Well dang. That’s all I can say about tonight’s dinner. While I love to think of myself as a slightly less inspired and less incarcerated version of Martha Stewart, the truth is I’m a more-casually-dressed version of Lucy Ricardo in regards to my homemaking. I’m always thankful for Mr. Scott Daniel, my 11th grade British Literature teacher, who taught me, in the midst of my self-hatred for less-than-perfect performance to say “it’s not my best work,” and move on. So when tonight I found myself serving my crew overcooked chicken and undercooked rice, paired with okra that was somehow both crispy AND slimy, I slyly threw it out there… “it’s not my best work.” And while my hubs choked down every last blessed bite, we had quite a few laughs reminiscing over the epic culinary failures I’ve accomplished over the years. Just know, while I am laughing hysterically right now looking back at these, in the moment, I was visibly seething at my own kitchen-ineptitude. So if you’re there mama, I’m in it with you. I’m a dog, too. I figure we’ve all been there right? And so, in the spirit of transparency and nostalgia, I’ll share some of my favorites with you. Here for your enjoyment, after much deliberation, are my top 5 epic culinary fails, dating back to my first days experimenting in the kitchen.
5. Candy-coated milkshake. I like to think of this one as “where it all began.” We were in 6th grade, and my cousin Logan and I were home alone for the first time ever, having no idea how to use a blender. If that sentence doesn’t set the tone for epic failure, imagine two awkward, brace-faced, glasses-wearing 11-year olds trying to “catch” milk and M&Ms as they spilled all over the counter in the course of what should have been the best milkshake ever.
4. Red Velvet Cake for Pi Day. Another pubescent cooking experiment gone terribly wrong. This time, my math partner and I baked a red velvet cake for a contest, and fully frosted two layers separately (which, at the time, made perfect sense). Then, in attempting to move one layer across the kitchen to stack onto the other, we ran into each other, crushing the cake into glorious bits of frosted red goodness all over her mom’s linoleum floor. And you should know that when you mop up red velvet cake, it looks like an episode of CSI.
3. Apple-walnut stuffed porkchops. I was new to the whole “wife” thing, and was trying to impress my mother-in-law at the time. Basically I served what looked like the cover of Southern Living on top, with what looked like a meat-packing plant on the bottom. Apparently I should have rotated the chops while cooking. The good news is no one died.
2. Beets and Carrots in Goat Cheese with a Balsamic Glaze. Doesn’t that sound glorious? Lies. All lies. Fresh-off-the-farm root vegetables taste like they are still in the ground. And no matter how much cheese and fancy sauce you slathered on these babies, the taste of dirt had it beat. I think this pretty much scared my crew off of beets for the rest of forever.
And last but not least, the HANDS DOWN top epic culinary fail:
1. Lentil stew with farm fresh veggies. Sounds simple enough, right? WRONG. This stew was meant to impress my new husband on his newly-found vegetarian lifestyle. I was fairly certain I’d convinced him of my wifely abilities as far as the kitchen goes, and didn’t think twice about throwing together what turned out to be the ABSOLUTE WORST thing either of us has ever tasted. Seriously. I don’t know if it was the thickness of the broth, the unnecessary combination of virtually everything you could call a vegetable, or the 3 hours it took to make, since I had to soak the lentils in water before even getting started. All I can say is that for all my efforts, this looked and tasted more like a can of Alpo than an actual meal for human consumption. And it spent the night in my garbage disposal while we watched the Jersey Shore and I nursed my ego with Krispy Kreme donuts.
So there you have it. I could go on and on forever with the disasters I’ve put out of this kitchen, but that’s for another blog. Please tell me you’ve had failures like these…and feel free to share in the comments 🙂 We’re in this thing together.