household was when my spouse picked up a full bottle of olive oil by the cap, the cap came off and the oil fell to the ground, bounced and proceeded to careen down the basement stairs (finished basement) bouncing off the walls and spewing oil (me and BP) before crashing into a million pieces on the floor below. We had an hour til the company arrived....nothing disproportionate about that rage!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bigley9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You win! That scene would have been almost impossible to stage. Everything but the dog getting drenched. What a nightmare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The dog did try to help clean up ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bigley9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's why we need a dog. The cats would just sit there looking at you with their "there you go again making complete fools of yourselves" look on their faces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The baby loves excitement, the old lady is completely jaded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One of the biggest things I had to get used to when I didn't have a dog is the lack of automatic vacuum cleaner when I dropped stuff on the floor whilst cooking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Definitely. This morning I was transferring some rice from a bowl to a plastic container. Dropped a fair amount on the floor but my always-hungry avatar, Gypsy, was there to the rescue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was recently at someone ELSE'S house, dropped some food on the floor and absentmindedly started walking away before I realized that she has no dog! Glad I caught myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Bigley9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ooo, I did that with spaghetti sauce once. Not fun. Not fun at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bigley9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh my God your description is hysterical. I mean I know it wasn't at the time, but damn that's a funny story. And your level of rage, perfectly calibrated for the situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. -Over or under seasoning a dish drives me up the wall. I cook for a group of friends every Friday night and in my haste of trying to teach them what I'm doing, I manage to forget the simplest things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Not properly oiling a pan/grill before cooking fish. I recently bought a beautiful piece of bass and was left with a pile after I tried to flip it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Overcooking anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. RealMenJulienne, Don't know if anyone mentioned this because 257 comments is too many to peruse, but an easy way to prevent accidently breaking the yolk on your oven taters is to break the eggs into a bowl or a small plate first, then tip it and let them slide onto the potatoes. That way if the yolks break you haven't messed up your dish--just an egg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Brewchief

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hiya Brewchief, Caroline1 already covered that tip, and it's a good one, but thanks for your help.