Everyone has a great cooking disaster story. And they happen from time to time. Double a cookie recipe but forget to double the sugar. Results are inedible and end up in the garbage.
I used to be really sad when this happened. Think of the waste, the cost, why am I such an idiot? I remember once when I was about 20 years old, and not a very experienced cook, I attempted to make a pork stew using my aunt’s recipe. The whole thing was a giant disaster — pork too tough to eat (she must have used pork tenderloin, where I had picked something tough and cheap). I remember shedding tears as I threw the entire meal in the trash. Waste. Cost. Idiot.
Since then, I’ve discovered a few secrets to successful cooking.
Don’t you love recipes that help you succeed? How about recipes that let you follow along with pictures so you can see if you’re in the right place, getting the right results. Recipe 1.5 > Dutch Apple Pie is a perfect example.
2. A real person who can explain the tricks to making the recipe successfully.
This could be your mom or your neighbour.
Or it can be me! Send me an email, I’d be happy to answer your questions.
I believe that every recipe has a “recipe gremlin” — a little trick that if you don’t know about, the recipe won’t turn out as well as it could. And most people don’t tell you about the recipe gremlins… They say peel and core the apples, but do they remind you check the insides of each apple section for that plastic-like piece of apple core that you DO NOT want to find in your pie? (In the photos above for Recipe 1.5 > Dutch Apple Pie, this recipe gremlin is explained in step #4).
3. A great cheering section who’ll support your attempts, and who’ll eat your recipes, no matter what!
This can be your husband, wife, grandkids – anyone who’ll say “that’s great” even when it isn’t. And when you burn the potatoes he’ll say “I like them that way” when probably he doesn’t.
And while I still sometimes have kitchen disasters, I’m more matter-of-fact about it now. If you cook often enough, sometimes it’s not going to work out as planned. I try to have a sense of humour about it.
My cheering section says “ce n’est pas grave” (literally: it’s not grave, but really what he’s saying is “it doesn’t matter.”) And finally, I’m starting to believe him.
Do you have a kitchen disaster story?
Just post a comment. Got pictures? Send those, too.
You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks and bon appetit!
Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu,
Owner & Head Chef