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Dr. Jamming
Apr 11, 2007

People are talking out there... and I hear it all.


I was making a lovely honey cake that called for a teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of orange juice, and 1/4 cup of rye or whiskey.

I poured 1/2 cup of orange juice into the measuring cup, picked up the whiskey bottle, and poured until the liquid level rose to the 3/4ths line. As I'm holding the whiskey bottle, I looked at the counter to see a bottle of whiskey...

Wait... Why is?
...well poo poo.

You see, my friend occasionally takes trips down to mexico, and when she does, she brings back large bottles of very nice vanilla extract, which is cheaper to buy down there. She usually invites people to bring a container over to take some home with them. I thought that a Jack Daniel's bottle, thoroughly cleaned and with the label removed would make a fine container for alcohol-based liquid, and until this point it worked out reasonably well.

Wasting a half cup of decent orange juice is hardly disheartening; losing 1/4 cup of very good vanilla is far more so. I was also pissed that if I hadn't been so efficient in stacking ingredients in the same measuring cup, I could have at least gone backwards. Instead, down the drain it went.

It's been far too long since we had a good thread about kitchen fuckups. I invite everyone to share stories of your mistakes, and if it can be done in good spirits, huge mistakes you've seen made, or eaten the results of. At least some good can come of bad food.

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Claven666
Jun 27, 2010


I made Korean marinade (bulgogi) a few weeks ago on a day where I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. The recipe called for 6 tsp. of red pepper flake. I put in twice the amount. I also added too much brown sugar. The result was an overly sweet, overly viscous slop that also caused horrific colon burns on the way out. My sous-chef quietly remade a few days later without saying anything

FractionMan
Dec 24, 2003

Bringing back the balls to Rock


Making cookies with unlabelled bags of sugar which ended up having unlabelled bags of salt next to them. It was like taking a bite of seawater.

The part that haunts me is that I still added a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour, which now seems like a massive irony.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


FractionMan posted:

Making cookies with unlabelled bags of sugar which ended up having unlabelled bags of salt next to them. It was like taking a bite of seawater.

Haha I did the same thing helping a friend make some strawberry dessert at a party. I wasn't familiar with her kitchen and saw a jar of white granules... sugar, right?

Doh004
Apr 22, 2007

Mmmmm Donuts...

Similar sugar story:

We went down to my aunt's house for our annual christmas cookie baking event. Our first batch of dough is made, we pop it into the oven and let them cool. We all take a bite and the room just goes silent as everyone just looks at each other.

What we thought was white sugar was in fact sugar subtitute. Either splenda or equal, but eating cookies made from that poo poo (not even the mixture of splenda+brown sugar) was just horrifying. We quickly threw out that dough and started from scratch. Who has a tub of white sugar subtitute in their kitchen?

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


What was different about it? I'm curious because most sugar substitutes are cut with massive amounts of dextrose or maltodextrin, and I'm curious what those do when baked

Doh004
Apr 22, 2007

Mmmmm Donuts...

Steve Yun posted:

What was different about it? I'm curious because most sugar substitutes are cut with massive amounts of dextrose or maltodextrin, and I'm curious what those do when baked

The texture was completely off, much lighter. The flavor tasted almost... plastic-y? Definitely very, very wrong.

BlueGrot
Jun 25, 2010



If you used equal amounts to sugar then you would get a really synthetic taste yeah.

Dirk the Average
Feb 7, 2012


When I was a kid (around middle school aged), I attempted to make lemon poppyseed muffins out of a box. Kid me reads the ingredients, putzes around the kitchen to try to find everything, and eventually manages to get everything together except milk. At that point, I had the brilliant epiphany that since both milk and orange juice are things you drink at breakfast, I should be able to substitute orange juice for milk into the recipe.

The muffins actually turned out all right - they didn't rise properly and the texture was a bit off, but they tasted even more citrusy and sweet than usual and weren't half bad. I don't think I'd ever try that again, but I still get a kick out of it.

My only real kitched disaster was learning that putting glass bowls on a burner is a terrible idea, even if they're Pyrex. I was trying to make pasta-roni (still a kid at the time; didn't have access to ingredients or the know how to make my own dishes). Everything went perfectly fine at first - I put the water in the bowl, heated it up to boiling just like normal, added in some salt and olive oil. Then I added in cold milk. If you've ever seen videos of what happens when a balloon is popped in slow motion, that's more or less what happened to the bowl. The whole thing cracked, shivered, and fell apart over the span of about a second after I added in the milk. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and I cleaned up the glass, but still, lesson learned.

