Friday, March 13, 2009

Culinary Failure and Redemption

It's so tempting to post only the recipes that turn out great, especially the ones that, as Joel says, "come out of my own head."

So tempting, in fact, that I believe I have never posted a culinary failure. A dose of honesty and humility is in order, lest I lead thee to think more highly of me than thou ought to think.

Therefore...may I present....

Exhibit A (sans photo) Pork Chops with Couscous, Hot Tomatoes, and Cheese

It was a bad variation on a good theme. My family likes pork chops with rice, spicy tomatoes, taco seasoning, and cheese, which all gets put in a 9x13 (add 10 oz water and cover), and baked for about a half hour.

Well, I had pork chops, cheese, and spicy tomatoes, but I forgot about needing the taco seasoning, and I substituted couscous for the rice since it's all I had. What was I thinking? I must not have been.

My poor family. I had to tell Joel it was pretty much like chicken, which he loves, because he hates pork chops. Paul wondered if next time I could add some seasoning. Stephen, who--bless his heart-- almost never complains, asked, "Do we have anything else to eat?" I sat there and ate it, saying to myself ,"Missionary food. I can eat just about anything, but this is pitiful. " I had gratitude only for the portion, not for the pleasure, for there was none to be had.

So I redeemed it the following night. Stripped all the couscous and icky cheese and not-so-hot-after-all tomatoes. Cut the meat up into bite size chunks, dumped them into a pot and poured almost a whole bottle of bbq sauce plus about an inch of water and a whole sliced onion into it. Boiled it till the onions caramelized, and simmered it till people started coming from hither and yon wondering what the good smell was.

Please fess up. Misery, after all, does love company. What was the last culinary failure you experienced, and if there was redemption for it, how so?


Toby & Kelly said...

Got to say, there have been a the first time I made mashed potatoes that wasn't for a restaurant. Way too much milk made for potato-soup-grits stuff.
Very much not nice.

terri said...

Oh my gosh! I have had so many disasters in the kitchen ! I wouldn't know where to begin.But one disaster {not my own} I was gone for the eve and Ed was in charge of feeding the crew. He put together a combo of frozen vegetables and anything else he could find , then added velveta cheese.The kids still complain about it, but he has never been asked to cook since then! Maybe he knew what he was doing after all!

Leanne said...

I used my brand new crock pot to make dinner for a friend in my caregroup who needed a meal. Unfortunately, the new crock pot decided to cook on high for the first 2 hours, then change to low (instead of the 8 hours low that I set it on), which burned the meal to a crisp! I come running in the door, ready to head back out to deliver the meal and find something that wasn't even salvagable for us, much less to "bless" someone else! Flew through my cabinets, found the stuff for chicken tacos, and the rest is history. :)

Anonymous said...

This wasn't the last culinary failure, but most memorable. It also involved couscous. It was actually the first time I'd ever made it and we didn't have it for sometime afterwards. Basically, Josh put chicken on the grill before the lighter fluid had burned off and the chicken ended up tasting GROSS! Like fumes! It totally ruined the dinner because it was all mix into the couscous. We were literally gagging!

Laurie Lynn said...

Two: These are from my mother-in-law who we joke with (and she leads the laughter)! We have a standing joke about her culinary
failure! We can do this because she really is a great cook!
Heading: Freezer Mishaps
1. She made an apricot pie. (Oh she makes a good pie) only instead of grabbing apricots from the freezer she grabbed unmarked frozen tomatoes, so we had tomato pie! Weird! I suppose if I was a nice daughter-in-law I'd have eaten unquestioningly, but I said, "So what kind of seeds do apricots have?" I knew the seeds I saw weren't from apricots! We had a great laugh when she realized her mistake!
2. One Thanksgiving I was so looking forward to her great turkey stuffing! After the first bite, which I almost spit out, I asked another question, "So, did you try a new stuffing recipe?" After she tasted it herself, she realized her mistake in pulling out meat, not bread, from her freezer. We had meat stuffing. Ewwwww. The coolest result from all these (and others!) is the family bonding and laughter we share!
PS We're invited to supper at her house for Mike's b-day this eve. It's always an adventure!

And oh yes, I DO have culinary failure, but my mom-in-law is the queen!
The way coolest thing about my mistakes is the graciousness of my husband. And like you, Zoanna, he can usually "fix it" with bbq sauce!

Laurie Lynn said...

Oh yes the redemption!
Redemption in the mom-in-law cases was that the tomato pie was eaten through laughter. The stuffing wasn't eaten so heartily, but oh the sweet redemption of LAUGHTER!
And redemption for the failures fixed with bbq sauce!? Well, we keep the bbq sauce companies going, right?!

zz said...

I'm laughing about every single one of these morsels of failure!

Libby said...

Most recent. I made chicken with lemon garlic sauce via no recipe. bad idea. It tastes like pure lemons and not much else. ick. Made cookies that same night with carob chips. The second they hit teeth, they became like taffy and stuck in your teeth and then hardened! ick.