A Blatant Beg

Heather says:

I’m in the home stretch, the last deadline for the rough draft is Thursday, but I need a few anonymous confessions to fill in a couple of gaps in the cooking section of the book. Don’t worry, the book is pretty full of my own embarrassing anecdotes and bizarre sense of humor. I’m just looking for a couple kitchen catastrophes so others don’t feel so alone.

Oh and if you’re curious about the process, there is still a ways to go. It won’t be on shelves until March. Crazy1 slow, I know.

1Crazy? I was crazy once. . .


  1. Carmen on June 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    My father was a pretty competitive guy – he hated to lose at anything and he hated if he made a mistake (that others found out about anyway). He decided to make a pumpkin pie using a frozen pie crust – unfortunately he neglected to remove the wax paper that lines the bottom of the crust, so there was certainly an interesting texture between the soft pumpkin and the crust.

  2. Staci on June 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Once I wanted to try some eggplant because I'd never had any. I found what I thought was a delicious looking recipe for sauteed eggplant with little halved grape tomatoes. I was scrupulous about cubing it, soaking it in salt water to remove the bitterness, and drying the little cubes in towels for two whole hours. What I did not do is use the proper amount of oil and wait for the oil to heat before throwing everything into the skillet. I was afraid of the eggplant sticking so I used entirely too much oil. When the eggplant hit the cold puddle of oil, it soaked it up like a sponge and what I had was a slimy, nasty mess. My husband has refused to ever let me try again and my kids start retching if I so much as LOOK at the eggplants when we pass them in the market. Learn from my mistake!

  3. Steph on June 23, 2010 at 4:25 am

    One my husband never lets me forget is when we were first dating…. we were making dinner and I wanted to try out my Wishbone cruet with the package of Italian dressing. The oil rose to the top. When I asked him what to do, he suggested a drop of dishwashing liquid which I added not realizing his sense of humor.

  4. judith on June 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I made cheese fondue frequently — and well — in college. But in grad school, one day, without a recipe in front of me I tried again ……………….. using port wine (cheddar) cheese. It turned bright pink as it melted and never congealed at all. Looked like liquid bubblegum in the pot. Yum! Guess you really do need swiss cheese to make fondue!

  5. Princess Leia on June 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I've always been rather distractable, especially when I was reading a book and was disturbed.

    One time, my (much) younger siblings and I were at my aunt's house. I was reading a book. My aunt was changing my sister's diaper and she asked me to turn on the eye under the pot of water so that she could warm up my sister's bottle. While continuing to read, I walked over to the stove, turned on a burner, and walked away. My aunt walked past the kitchen a few minutes later to see flames shooting out from under her cookbook (which was sitting on the stove). She turned off the eye, put out the flames, and walked out to the living room where I had continued to read, quite oblivious to the fire. She got my attention and said, "I know it says 'cook book,' but it doesn't really mean it!"

    For my wedding shower gift, true to her word, my aunt gave me a "do not cook book."

    And then there was the time I was assigned the task of making Tuna Helper for the family's dinner. I followed the directions as exactly as I could. Unfortunately, there was a poor choice of formatting and some punctuation that I ignored on the instructions. You see, the instructions on one line said "add noodles," and on the next line said "drained; tuna" Well, we always drained tuna, so that seemed rather redundant to me, but whatever.

    So I added the drained tuna to the never-drained noodles (and I'd measured exactly the 6-8 cups of water they were supposed to be cooked in) and made Tuna Helper soup. That even the dog wouldn't eat. It was very disappointing to no longer be able to state "I can make anything that comes in a box."

  6. Rebecca on June 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I grew up baking with my mom, but one day I decided to make banan bread on my own. I grabbed the recipe, which was in my dear grandmother's curly script. I read the ingredients and put it all together, and only realized after the volcano erupted in the oven that I had read her small 't' (for teaspoon) as a capital 'T' (for tablespoon) when I added the baking soda. Don't ever triple the leavening!

