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Kitchen catastrophes: Share your stories here

Posted November 13, 2015

Kitchen catastrophes

Earlier in the week, a number of readers shared some hilarious stories about failed cooking experiences. The stories were so great that I wanted to give everyone a chance to share their kitchen catastrophes just before the heavy duty holiday cooking begins.

Maybe we can all pick up some cooking tips on what not to do. I know that I can use all the help I can get.

Let's hear it - have you, a friend or a relative ever had a cooking catastrophe?

Here are the stories shared on the blog earlier in the week:

From Jdouglas: Granoftwenty, your story reminds me of one my Mom told me from when she and Dad were first married. They had my Dad's grandmother over for dinner, who was a really good cook. My Mom was trying to make something nice, and decided to make homemade breaded fried shrimp in their electric frying pan -- a wedding gift, and all the rage in the 1950's. Poor Mom didn't know you had to shell the shrimp first. Let's say it was a little extra crunchy. :)

From klhjunkmail: I melted a thermometer in the turkey. I didn't realize it wasn't oven-proof. The dome over the numbers was a plastic disk (not glass) which melted and dribbled down the side of the bird. MIL was in the next room. (this woman alphabetized her pantry) I pulled the thermometer out and scraped off the melted plastic - QUICKLY! Then I pushed toothpicks into the area around where it had melted so I'd know what chunk to slice off and toss after the the cooking was done.

From Raesmom: I am trying to let Rae help out on the kitchen a bit more then usual, so the other day we made chili and I let her add the seasonings. She added onion powder, garlic powder, some parsley flakes and of course some Adobo. Well the adobo is very free flowing......lets just say we met our salt intake for the week with that pot o' chili lol No matter what or how I tried to fix it.....all I tasted was salt!!! Maybe its time to take away some responsibilities, or just the adobo hahahaha.

From Observant: I cleaned the turkey and put it in the oven. MIL (mother-in-law) asked where the giblet packet was - I said there was not one that time. We checked the wrapper and then the giant bird - it was so far up in that 22 lb bird and stuck so I had not felt it!! The water had run thru the bird just fine so I had no idea !! We got it out early and all turned out well

From Granoftwenty: I bought store brand flour the first couple of years we were married with no problem but ONCE . We were hosting my MOTHER IN LAW for the Christmas meal - everything tasted GREAT but not an appetizing color : my cookies were grey! my gravy was grey! I thought quick and mixed up food coloring until I got a pretty "gravy' color then added it in extremely small doses to the gravy. I iced the cookies and kept my mouth SHUT! That year I was GLAD my MIL was not a kitchen person - with cooking or helping!

I think my most embarrassing kitchen failure happened about 12 years ago. My grandmother was coming to visit and I was hosting dinner for my parents and grandmother and the rest of the family. I made a vegetable lasagna with a ton of mushrooms. I have a well-documented thing for mushrooms, as some of you know. I forgot to pre-cook the mushrooms. I also added a bit too much pasta sauce, I think. The result was a soupy mess of water-logged noodles. We joked about my lasagna soup for a long time after that. Everyone was gracious, but I definitely learned my lesson about pre-cooking mushrooms before adding them to oven baked dishes.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your great stories!


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  • ascherer Nov 13, 2015

    My SIL and I were cooking at my MIL house. We were a good team in the kitchen because she told me what to do and I did it. We were making peach cobbler with fresh peaches. We mixed everything together and I went to put it in the oven. She screams for me to stop. She then said to take out all of the peaches and wash them. No questions asked, I did it. My DH walked by and asked what I was doing. I said "washing the peaches." She had forgotten to put in the sugar.

  • grafted Nov 13, 2015

    Great stories! Keep 'em coming. ;)

    A few years after we were married (20+ yrs ago), my husband's parents were coming over for dinner. (Why is it that the common thread in most of these stories has to do with company coming?! ha!) Anyway, I knew they loved blackberry cobbler so I made one for dessert. Everything was good....until I went to take it out of the oven. Somehow the dish started to slip, I tried to catch it and the cobbler ended up all over the bottom of the oven, the floor, etc. It was a HUGE mess!! I got most of it cleaned up before they arrived and we ate the ice cream (sans cobbler) for dessert that night.

  • raesmom1612 Nov 13, 2015

    HAHAHA I love reading these!! I have another one similar to jdouglas' about the "flying Turkey" So my mom had made our beautiful bird one year (I think I was in high school) and set it on the counter to cool off. She went to pick it up to transfer it to the table where we would be eating and it was in an aluminum pan. Well we had this new little puppy that didn't quite have a name yet, we just called it puppy. She was a tiny Chihuahua pup that always followed mom around and mom would constantly trip over her. Needless to say as mom turned around with the cooled off turkey in hand, she tripped over the dog and the turkey went flying half way across the kitchen, landed on the table (made a mess of all the sides and dishes we had put out).....but the pan of "turkey grease" landed on the dog. Puppy's new name going forward.......GREASY, GREASE BALL, or GREASY THING lol

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Nov 13, 2015

    Oh my goodness! Those are all great stories, shelleycole and jdouglas13! Thank you for sharing them!

  • shelleycole Nov 13, 2015

    This is not my story but it's too funny not to share. Several years ago my husband and I had come home for tThanksgiving. When the holiday was over and we were leaving to head back to base, my mother in law, gave us a pecan pie to take with us. The next night we were trying to cut a slice only to find out that the paper had been left on the pie crust!! So their was a layer of parchment paper between the crust and the filling! Of course I had to call and tell her after I finally stopped laughing. We still laugh about that at.

  • jdouglas13 Nov 13, 2015

    Here's the second story from when we lived in California. Our apartment had a really small galley kitchen. I had bought a huge (25 lb) turkey even though it was just the two of us that year. I had stuffed the turkey, roasted it, and took it out of the oven. We had no counter space, so the pan had to straddle the sink. There was a window over the sink, with upper cabinets on each side. For the life of me I could not get this turkey out of the pan. It must have weighed over 30 pounds with all the stuffing. Finally, I gave it everything I had. Well, my momentum was too much because not only did the hot, stuffed turkey come out of the pan, I totally lost control of it and it went flying up into the air, smashing into the upper cabinet, and VERY narrowly missing the window. I don't recall exactly where the turkey landed, but I try not to think about that part too much.

    DW and I still laugh over our flying TG turkey.

  • jdouglas13 Nov 13, 2015

    I love threads like this!

    Two more stories. Here's the first one.

    Last year when I spent a few months with my folks, DW was left to fend for herself. DW is a notoriously bad cook. Just before I left, I had bought a special frying pan that I had been hunting for FOREVER. DW tried to cook a boneless chicken breast in this non-stick pan with no butter, oil, sauce, anything, and she had the stove cranked up on high. Who knows how much later, she decided to check on it. Let's just say the house was totally filled with smoke (not the first time for her), but she had also destroyed my pan to the point of no return and had to throw it out. The pan is no longer available and I have not been able to replace it. DW is now forbidden from ANY cooking unless it is on the grill. :)