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Just a little bit more - oops

I scorched dinner tonight. Not badly. Barely noticeable, but there just the same. Makes me wonder how many good meals have been either tainted or outright wrecked by just a little bit more. A touch more salt, a little warner burner, a bit more sherry, a tiny bit more oregano, a few more minutes in the oven. When do we learn that enough is enough?

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  1. A little more tequila before I start cooking . . . .

    1. Years ago I scorched a pot of Italian red sauce, something you can't repair. The guests were gathered in the kitchen when I had to announce that we were going out for dinner. Way different than a dish needing more salt or herbs.

      2 Replies
      1. re: treb

        For future reference - when we feel the spoon touching burnt food at the bottom of the pot, we instinctively start to scrape at it. DON'T!!! Take the pot off the heat, take a breath, calm down, and carefully ladle the contents into a clean pot. As you gently ladle, look for a browner color, which indicates you're getting into the scorched level, and stop. Taste the sauce that remains in the scorched pot. If it's okay, ladle out a bit more, taste again. Stop as soon as you detect a change. You'll be able to continue cooking the sauce that you've transferred to the clean pot.

        1. re: greygarious

          Grey hit it. Don't scrape, ladle when you have scorched a sauce or soup

          That's why I generally use my oven and not stovetop for that type of thing.

      2. I did it last week....the soup needed just a little more thyme.

        At dinner "what's that flavor? I don't like it".


        1. Added two cups of oil to a sauce instead of two tablespoons. Totally new recipe, totally new cuisine - had no idea what I was doing and just plain read the damn thing wrong. Spent 30 minutes skimming it, then dumped it and started over.

          5 Replies
          1. re: NonnieMuss

            oh, I'm sure we've all oopsed it when distracted....grabbed the baking soda instead of the baking powder, used a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon, etc., et.c, etc.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Sure, but somewhere in my thinking head I knew that two cups of oil was way too much. Why would anything need that much oil?

              My just a little bit more problems usually involve the broiler.

              1. re: sunshine842

                I used powdered sugar instead if flour for bechemel once....

              2. I fall onto the "can't leave well enough alone" camp.
                As in, "this is good, let's add something!"

                1 Reply
                1. Yep. Most frequent for me; too much salt or grill the steaks too long. My family thinks I overdo chile peppers.

                  The other night I made fried rice for the kid and added two thai peppers. Not surprisingly, it was hot. Fortunately, he is used to it and took my suggestion of mixing in some ketchup to cool things down.

                  1. Hot sauce, I always add a little more and well I sweat through dinner.

                    1. We do a ton of baking in my house. Another minute in the oven has ruined countless cookies.

                      1. I did this 2 nights ago with a rice and lamb dish. I didn't scrape, but the entire dish was slightly bitter from contact with the burnt rice layer. (If the dish had been oilier, I might have ended up with a tahdig instead of just burnt rice!)

                        1. Or leaving something out. I see the bread baking in the oven and then see the carefully measured out salt still on the counter.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sandylc

                            oh, I'm a world-class omitter. Mine is usually a garnish of some sort or another -- green onions, basil chiffonade, etc., etc.,

                            1. re: sandylc

                              Yes! One day I was rushing to make a lemon meringue pie to take to a party. When I was seperating the eggs, some white got in, so on the stove I ended up with little pieces of gummy cooked egg white. After putting it through a sieve I finished cooking but when I tasted it, something was wrong. Then I saw the sugar on the table. Grr. I was so frustrated by then, I just tossed it and went sans pie.

                            2. Isn't this how butter was invented?

                              Over whipped heavy cream ...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I thought it was kindergarteners dancing around with a Mason jar...

                              2. it's not burnt, it's carmelized

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: macsak

                                  That's not a little bit more, that's just right.