  7. Shayna on June 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I was making a chicken pot pie and the recipe called for fresh Thyme. I only had dried so I used the same amount. It was waaaayyy to much. My son said "it taste's like cement!" and to this day still has an aversion to Thyme…

  8. Danielle on June 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    The Kimchi Incident.

    In my reckless youth, I decided to brave the kimchi-making experience. I didn't know much about Asian hot peppers, and thought that cayenne pepper would be a good substitute in the recipe. That itself was not the tragic error; the sadness came in preparation. I liberally slathered the cabbage with the cayenne mixture, carefully getting between the leaves so as to maximize kimchi goodness. It wasn't long before my hands began to burn. You may have guessed by now that I had not used gloves. In vain, I tried washing my hands. The pain increased from burning to searing. In desperation, I ended up calling poison control, but the suggestions they gave me (such as soaking my hands in milk) didn't help. I cried for hours with my hands in ice water. I still love to eat kimchi, but refuse to make it after this harrowing experience.

  9. Becky on June 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I had a new friend over to lunch once and microwaved potatoes in plastic wrap..After I handed her plate to her, she said quietly.."Uh, there's an ant" and we both watched an ant crawl out of the Saran..Without thinking, I took the plate back from her, squished the ant (on the plate no less) and wiped it on a paper towel, then handed the plate back to her..the look of shock on her face was my first hint that my kitchen practices were maybe too cavalier..I'm happy to say we've become great friends, but she brings the ant up to me fairly frequently

    • ThatBobbieGirl on June 22, 2010 at 3:53 pm

      I think you were being very thoughtful.

      I mean, you could have left her to kill it on her own. Some people just don't appreciate anything 😉

  10. Pam on June 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I think my worst mis-hap would be my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. I baked this beautiful pumpkin pie, in fact the best one ever. It only took one bite to realize that I had forgotten the sugar!!! I was devastated for a while.

  11. Heidi on June 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    When I left home after high school, I was a terrible cook. When I go into cooking after college, I decided to make a pumpkin pie for my family's Thanksgiving – from scratch. I did a test run at home, and it turned out great. While at my parents house for the big day, I got distracted while talking to my mom and forgot to add the sugar. There were no other desserts, as I had talked up how awesome my pie was.

  12. Miranna on June 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Okay, see…. I don't remember any of mine, because I choose to forget them. *whistles softly*

    ROFLOL Yeah right! Let's see, Sunday (yes, this week), I made blueberry muffins. Only I didn't have blueberries. I had blackberries and raspberries. They aren't interchangeable.

    I've made all sorts of …. interesting concoctions that my family had to attempt to eat. I do have to say though, the more I learn about cooking, the more interesting my concoctions seem to be. 😉

    Have fun.

  13. caroline on June 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    My gram once baked a ham w/o taking the plastic off. Discoverd it when we went to carve the ham for Easter dinner.
    First time I made choc chip cookies from scratch, I forgot the baking soda. Tasted ok but looked weird.
    My sister once made her then bf (now husband) mac'n cheese and didn't drain the macaroni (macncheese soup). She also made him brownies and forgot the eggs (huh these look kind of dry).
    My brother made canned soup and left the burner on so the soup would stay 'warm'. Burned off all the liqued and ruined my mom's pot.
    First time my grandpa made sourdough bread it was so hard we gave it to the baby to use as a teething ring.
    My brothers girlfriend once sliced her hand open drying to cut up a frozen chicken (she was home alone and didn't want to use up the whole chicken).
    Need any more?

  14. Sue on June 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I tried making baked beans from scratch, and it was also my first time soaking beans myself instead of using them from a can. I followed the soaking directions in the recipe, and they weren't quite *soft* when they should have been done, but I figured they were going to have more softening time in the oven with the molasses and stuff… I'm not sure what went wrong with the recipe itself, but I don't think I added enough liquid. The result? Hard, hard beans in a sticky, burnt mess all stuck together at the bottom of the dish. The only meal I've ever had to completely toss. I've since soaked beans successfully, but have yet to try the baked beans again.

    • ThatBobbieGirl on June 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm

      Yeah, I made that mistake too — then, I found out you have to actually COOK the beans AFTER the soak, but before adding the other "stuff" — PLUS, if the beans aren't cooked until they're tender, they won't get any softer after you add anything sweet or acidic ingredients (such as tomato sauce or anything with vinegar in it, like ketchup or mustard or…vinegar)

  15. Lucy on June 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    As a newlywed non-cook I was faced with having the hubby's boss and family over for dinner. Clueless, I decided spagetti would be easy; I went for the spagetti sauce in a jar! Anyhow, when I opened the jar the sauce shot straight up and splattered the ceiling. I thought it was weird but heated and served anyway. It tasted okay. We all met later in the ER..

