10 Cooking Mistakes You’re Too Smart To Make
It’s rare that we talk about our failures. It’s even rarer that we photo-document these failures.
Let’s face it, we all want our blogs to look pretty.
Today I’m going to tell you about some of my worst mishaps. I’d love to say it’s so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. But as the title says, I’m sure you’re too smart to make these mistakes!
I’ve looked back on a few shaking my head, wondering what on earth I was thinking.
1. Corn Starch Batter = a gluey mess
My entire kitchen, cupboard space, and arms up to the elbows were covered in thick, white goop.
Remember that thick glue you used as a kid in school?
That consistency, but powder white, and with the force of the strongest steel. That was the cornstarch batter I’d made. It only had two ingredients: corn starch, and corona lites.
I don’t even have a photo to show you the gluey, disgusting mess, because I was covered in it: hair, face, arms, hands, elbows, shirt. It was like it multiplied and clung as soon as it touched human skin.
And know the worst part? I still used this stuff to batter my tofu and fry it. I have a bizarre inability to waste anything. And I ate this gluey stuff, and it felt like cement in my stomach.
2. Sweet Potato, Kale & Ravioli = a hideous mess
What on earth possessed me to try all of these together?
Urgh. No, no and no. Don’t ever do this. I think I had the odd idea that trying flavours that don’t traditionally mesh together would come out as some fantastic experiment.
Not the case at all. Blergh. It tasted hideous. Just look at the photographic evidence.
3. Green Tea and Berries Smoothies = a hot mess
Smoothies are something I’m usually good at. I hate being parted from my blender. So much so, that I brought it on an extended motorhome roadtrip we did through America and Canada.
The thing you also need for an excellent smoothies, aside from a blender, is fresh ingredients, ice cubes and tasty additions. All I had when we were travelling through the Mojave Dessert, was some hot water, green tea bags, and a frozen berry mix that was rapidly defrosting in the heat.
What could possibly go wrong?
Yeah, it was disgusting. Don’t do it at home, kids.
4. Vegan Burgers, without anything to bind them together = just a mess
Sigh. I really, truly knew better. I did. And yet I went ahead. Another “what could go wrong?” moment.
This time we were in Hollister and I was a little envious of North Nomad’s DIY home-made burgers on the grill. I wanted my own burgers.
Now, vegan burgers can be tricky to make because of the lack of egg binding them together. At first, I was going to use mesquite flour, but the store had run out. I couldn’t find tofu, let alone flax seeds. And bananas were NOT going in my burger with onion and garlic and veggies.
To make matters worse, I didn’t realise the sunflower seeds we’d bought were salted. So I was left with a crumbly, salty unappetizing mess. And because I’m me and hate waste, guess who ate all four patties rather than throw them out?
5. Vanilla, Apple & Cinnamon cupcakes – without the vanilla or cinnamon, but with olive oil = a dry, yet oily mess (how does this even happen?!)
Before I found out about the wonderous product that is coconut oil, I attempted cupcakes with olive oil. I know a lot of people do this, and these people are much smarter than I am in the kitchen. How is it that oil can simultaneously make something oily AND dry? I don’t know how, yet I attained this polarity in my cupcakes.
I was also in a tizz that day, running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to do a million things at once. So naturally I forgot two of the key ingredients: vanilla and cinnamon.
The result was a dry yet oily, bland tasting mess. Kind of like a two in one shampoo, yet edible… kind of.
6. Sesame seed coated silken tofu, shallow fried in rice bran oil = an oily, seedy mess
This one was a recent mistake, so I feel a little queasy writing about it. Taste wise, it wasn’t *the* worst thing in the world, I suppose. But why oh why did I try tofu this way when I know how to make it taste good?
Lacking any cornstarch in Chiang Mai (see above Mistake 1 – perhaps I’m a bit scared of corn starch now), I thought it would be a BRILLIANT idea to coat my silken tofu in toasted sesame seeds and shallow fry them. Because naturally that would taste as good as deep fried crispy tofu, yes?
Oh my, this oily mess was disgusting.
7. Vegan Choc Strawberry Freddos = icy mess
In my defence, this one didn’t taste so bad.
It was just cold, the wrong consistency, and impossible to work with.
If you live/d in Australia, you probably know about chocolate freddos. They’re pretty damn delicious. I was particularly fond of strawberry freddos – something I haven’t had for years and will never have again. I set out to make a vegan version, and ended up with something closer to ice cream…
8. Vegan Sushi = a badly wrapped mess
My attempts to make a sushi roll reminded me of why, when we were teenagers, I was responsible for buying the Christmas presents, and my little sister was responsible for wrapping.
I also have even less of an excuse than your average white person. I was taught how to make these by a Japanese teacher who lived with us for a month when I was 16. And I’m still terrible at it.
9. White bean stew & spinach = an ungodly mess
Bloody hell this was awful. It was a mess of beans, home made pesto, and then I made it even worse by putting it atop a bed of baby spinach. Why? I just… I don’t know. I also don’t know why I thought the spinach bed would save it.
And it looks as ugly as it tasted.
10. Soba Noodle hot pot = a slimy mess
Soba noodles should be cooked for seven minutes at the most. Don’t ever sit them in a hot pot with fragrant, aromatic herbs and spices to simmer gently, infusing noodles with their flavour. Because if you don’t add them at the end, you’ll end up with a slimy, unpalatable mess.
So far these are my worst messes. I’m sure there will be many more to come! And I was wondering if perhaps I was the only blogger with mishaps like this, but at the time of writing this, a similar post popped up in my Twitter feed from Giselle Rochford who blogs at Diary of an Ex Sloth. So I’m not the only one! 🙂
Do you have any cooking disasters you’re willing to share with us here? 🙂