Liar
Dec 14, 2003

Smarts > Wisdom


The very first time I ever made hard-boiled eggs I basically had no loving clue about cooling them after boiling to shock the shell (which I learned from this forum later). So I boiled up two dozen eggs, and then proceeded to destroy two dozen eggs in an event I can only describe as the most swearing I'd ever done before.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Speaking of eggs

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...2#post399639955

Steve Yun posted:

I warmed up a hard boiled egg in the microwave, opened the door, looked at it, no cracks, no signs of cracking, bursting, anything. Took it back to my desk, started browsing the web and then cracked into the shell using my thumb.

POOF

The soft muffled sound of a magician's smoke bomb as the top half exploded in my face. The particles of egg that were projected were incredibly fine, like dust almost. I opened my eyes (my lashes coated in egg bits like they were snowflakes) and realized that the explosion wasn't just powerful enough to coat my face, it had powdered my desk and the walls with egg. I frantically spent an hour cleaning that poo poo up, terrified of what my room would smell like if I didn't find and clean up every single last bit.

Mico
Jan 28, 2011

Honorable Mayor Roy Ziegler


I melted a plastic spatula when I was first starting to learn how to cook because the oil was way too hot.

I also managed to destroy the teflon on a frying pan I had by burning pork goulash.

Mico fucked around with this message at Aug 20, 2013 around 23:16

THE MACHO MAN
Nov 15, 2007

...Carey...

draw me like one of your French Canadian girls



Hahahaha god I wanna trick my roommate into doing this, but I'd get stuck with the mess...

Last fall when I first started dating my gf, she was all impressed that I cooked most of my meals. I wanted to be fancy and make some kind of breakfast with hashbrowns and some kinda cream sauce. The hash browns were awful, but the worst part was whatever the hell I did trying to make a cream sauce ended up basically being a rock solid piece of rubber. I remember being quite hungover and stoned, but poo poo, that was a bad one. It looked like a meteor. I have no idea what I was thinking or doing.

I also followed jpfan's pad thai recipe on the gws wiki. It called for like a dozen scoops of brown sugar or some nonsense in the sauce. This was before I was confident enough to recognize bad recipes. It still turned out decent enough but jesus was it sweet in retrospect

feelz good man
Jan 21, 2007

deal with it


Claven666 posted:

I made Korean marinade (bulgogi) a few weeks ago on a day where I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. The recipe called for 6 tsp. of red pepper flake. I put in twice the amount. I also added too much brown sugar. The result was an overly sweet, overly viscous slop that also caused horrific colon burns on the way out. My sous-chef quietly remade a few days later without saying anything
So you made truly authentic Korean food!

the_steve
Nov 9, 2005

We're always hiring!

I tried making gyro meat, because dammit, I really wanted gyros.
Found a recipe online, bought the ingredients...somehow ended up with a bland, flavorless meatloaf.

Skinny King Pimp
Aug 25, 2011
Skinny Queen Wimp

You have to season the poo poo out of it and put a weight on top when you cook it. I made gyro meat once and it came out pretty good, honestly. I used like twice as much of the spices, though, and checked the seasoning by throwing a pinch of the meat into a pan so I could taste it.

Fo3
Feb 14, 2004
Interested party

I made a bland disaster.
I wanted to do fried rice, stir fried veg, and honey garlic pork.
I precooked the rice at home (edit: the day before and let it dry out in the fridge overnight), the next day went to a house with a lovely stove and only a single old SS 10" saute pan looked half useful. So 3 dishes cooked in the wrong pan and lots of rinsing and washing in between

I stir fried pak choy, red capsicum, onion OK, added a soy, sesame oil, shaoxing wine and cornflour sauce, but couldn't really get the sauce to thicken. Oh yeah, they were out of oyster sauce.

I gave up on the veg, rinsed the pan and tried to fry the rice. It just stuck, really really stuck no matter what I did. Oh well, save what I can and it's just pan reheated rice.

Rinsed the pan again, let it get really hot, because that must have been the problem with the rice. It's still wet, that's just steam not smoke right? Did I rinse it - can't remember. I chuck in the garlic, instant burning. Oh, that was oil smoking in the pan not water from when I cleaned it out last time.
Start again...
Dice more garlic start frying it. By now the pork has been in flour for over 30min, all soggy and crap.
I just had to power through, nothing came out right. lovely pan took ages to heat up and when I pulled it from the heat after reducing the honey and sugar, it thickened up and stuck to the pan more than the meat.

Bland rice, crappy pork with honey and garlic.

