More cooking disasters

Thanks for all of the hilarious feedback from last week’s letter. Some of you asked to hear more of my disaster stories. Here are three more stories, all (unfortunately) from this past year …

On New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d try out the new pasta machine I got for Christmas. The first batch of dough I made turned into a giant thick glue in the food processor and nearly burned out the motor in the machine. André washed it all out, dried and wiped, and I started again with a different recipe.

On Valentine’s Day, also this year, A. worked all day and then went to school in the evening until 9 pm. The tiramisu that I slaved over turned out great, but the shrimp stirfry I tried to prepare for Valentine’s Day dinner was completely inedible. The shrimp were old and frozen and smelly, although the fish boutique had definitely charged me otherwise. Dumped into the garbage.

So, there I was, staring into the freezer at 9 pm wondering: what are we going to have for dinner when I have no groceries? I defrosted a half-pound of ground beef (we had neither sausage meat, nor buns) and I made two hamburger patties to serve with the rice and veggies from the failed shrimp dish. Truth be told, A. would have picked meatloaf if I had asked him what he wanted for Valentine’s dinner, it’s his all-time favourite meal. I was just trying to show off with the shrimp thing…


OK. One more. I’ve got a ham cooking in the oven, the house smells great. I was making the pineapple juice glaze to go on top. I put the pot on to boil, then leave the kitchen to go and check my email. And really, no more than 8 minutes later, the smoke alarm is going off, the kitchen is filled with thick black smoke, and the security company is phoning to verify if it’s a real fire before they send the fire trucks. I am forced to open the windows. Was it snowing? It was darn cold. I flapped a dish towel around the kitchen, in front of the smoke detector, wind and snow blowing in, dancing around frantically trying to get rid of the smell …Worst of all, the burnt juice glaze had magically transformed into cement that could not be separated from my favourite, lovely, no-stick pot. While André did later try to clean it with oven cleaner (!), we finally had to put my favourite pot in the garbage. (Oh there’s a whole story here about trying to buy the replacement pot… have you tried to buy one item from a set? It almost can’t be done. The stores can’t help you. I had to finally go online and special order just the one pot from the manufacturer. And it’s lovely. It’s my curried chicken pot. Can’t live without it.)


Do you have a kitchen disaster story? Just post a comment or drop me a line 🙂 I might use your story in an upcoming cooking letter. Got pictures? Send those, too.
You can always reach me at
Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef

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