Monday, November 26, 2007

Keepin' It Real: I Am Quite the Chef!

This post from Anna made me reminisce about my early days as a cook. And I use that term VERY loosely. Although her post was serious (and I really enjoyed it) I couldn't help but remember with humor how I got my start.

What was my first clue that I was not a master chef? It was the unfortunate spaghetti incident of 1990.

My roommate and I decided to cook spaghetti for a bunch of friends of ours. We filled the pot with water, dumped the pasta in, and it was only a few minutes later that we smelled something odd coming from the kitchen. Quick, call dad! What? You're supposed to let the water boil before you throw in the pasta?


And then there was the cornbread. My other roommate made the most awesome cornbread with sugar in it. The cornbread I grew up eating was not sweet. I LOVED her cornbread. So, one day while I was mixing up some cornbread batter before supper, I called out to her, "How much sugar do I add?"

She, thinking I was mixing up a pitcher of iced tea, answered back, "1 cup!" And so I added one cup to the cornbread batter.

What I pulled out of the oven a few minutes later can only be described as caramelized corn-blobs. They were truly something to behold. My roommate took my picture with them and oh how I wish I could post it. However, pictures from college are safely up in the attic and I don't do attics. I believe after a few minutes of chiseling the decision was made to toss the entire muffin pan as the two had become one for all time.

Those were my humble beginnings. But tonight? Tonight I got three compliments from my family on my "wonderful supper." And what did I serve?

Why bacon, scrambled eggs, and canned biscuits.

I know you are in awe of my culinary skills. And now it's your turn. Help us keep it real in the blogosphere: what is your best (or worst) cooking disaster? Do share!

***Edited to add: ACTUALLY, I am an award-winning cook. My casserole won first place at a church event and don't think I didn't display that little certificate on my refrigerator for at least 3 years because I did. And referred to it often. :)


  1. When I was growing up, my stepmom used box mixes to make most of her cakes. Wouldn't you know that I married a man whose mother baked wonderful cakes-from scratch no less! I knew I had to learn how to bake a great cake. I had so many disastrous desserts I really don't know which one to single out. The upside is that over the past 13 years I've gotten so good at baking that people occasionally pay for my cakes. Talk about a turn around!

  2. Ah, my kitchen disasters!.. Oh, where to begin, where to begin... ;) I shared a similar pasta incident, and only recently I learned how to keep yeast ALIVE :)

  3. Ah, I so wish I only had one specific cooking disaster example to share. Instead I can just say that I pretty much burn garlic bread every time I make it, my biscuits are usually a bit hard, and I overcook chicken every single time. Sigh.

    Thank goodness, my family doesn't really know any better so they think I cook pretty well!! Shhhh...don't tell them how wrong they are!!

  4. There are so many but this one came to mind first. A classic mistake: not knowing olive oil is any different than veg. oil when making chocolate brownies. I was 11 and the brownies were terrible.

  5. Let's see, there are so many to choose from....but one highlighted event was when my green bean casserole exploded in the oven and while trying to pull out the salvageable pieces, I caught my oven mitt on fire. And yes, that all happened at a dinner party. Ah, good cooking times.

  6. OK, win. Ruined dish + fire???

    I am in the presence of greatness!

  7. Ok well it was just the other night.... I am in the "mood" (girl thing) for chocolate, desperate in fact. Ahhh I remember the brownie mix in pantry it is 9pm but I have to have chocolate so I get every thing out and discover NO eggs……………ugg ok don't panic- I know I have mayonnaise so I am safe. I follow the mix instructions add my water, oil and mayo then pop it in the oven. The smell is making my mouth grow with anticipation of that first hot chewy bite timer goes off- I run to the oven look at my brownies-only to feel tears burning in my eyes as I stand there in front of the warm oven and look at the disgusting greezy I do mean greezy (not just every day greasy) lumpy runny mess. Why you ask? I should have skipped the oil what is mayo? It eggs and oil so I actually doubled the oil. Now mind you I am in a desperate state so I add some flour to try to absorb the oil and throw it back in the oven. Guess what didn't work so I turned off the oven got out the chocolate syrup and milk made a glass of chocolate milk and went to bed with the smell of brownies still floating in the house. Next time I will remember a substitute checklist.
    This is a true story I wish I had taken a picture haha
    Thank you for this post


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)