Fo3 fucked around with this message at Aug 27, 2013 around 13:06

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005




the_steve posted:

I tried making gyro meat, because dammit, I really wanted gyros.
Found a recipe online, bought the ingredients...somehow ended up with a bland, flavorless meatloaf.
The ground-meat style gyros suck. If you want something delicious that approximates a gyro you'll want to butterfly a lamb shoulder (to maximize the surface area), season it overnight, tuck in some garlic and thyme, cover it in olive oil, slow-roast at 200 F it until it reaches 145, take it out, then sear it a few times at 475 to get it really good and crispy.

My understanding of the tasty-style gyros (doner kebab) is that it's sheets of fatty lamb pounded thin and then effectively spit-roasted (then you only eat the outside). So you'll want fatty meat, high surface area, lots of crisp.

No Wave fucked around with this message at Aug 27, 2013 around 13:27

Anaxaganous
Aug 1, 2013


I've found that most of my screw ups happened because I was rushing - ingredients were too hot still or too cold still. Last two times I got impatient making chocolate mousse, I tried to beat the egg yolks into melted chocolate that had just come off the stove just a minute or two prior. I ended up with chunks of cooked egg mixed into melted chocolate. Still tasty, but definitely not what I was going for. On the other side, my last rushed attempt at Italian meringue butter cream icing ended up being sugar syrup with chunks of butter because the butter wasn't room temperature. Remember to let your butter warm up!

Tagichatn
Jun 7, 2009

Praise the Sun!


This wasn't me but I had the dubious pleasure of tasting the results. One of my friends from high school was cooking a dinner and the recipe called for packing the chicken in salt. So that's what he did...except he used skinless chicken. It was one of the saltiest things I've ever tasted.

peeNamaste
Aug 4, 2010

I have used 41 of 300 characters allowed.


When I was a child my dad and I decided to make a pizza from scratchish. The dough was pre made, but in had to be kneeded. I was tasked with kneeding the dough. I kept coating it and the counter with flour, but the dough just kept getting stickier and wetter. I had no idea what was happening so I just kept adding more. Turns out that my dad kept the large unlabeled mason jar of flour right next to the big unlabeled mason jar of powdered sugar. Pizza ended up tasting fine.

It was really a good thing, because now, when I'm cooking in anyone else's kitchen, before I add an ingredient I taste it, and then call a friend over to taste it too. I now label every single ingredient I have as well.

Another time I was following a really bad recipe for chicken korma. I should have known that it was a bad recipe, since it had poor measurements, and most of the instructions were "Just throw this in that" which as you know doesn't usually work well with creamy dishes. I ended up wasting some good chicken and like 4 million red onions. I know how to do it right now though.

ookuwagata
Aug 25, 2007

I love you this much!

A coworker of mine once when in training had the bright idea of trying to cook a shell egg in a microwave. That point forward (and later classes could verify it) there is a sign stating specifically not to microwave shell eggs.

I once tried making something with onions, and in an attempt to save myself the time chopping the onion into tiny pieces, I used a grater to grate the onion into a fine paste. Which was incredibly bitter.

NoodlesVonSexron
May 1, 2012


When I was 12 years old, I was tasked with frying chicken legs for the whole family. I'd never done anything more complicated than baking a frozen pizza, so I was doomed from the start. I dipped the legs in flour and dropped them in the hot oil to fry. As soon as they were golden brown I pulled them out and served them up. I still remember watching my uncle bite into one and seeing the chicken blood drip down his chin. I'm 25 now and only recently tried frying chicken again. It went much better.

Doh004
Apr 22, 2007

Mmmmm Donuts...

NoodlesVonSexron posted:

When I was 12 years old, I was tasked with frying chicken legs for the whole family. I'd never done anything more complicated than baking a frozen pizza, so I was doomed from the start. I dipped the legs in flour and dropped them in the hot oil to fry. As soon as they were golden brown I pulled them out and served them up. I still remember watching my uncle bite into one and seeing the chicken blood drip down his chin. I'm 25 now and only recently tried frying chicken again. It went much better.

I'm sorry but who the hell tasks a 12 year old with deep frying chicken?

Lonely Virgil
Oct 9, 2012



Doh004 posted:

I'm sorry but who the hell tasks a 12 year old with deep frying chicken?

Seriously, I wouldn't trust some adults to not start a grease fire trying to fry chicken.

peeNamaste
Aug 4, 2010

I have used 41 of 300 characters allowed.


Doh004 posted:

I'm sorry but who the hell tasks a 12 year old with deep frying chicken?

