Inspired by King Arthur Flour’s post, The Sixth Annual April Fool’s Day Spectacular, this April 1st, we bring you our own collection of Things That Don’t Work Out in Our Kitchen.
As you may know, Greg is the bread baker of the family, whipping up two loaves every weekend for the past few years. (I think we’ve bought only a handful of loaves of bread in the past five years). Unfortunately, weekends can be quite busy and packed with everything from errands to ball games and beyond. That’s why our bread is sometimes left unattended – and, the rise is just a bit too much. Through the years, we’ve forgotten to put in the yeast, miscalculated the number of cups of flour, forgot them in the oven, and let them rise way – way – too long, which causes what we call, bread flop. We’ve come to adopt the ‘It’s the taste that matters” attitude.
Coconut Cream Pudding, with Crust
What makes a pie? Is it the ingredients alone, or is a pie those ingredients, when mixed together and formed into the shape we all have known to be associated with a pie?
I believe it is the latter, which is why the family has renamed my Coconut Cream Pie, “Coconut Cream Pudding, with crust.”
I don’t know what the problem is. I’ve (jokingly) blamed my Mother for not providing me with the exact recipe to make it work. But, years ago, my coconut cream pie was perfect. Lately, I just can’t keep it from turning to an oozing mess once it is cut.
You can’t see the inside of this pie, as the pie plate and the merange are fortified enough to hold the slop inside all together. But, with one slice of this otherwise beautiful pie, comes the ooze.
It’s come to be a family joke around here – and we just come to expect to serve this in a bowl.
No one argues the shape it comes in, as it still tastes wonderfully delicious.
The dreaded Great Gnocchi Incident occurred a few years ago, but it still haunts me. I was short on time, and even shorter on patience, but I still decided to make gnocchi for the family. Instead of cooking up into tasty little morsels, they immediately fell apart once added to the boiling water. My reaction to this occurrence is emblazoned into my kids’ kitchen memories. I’ve tried to block the memory myself, which is why I won’t belabor the point any longer, and move on to another one of my kitchen mishaps.
Coeur a la Crème
It’s that ‘oozing’ thing again, that gets me. It took making this Coeur a la Crème a few times before it properly drained through the cheesecloth and finally came together. I think we gained a few pounds that week, as I didn’t feel good about dumping the un-gelled ingredients. But, it provided for a bit of levity in the kitchen, and curiosity on the part of the kids. They actually tasted it! (50% kid approval rating)
Here’s how it happens:
1. I become inspired to make new recipes.
2. I spend an hour or so perusing my old cookbooks in search of something the ENTIRE family would like.
3. I add ingredients to shopping list, add meal to weekly menu.
4. The perfect storm: The day comes to prepare it, and I start feeling a bit of dread as I realize that this just might cause complaints at dinner. Add to that dread, the fact that Greg will be late for dinner, leaving me to weather the ‘refusal-to-eat-it’ storm by myself.
5. Fears confirmed. Three out of four children won’t even touch it.
6. I demand the kids eat it. I deal with their tears. They deal with my ‘I worked hard on this meal, you’re going to eat it’ lecture.
Despite all these mishaps in the kitchen, I dive in and do it again. We continue to make bread, even if we let it rise way, way too long. We don’t let a soupy pie dissuade us from making it yet again. I’ve learned to roll with the punches, and plan to have sufficient time when making a recipe for the first time (i.e. gnocci and Coeur a la Crème). And finally, I continue to add new recipes to our family meal repertoire – and, have toughened up to the “I won’t eat this” screams when that new meal is set on the table.
What are your favorite kitchen mishaps?