Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Mistakes in the Kitchen

My hands are not pretty.  My nails are chipped, my fingers are rough, and I always have band-aids on at least one of them.  I've currently got one on my right ring finger because I've shredded a piece of skin off.  My finger is okay but the shredded carrots were stained.  My point is, I make mistakes in the kitchen all the time.  I do a lot of housework and I have the horrible habit of biting my nails/fingers, but my scarred hands are mainly the result of cooking, cutting and burning myself.

Other than self-harm, a lot of my dishes turn out to be disasters as well.  When people actually live with me, they realize that not everything gets put on Happy Belly.

These were American biscuits/English savory scones I've tried to make last Thanksgiving.  This is why now my American friends make the Thanksgiving dinner exclusively Americans in the kitchen only now.  They didn't rise :(  I've actually tried to make scones once before this as well -- double chocolate scones.  I think I had overworked the dough, just as with these biscuits, because they turned out to be fudgy double chocolate cookies/brownies.  They were actually very tasty, mind you, they just weren't really scones. 

This is when I tried to smoke my own fish.  See, I had put a bamboo steamer on top of a wok that had been filled with rice and tea leaves.  It was horrible.  It was so smoked, the taste was just too strong and overwhelming, I think it's because i had too much rice and tea leaves and it was too close to the bamboo steamer where I had the fish.  The worst part was having to apologize to my flatmates for three days as the whole house smelled of badly smoked fish. 
Then there are the mini panic attacks that I get on a regular basis in the kitchen when small things go wrong.  Last time I had put my mozzarella in the back of the fridge and it became frozen.  Have you ever seen a ball of frozen mozzarella?  It's just bizarre.  Thank goodness I needed the mozzarella melted so it wasn't the end of the world.  Or the multiple times when I've left out ingredients -- like butter in a brioche, but I managed to save it by adding butter at the very end, which was a surprising miracle.  Or the times I've served raw chicken.  I suppose this should be put above with the bigger mistakes category. 

Oh and more on big mistakes: once I went to a friend's place to cook dinner and I had served my friends dry roast beef and a crumble that was neither crumbly or sweet enough.  My friends were too nice and kept saying that the meal was delicious but I was so embarrassed.  It's one thing to make horrible smoked fish for yourself but it's another when you have to serve your friends dry roast beef...

However, what I'm trying to get at, is that it's okay. When you make mistakes in the kitchen you have to:
A: calm down, deep breaths and try to save it somehow, as I did with my brioche, if this fails then go down to B
B: calm down, more deep breaths, and taste it -- does it taste good?  If they're like my chocolate scones, you can simply tell people they're meant to be something else, they don't have to know what it was meant to be.  If it doesn't taste good, then go to C
C:  if you're cooking for other people, do not, I repeat, do not serve it when it's bad and pretend that it's okay. No, they'll think you have bad taste if you don't tell them you screwed up.  Don't let them think you're a bad cook, tell them honestly what exact mistake you made and why it's not as good as it's meant to be.  If you don't know what went wrong, then it's probably the recipe.  Don't doubt your abilities as a cook

Mistakes are okay, but here are some tips to avoiding them
1. If you are following a recipe, make sure you read the whole recipe through first
2. Have a clean, neat, organized kitchen, so you can see all your ingredients and have space to do all the prep
3.  Be calm and do it with love



  1. I love this. I love you. And your scones didn't taste that bad. ...although, the flat was majorly disgusting for three days with that fish smell. <3


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  3. Your scones were what made me realise how much of an amazing cook you were. You were at my door and kept repeating "I failed, they're horrible, they're not scones" and I was just trying to eat more and more, thinking "She is MAD, I don't care what they are, these chocolate things are delici-omnomnom". I miss living with you and our fish smelling flat as well :P

    P.S: Although, I can only agree to leave the Thanksgiving cooking to the Americans... Who knew marshmallow and spinach were so contentious.

    1. I asked Nat if I could make something for thanksgiving again this year and I think he just said no lol. You should come up here for thanksgiving.

    2. I'm arriving exactly a week after thanksgiving :/ I'd ask for leftovers but...

  4. ahahah this post is awesome..we all make mistakes! it happens to th best of us ..o and practice makes perfect! yep yep


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