'Murricams. That's actually why we have children. To do things we don't want to do.

NoodlesVonSexron
May 1, 2012


Peenmaster posted:

'Murricams. That's actually why we have children. To do things we don't want to do.

Pretty much this. If I hadn't hosed up those chicken legs so bad I probably would have been put in charge of the Thanksgiving turkey.

TychoCelchuuu
Jan 2, 2012

This space for Rent.

ookuwagata posted:

I once tried making something with onions, and in an attempt to save myself the time chopping the onion into tiny pieces, I used a grater to grate the onion into a fine paste. Which was incredibly bitter.
Blending up an onion in a food processor is the first step in some Ethiopian food (and probably lots of other stuff too). As long as you cook the resulting paste it's not going to be any worse than onion in any other form.

Thoht
Aug 3, 2006



Yeah, sometimes you'll make pastes of garlic/onion/ginger for Indian dishes too, the key is cooking it.

Triskelli
Sep 26, 2011

JACKPOT


One of the worst things I've done was misreading a recipe: Instead of using two cups of cooked rice, I started with two cups of uncooked rice, boiled it up then added it to my stir fry. Needless to say that there wasn't much stirring in a pan that full, so some of the rice got burnt, some wasn't fried at all, etc. It DID last a long time though, and the chicken turned out fine.

Probably one of the worst things I've ever seen was some freshman girls' attempt at making vegan cookies where they just removed ingredients instead of replacing them. No eggs, no sugar (?), they wound up looking like flat turd briquettes. Tasted like chocolate rubber.

meteloides
Mar 16, 2010

I was too busy writing my next best-seller.


I tried making spaghetti carbonara once for myself and my future husband, but unfortunately, no one had ever bothered to teach me how to temper eggs. Cue me throwing the eggs into the sauce and them promptly attempting to scramble. I'd made a big thing previous to this about how my dad had taught me how to cook, and this was the event that made me realize that my dad didn't actually teach me anything except roughly how to chop vegetables.

And then there's the microwave. I've had this microwave since I moved out of my ex's mom's house, and she owned it for God only knows how long. My ex broke the glass plate for it a long time ago, and we never could find a replacement for it, and over the years it has developed a serious habit of only cooking one side of things. I knew this, and tried to make rice-a-roni in it anyway... the first time, I stupidly used a plastic bowl, and only realized my mistake when I smelled plastic burning. I ran into the kitchen, opened it, yanked out the bowl, and the burning rice fell through the bowl onto the tile floor.

That really should have tipped me off to stop using it, at least for cooking major things, but no, I'm foolhardy and poor. I tried making rice-a-roni again a few months later, this time in a stoneware bowl, and only realized my folly when I smelled it burning. It sent smoke everywhere, gave me a migraine, but thankfully didn't ruin the bowl, only the side dish.

I still have the Goddamn thing, too. I'm too broke to get a new one

Fo3
Feb 14, 2004
Interested party

Carbonara and tempering eggs for a sauce?
How do you make carbonara?
When I make it I have a pot of pasta on boil, a fry pan with the other ingredients like bacon or pancetta and whatever else I'm putting into it that needs cooking, and on the side is some herbs, some parmesan, and a bowl with beaten eggs.

Just before the pasta is done I remove the lid and swap it with a large wide stainless steel bowl over the top to get the bowl warm (or I could pre-warm it in some other way).

When pasta is done it's quickly drained so as not to lose much heat, some liquid reserved if needed, then the pasta is put into the pre-warmed stainless steel bowl (sometimes I put that bowl back onto the pasta pot for residual heat), and the beaten eggs, contents of the frypan, and the herbs and parmesan are poured over the top and stirred until I'm happy with it.

There's no sauce or tempering required.

Fo3 fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2013 around 17:20

Dr. Buttass
Aug 12, 2013

AWFUL SOMETHING


Speaking of microwave misadventures I was trying to make rice in a microwave recently. See, I accidentally added the rice to a panful of cold water instead of waiting for the water to boil, and since I've never had to adjust for that particular fuckup I decided to play it safe, transfer it to a bowl, and nuke it. I set the microwave according to the directions on the bag and set to sorting out the parts of dinner that I hadn't fouled up. About halfway through the rice's cooking time my brother wanders in and smells smoke, and says so.