  16. Jenn on June 22, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Growing up, I was in high school before I learned that you could make a cake from scratch. Same goes for brownies. I never really gave it much thought and just assumed you needed to buy a box mix.

    My dad and his wife were visiting and I decided to make bread for the next morning. I put all the ingredients into the bread machine but I put in 2x as much water as the recipe called for and the dough overflowed the pan and onto the heating element where it burned. Fortunately, I smelled the smoke from upstairs and went down to investigate. The machine still has a bit of an aroma about it and I haven't used it since.

  17. DaisyW on June 22, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Once while making a pot of rice, I forgot to turn it down once it came to a boil. I gave it a stir, put the lid on it, and went about my business. A few minutes before it should have been done I noticed the stench. It was absolutely vile. The bottom quarter inch of the burnt mess looked like charcoal. Took me a week to get that pan clean, scrubbing it a few minutes at a time. I bought a rice cooker after that.

  18. Shelley on June 22, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I used to think you bought 'dry sherry' in the herbs and spices section. That's what comes of growing up in the Bible Belt…

    My worst cooking nightmare was as a teen trying to make French Fries. I got the grease too hot and so set it aside to cool and started another pan. When it spattered, I backed up, into the first one which spilled down my legs. Fortunately it had cooled slightly and I had on thick tights; I just got 1st degree burns. I've never deep fat fried anything since.

    • Miranna on June 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      Heh heh…. Been there, done that. Still trying to figure out how to explain to my church friends that the really good marinade used a dry white wine. lol

  19. Amanda on June 22, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Who doesn't have a bad Thanksgiving story behind them, right? One year I neglected to add "clean oven" to my holiday prep list. The smoke drove us right to Denny's.

    I also, frequently, put things into my spouted blender without realizing that the spout is open. Talk about a mess.

  20. Phillip on June 21, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    I once ruined my parent's non stick pan by trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich oven eyes really need to have a exact temp readout on them.

    also pretty much cried myself to sleep from the pain of preparing peppers w/o washing my hands after de-seeding them with my fingers…. Sooooooo much pain! (now i'm SUPER careful around seeds)

  21. @vhanna26 on June 21, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    I think you remember me heating up a hard boiled egg in the microwave and having it explode in my face.

  22. Heather on June 22, 2010 at 2:06 am

    I have never looked at tortillas the same ever since I was a newlywed and threw a bag of tortillas into the microwave to warm through. About 10 seconds later, I hear a loud BOOM and see a flame shoot up out of the center of the microwave. It just so happens, I left the metal twist tie on the plastic bag.

  23. angela on June 21, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    The day I got out of the hospital after have my second child, I made oven mac n’ cheese. It was the only thing I had all the ingredeints for as he was 10 day early and I was in the middle of a college semester. I had forgotten to put milk in the dish, so my husband went into the kitchen to add the milk and opened the oven door to the oven completely on fire. Nobody ever told me you had to clean the oven. Our meal was black and the house filled with smoke. We ended up sitting in my sister’s car eat PB and J. It took a good three hours and lots of scrubing to clean up that mess. Note: clean your ovens. Luckly my husband was home. The second time my oven (a different one that had an unknown eletrical problem) started on fire while trying to make cookies, I had to call the fire department.

  24. Zarah on June 22, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I once forgot to put the flour in a batch of cookies. I only discovered my error when my little sister asked me what was dripping out the bottom of the oven door. They had melted off the cookie sheet!

  25. Melanna on June 22, 2010 at 1:37 am

    My family has a whipped shortbread recipe we make every Christmas. I had made it a million times before and decided to make it for my college room mates for a special Christmas treat. In the recipe you cream a pound of butter for about 10 minutes, add confectioners sugar, flour, salt etc and spread it into a jelly roll pan to bake. I was talking to my room mates as I was doing all this. I put it in the oven and we waited in great anticipation. When I pulled it out, it didn't really seem set. In fact, it seemed kind of wet. That's when I noticed the flour container still sitting on the counter, unused. Basically a pan of caramel sauce, sort of. My room mate tried eating it on ice cream. She said it was good, but I was so sickened by the thought of the whole thing!

