Sunday, 5 March 2017

Soggy bottoms, and other stories

A friend and I were discussing culinary disasters, and she thought a book of them would be a good idea. I'm not so sure about the book, but  thought the above would be quite a good title.

If you've nothing better to do, or the writing has ground to a halt, do post a culinary disaster of your own as a comment. I'd love to know I'm not alone.

As for mine, I'll spare you the stuffed breast of lamb, which still makes me shudder after all these years, and the thrice baked lemon meringue pie, but here is the fresh fruit jelly (which may have had a mention in the past, but no matter. At least it serves as a warning).

It looked so beautiful in the photo, the fresh fruits shinning like jewels in their flawless casing of fruit juice jelly. Easy, I thought. What could possibly go wrong? Well, I started off well enough, but I should have remembered that when giving a dinner party, never, ever make something that has to be Turned Out. Thus, when it came to that moment, I upended my jelly very carefully onto a serving place, where it sat uncertainly, quivering slightly (I was quivering too, by this stage). Then slowly slowly, quiveringly, it sank to its knees and keeled over in an unsightly pile of....well, jelly. I had to scoop its remains into a serving dish. Not the same at all.

Now, over to you.

19 comments:

  1. Uh, let's see...how long do we have here?
    I simply cannot tell you all the disasters I have had in the kitchen. One that stands out- I made some banana bread, it rose beautifully and browned quite nicely. I took it out of the oven and turned it over onto a cooling rack.
    Then, I noticed it was OOZING a banana slime onto the counter! IT WASN'T DONE! Ooh, that hot banana smell made me sick, I have not eaten a banana since that date! (And please, don't even eat a banana around me.)

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    1. I'll have to remember that if we should ever go for a walk or hike together, Kay! Bananas are such a good snack to put in one's rucksack for a day out...

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    2. Banana slime...hmm. Sounds vile, Kay.

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  2. Since I so rarely cook, the number of culinary disasters under my belt is limited. But I've managed to bake cookies you could throw windows in with, and the other day I tried to make vegetarian burger-like patties out of a ready-made mix (it looked all very healthy and organic). Although I did everything precisely according to the instructions on the package, the mix never set and remained half-liquid. Only when I decided to throw out what was left in the mixing bowl (after several unsuccessful attempts of shaping and frying some), it seemed to be firm enough to stay in shape. But by then I had completely lost all motivation and chucked it all out.

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    1. Meike, some of my worst dishes have come from following instructions.

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    2. Meike that sounds like falafel. Was it? I make it a lot. I leave it to stand for a good while before I cook it on a dry hot griddle plate.

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    3. Graham it wasn't falafel. It was meant to be shaped into patties like you would do for hamburgers.

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  3. I once made parkin at my husband's request. He has never requested it again in the thirty-two years that have passed since. I'll never forget the clanking sound it made when I heaved a piece onto his plate. We lived in a new house on an estate still being constructed so in the end, we threw the remaining slab of parkin onto the building site, where my husband says it fulfilled its true ambition, forming a (very)solid part of the foundations of the neighbouring houses.

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  4. I don't have dinner guests very often. When I do, I usually play it safe and make things that in my own statistics have usually come out ok. One never knows, though...

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    1. You must have made one mistake, DT. Just a little one?

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  5. I'm not experimental enough in my cooking to have disasters and tend to stick to the old favourites. My son says that when I'm gone he won't be able to eat lemon meringue pie ever again because mine is legendary. Flattery gets him everywhere.

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    1. Maggie, he should try my thrice baked one.

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  6. I once decided to make crispy coated garlic mushrooms, despite not having all the ingredients.

    Porridge oats look a lot like breadcrumbs, even when mixed with garlic and cooked around mushrooms. The flavour is sort of OK too.

    Really the only snag is the three days it takes for the glutinous, garlicky gunge to stop sticking to the mouth of the bloke you were hoping to impress.

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    1. It probably stopped the two of you from getting...er...close, Patsy?

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  7. I love experimenting when I have a dinner party. So far I've been lucky (most of the time anyway). I do recall the most hilarious of booboos though when my wife (my wife was a superb cook and a brilliant hostess) made a baked Alaska for dinner party. Unfortunately she omitted to put the sponge under the ice cream with the obviously messy consequences.

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    1. I've never dared do baked Alaska. For someone like me, it's asking for trouble.

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  8. I made a baked cheesecake using cottage cheese instead of cream cheese - polystyrene pie anyone?

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    1. Sounds disgusting, Wendy. Did anyone eat it?

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