I should point out that I'm almost completely anosmic so until something starts emitting visible smoke I have no way of knowing that it's burning. Immediately I think of things I've had problems with burning in the past; therefore, I start investigating the pans on the stove very intently to figure out what I need to turn down. Yep-the smoke was actually coming from the microwave. Since I wasn't using one of the specific quantities on the bag I'd managed to miscalculate something about the directions for microwaving the rice, and all the water had been absorbed and subsequently boiled away. The rice had begun to burn in a rather spectacular fashion, taking on an appearance similar to tarmac and humping upwards in order to ruin one of the splatter shields my family uses rather obsessively in the microwave. And when I say ruin I mean ruin; the vent on top had been melted to about four times its previous size and the surrounding area had begun to turn brown as it prepared to do its own melting.

Needless to say I went back to making it on the stove after that, and am just extra careful not to bung it up the way I did that day.

Manuel Calavera
Nov 1, 2008

Hey waiter, what's this metatarsal doing in my soup?


To prevent that potential future problem, stovetop rice is easy. 2:1 liquid:rice. Cook for 20 minutes, covered. That's all you need to do. Cook it over medium heat, should add that, a gentle simmer. Not boiling.

Fo3
Feb 14, 2004
Interested party

It varies with rice type and desired texture.
Usually 1 cup rice and 1.5 cup water. But 2 cups rice doesn't need 3 cups water, more like 2.5 cups.
It's not a straight scaling thing, it's more like 1:1 + half a cup for the pot.
I usually do 1.5 cups rice of well soaked and rinsed rice, (which is plenty to serve 4 meals as a side in my house), and 2 cups cold water.
Bring it to boil, simmer 10min, let stand with lid on for further 15min

Fo3 fucked around with this message at Sep 4, 2013 around 07:42

flesy
May 6, 2007
y=mx+b


I was making I don't even remember what now but it called for some chile ancho (maybe it was morita??) powder anyway, I read that you can make a powder by just popping it in the oven, letting it dry out and crushing it. Well lazy me didn't feel like waiting for the oven to heat up so I said gently caress it, I'll throw em in the microwave for a little.

Worst. Mistake. Ever. When I came back there was a buncha smoke coming out the microwave and I managed to mace both my whole store and the neighboring restaurant. All during working hours. fuuuuuuuuuuck. The customers that were around for that still make fun of me for it

Horrible Smutbeast
Sep 2, 2011


Manuel Calavera posted:

To prevent that potential future problem, stovetop rice is easy. 2:1 liquid:rice. Cook for 20 minutes, covered. That's all you need to do. Cook it over medium heat, should add that, a gentle simmer. Not boiling.

I think a better thing to do if you can't smell smoke is to not leave anything you're cooking unattended!

Flaggy
Jul 6, 2007



Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

When I was a kid (and this is going to date me a bit) microwaves were a new thing for our household. My mom had made a pie and it was fresh out of the oven, my dad wanted to eat it right away and figured throw it in the microwave to cool it off a bit. Remember, microwaves were new to us, and he thought you could cool stuff off and heat stuff up all in the same new future device. Needless to say the pie exploded all over the microwave making a huge mess. Live and learn I suppose. Yes in hindsight it would have been easier to stick it in the fridge but we wanted to use the new space age technology.

Dr. Buttass
Aug 12, 2013

AWFUL SOMETHING


Horrible Smutbeast posted:

I think a better thing to do if you can't smell smoke is to not leave anything you're cooking unattended!

I don't really know how to respond to this. I mean, the microwave's a couple feet from the stove, I guess you can call that "unattended" if you want. I didn't really have any reason to believe the laws of physics would suddenly be revoked, this had never happened to me while making rice or rice-like dishes before...

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JackDeez
Jun 14, 2012


My worst cooking disaster involved a couple hundred bucks of really high quality lamb cutlets.

My roomate works in a food distribution warehouse and had gotten a deal on a case of lamb they couldnt sell due to dates on the product. He brought it home and said have fun. I, never having cooked lamb before, went online glanced over a couple different recipes and figured I was good to go on preparing this feast. I decided to do a cherry sauce and got fresh cherries at the grocers instead of anything canned. The recipe called for a rub mix of various spices including rosemary which admittedly I dont really ever use. Since I had like 5 times as much lamb as the recipe called for I used 5x as much ingredients. Well obviously the sheer amount of rosemary completely ruined the lamb and the cherries I had bought weren't ripe and were bitter and green as all get out.

The fact I had nearly 20 people over for dinner cemented my failure. I ended up ordering a LOT of pizza and breadsticks to feed everyone. A few years have gone by and to this day when I invite people over for dinner they always jokingly ask if were having lamb.

JackDeez fucked around with this message at Sep 6, 2013 around 02:40

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