  26. Denise on June 22, 2010 at 1:18 am

    The first turkey I ever cooked (Thanksgiving dinner with the inlaws) …. I didn't know that the giblets, neck, etc., were inside the cavity. Encountered no problems. Just thanked god that I carved the bird alone in the kitchen instead of in front of everyone around the dining table!

  27. Melanie Nelson on June 22, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Did I ever tell you about the time I made rice krispy treats? You should read it. You'll love it. 😉 http://donttryit.com/2006/01/watch-out-for-thatsp

  28. tastelikecrazy on June 21, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    " I was crazy once, they put me home, there were worms. I hate worms. They make me crazy. I was crazy once. . . "

    I TOTALLY remember that!

    Anyway, when Tucker and I first moved to Florida, I had a habit of hopping on Food Network's website and printing out new and exciting [and expensive] recipes to try.

    One I printed was a pork chop recipe by Bobby Flay – mistake #1 – called something like Diablo Spice Rubbed Pork Chops – mistake #2. Keep in mind, I've cooked all my life, know how to follow a recipe and neither Tucker, nor I, are afraid to try new things.

    I mixed the spices exactly in the fashion the recipe specified. I rubbed the hell out of those bad boys with the mixture until my fingers were caked with the rub and stained red.

    Jump forward to dinner time.

    Tucker took one bite of the pork chops and his eyes bulged out – and he has deep set eyes. I tried to fight my way through a couple of bites but it was beyond obvious the pork chops were inedible.

    Since we had six leftover pork chops we were definitely not going to eat, we decided to give a couple to the dog that will eat anything. This dog eats watermelon and beer bottles. No joke.

    The dog licked the chop once and started rubbing her face with her paws. Then the howling started. I can only assume Sophie must have gotten some of the spice rub on her front feet when she rubbed her face. After about ten minutes of her running around the apartment – and into walls – with a frothing mouth and much noise, we were finally able to catch her and spray her face in the face with our shower's pull-down attachment.

    Oddly enough, I've never made those things since. 😉

  29. Cheryl on June 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    A few years ago I decided to make my boys edible chocolate Easter baskets, Easter bowls is a more accurate description. It was a simple process; you blow up a balloon and dip the bulbous end in melted chocolate. You then place the balloon in the fridge, allow the chocolate to harden and repeat the process until you have have a bowl thick enough to fill with goodies. I decided to speed up the process and place the balloons in the freezer. It worked well the first few rounds. Then, when I was placing the balloon in the freezer it popped and chocolate flew all over the room. The inside of the freezer was coated as well as my face. It took my husband and I, working together, over 30 minutes to clean it all up. There was chocolate on the floor, the cabinets, the ceiling, everywhere. In fact, there are still a few flecks of chocolate on the ceiling!

  30. jhota on June 21, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    once had a room mate that decided to make mashed potatoes. he peeled the spuds, mashed them up, added water, and set them to boil.

    et voila, potato slurry.

    saddest thing is that i watched him do it and didn't object.

  31. Emily on June 21, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I wanted to cook fried chicken for my boyfriend, but I was out of flour. I had PLENTY of cornmeal though! . I soaked the nearly-thawed thighs in milk for 20 minutes, then dipped them in the cornmeal and tossed 'em in the frying pan.

    And then turned the burner on.

    • caroline on June 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

      My roomate made me fried chicken once, we couldn't figure out why it was sticky and sweet. Months later I discovered she had rolled the chicken in confectioners sugar instead of flour.

  32. ThatBobbieGirl on June 21, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    You were crazy ONCE? You have a zombie apocalypse reference on a home ec website. I'd say you're still rock-solid crazy. Not that it's a BAD thing.

    I know I've told this before, and I don't care if it's anonymous or has my name on it: The first time I made homemade chicken stock, it wasn't until after I poured the contents of the stock pot into the colander that I realized I'd forgotten to put a bowl under it. All my lovely stock went swirling down the drain, leaving only the cooked-to-death chicken bits and veggies behind! I laugh about it now, 24 years later, but at the time, I cried my eyes out.

    • Bran on June 21, 2010 at 11:54 pm

      Yep. I would have wept.

    • HeatherSolos on June 21, 2010 at 11:58 pm

      It's from a stupid thing when I was a kid. I was crazy once, they put me home, there were worms. I hate worms. They make me crazy. I was crazy once. . .

      As far as generally speaking, yeah, I probably fit the bill.

      And yes, I would cry, too.

    • Betsy on June 22, 2010 at 4:06 am

      OH! I did the same thing once! I thought I was the only one!

  33. Margie on June 21, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I've never posted before so here goes…

    I've been married for 31 years this august and could fill a book alone with my kitchen mishaps. I was not taught to cook so I've been flying by the seat of my pants all these years.

    I once put the roast beef in the crockpot with that little black piece of plastic still attached – it came in black styrofoam so I didn't notice the black plastic (it's there in the packaging to soak up the juices) – I cooke the whole thing and then smelled plastic as I unloaded the crockpot.

    My first thanksgiving, I made homemade pumpkin pie – except for the pie shell part. I accidentally left the thin parchment paper in the shell before pouring the pumpkin. My brother in law was eating a piece and kept pulling out little bits of white paper – took us awhile to figure that one out.

    My favorite one is Wacky Cake. A friend gave me the recipe. It's the BEST chocolate cake ever and if you google it, you can find recipes all over the web. I must have put the ingredients in the pan incorrectly because the cake literally exploded in the over and the batter basically carmalized. It was a bear to clean. The recipe has baking soda and vinegar in it so I think you have to add the ingredients exactly as written or you, too, will end up with a science project.

    I've made 40 clove garlic chicken but I thought cloves were HEADS of garlic and couldn't understand why you needed 40 heads!!! It took a turkey baking dish to make and, of course, we couldn't eat it.

    When I was first married they had all those pudding poke cake recipes at work. I tried my hand at making one. I poured the pudding in the holes of the cake (made with the handle of a wooden spoon) but the cake never set! It was a big mushy mess! Turns out I used a package of COOK pudding (and didn't cook it!) You were supposed to use instant pudding.

    🙂 I got a million but I'll stop there!!! It's just a quirk that my family loves about me now!

  34. Anna on June 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I was out of brown sugar and really wanted a pan of peanut butter bars. No problem! I had molasses and white sugar. So, I mixed them up, stuck them in the bar pan and threw them in to bake. Not long after, the bars were bubbling up and over the pan. I'm still not sure why it didn't work, but I have to guess that it was the baking soda that mixed with the molasses, just like you'd make peanut brittle.

  35. Stacy on June 21, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    When I first tried making muffins, well let's clarify, baking anything at all (in this case boxed blueberry muffins), I honestly didn't know the difference between baking soda and baking powder. We didn't do much baking in our house growing up, as you can see. I think my mom may have even been helping me, which makes the story even more ridiculous. So I knew baking soda had "baking" in the title and figured that must be the stuff. When I tasted the finished muffins they looked okay, but tasted horrible, really really salty and just bad. So, I guess it probably does matter which one you use…

  36. Sarah @ Mum In Bloom on June 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    My Recipe Bombs page might help give you some ideas? http://muminbloom.blogspot.com/p/recipe-bombs-don

  37. JanetLee on June 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    The first Thanksgiving meal I prepared after being married, everyone was there, my family, the in-laws and when the turkey was carved at the table for the ta-da moment, I learned that there were packets of guts inside the turkey which probably should be removed before cooking.

  38. Shannon on June 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    One of the first things I tried to make on my own in college was microwaved potatoes. Since they took an hour in the oven, I punched in 60 minutes on the microwave. I realized my error *after* I saw flames leaping out from my potatoes – but before the smoke alarm sounded! Ever since then, I've stuck with the old-fashioned method!

    • caroline on June 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

      I did something similar, I think i put for 30 or maybe 45 min. Smoke alarm went off and when I opened the microwave, the potato was gone, all that was left was the skin. Completely dehydrated it.

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