questionswhat is your worst cooking mistake?

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I put too much gelatin in an apricot pie for a Girl Scout cooking contest long ago. It turned the filling the consistency of rubber. More recently, I mistook cumin for cinnamon + added it to my oatmeal (slow morning). Not a good flavor mix.

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I make the same mistake every time...I START!

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long hair + gas burners = setting hair on fire!

Went out REALLY quick, only burned a little, but really scary experience. put hair up or reallllly careful now!

my vote goes to electric burners!

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Not my mistake, but my mothers. Instead of butter flavoring, she added coconut flavoring to potato soup. Hmmmm Could have been an exotic new soup. Didn't quite make that distinction. :-|

Even though she said it tasted "horrible", she wouldn't throw it away. '"That would be wasteful." I'm nothing like my mother was - my mistakes are immediately tossed. And I never speak of them again. ;-)

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@mellielou: Crumble those delicious cookies & use them as a topping for ice cream. ...add a bit of caramel sauce (or chocolate) and top w/whipped cream or Dream Whip. Might be good on other desserts, too. Tapioca pudding. Sliced peaches. These cookies I would not throw out...too tasty. :-)

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Goat cheese cheesecake. Came out looking great. Didn't lose any crust taking it out of the springform. The cracks receded and disappeared as it cooled. All was well, until I cut into it. It looked like a combination of cottage cheese and camembert, yet was somehow a solid. I was almost afraid to taste it...unfortunately, the key word in that sentence is "almost".

First and only cheesecake I've ever thrown out.

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Oh my, the mess I made with a Velveeta fudge recipe (don't go hating - it's actually good stuff!). I wanted to double the recipe, only I did the math wrong and quadrupled the Velveeta and doubled the other ingredients. My taste buds were so offended when I tasted what looked like fudge but tasted like cheese. In order to fix it, I ended up with a 16-pound batch of fudge.

But here's my personal favorite: a friend of mine isn't always keen on details and thankfully enjoys a laugh. One time she decided to make chicken and dumplings, but it wasn't thick enough. Rather than looking up how to thicken liquids, she grabbed the closest white powdery stuff in the cupboard and dumped it in. Instead of thickening with corn starch, she dumped in a bunch of baking soda. Penny's Foaming Chicken and Dumplings - mmm, mmm, good! What a sight, lol!

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I made an entire pizza from scratch only realizing there was no way to actually get it in the oven. once i finally got it in the oven, it wouldn't hold its shape resulting in a half burnt half raw pizza.

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Baking Soda, Baking Powder... same thing right?

Ummm no Brother :)

we had this conversation last weekend trying to make pumpkin cake from scratch...
FYI they are not the same thing....

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My first cheesecake, got a recipe from a friend. I didn't realize she doubled it for her large family. I knew something was wrong when I watched it ooze up over the top of the springform pan.

Went to take a casserole out of the wall oven for dinner and it wasn't there. Looked all over the kitchen for it. Finally found it in the cupboard above the oven where I usually store it. What embarrassed me the most was I actually looked in the oven three times, like it was maybe lurking in a corner somewhere and I didn't see it the first time.

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@bdsmonkey: I once removed a cake from an electric oven with a towel instead of a mitt. Pulled out a flaming towel.
I got some nasty burns, but didn't drop the cake. Stupid, yet devoted.

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@rprebel, @pooflady: I'd forgetten about my one and only attempt at cooking cheesecake. Without doubt, that was definitely the worst thing that I've ever cooked. The texture was okay, but it was just tasteless. Ew, bad memories.

And putting a casserole back into the cabinet instead of the oven - and then checking the oven for it multiple times - is something that I can totally picture myself doing!

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Used the top half of a double burner pan to cook in, and the very thin bottom is not meant to be put directly on the burner. Double whammy -- left the pan of blackeye peas on the stove a little too long. Result? When I tried to pick up the pan of steaming, smoking charcoal off of the burner, it lifted up in gooey metal threads, like silver melted mozzarella.

Second runner-up: My sister spent hours painstakingly decorating a clown cake for my then one-year-old's first birthday. We put it in the oven to "keep it safe". We were all sharing a cabin in the Smoky mountains and space was at a premium for a large group of people. I'm sure you see where this is going. Of course I turned on the oven later for dinner, forgetting the cake was in there until we smelled it. Toasted, melted clown is enough to give you nightmares. I put it on the counter and my Aunt says "maybe she won't notice". We didn't stop laughing the rest of the night. Yes, we ate it anyway. Tasted kind of toasty.

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First time I tried to make chocolate chip cookies on my own was the worst cooking mistake, My wife was prepping for a holiday party the next day so it was up to me to get these cookies made for said party. I knew nothing about separating the wet ingredients from the dry ones. Not to mention the fact that the recipe that I was following didn't mention the need to do this either. So, naturally I added all the ingredients to one big bowl. Not wanting to bother her I just figured things would come together more as I stirred the ever increasingly lumpy and unappetizing mess that looked nothing like the usual beloved cookie dough. After about 15 minutes of magic not happening to the dough, I called my wife over to ask for help. After she had a good laugh about it while explaining the problem, she kissed me on the cheek and told me that alas, there was no salvaging the "cookie dough."

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Once upon a time my then girlfriend put a whole chicken in a tall pot with plenty of water in order to boil it. Plenty of water, unless you go to a 7 hour long football game and party. Arrived home to a stink out in the street and smoke coming out the kitchen windows. Water had boiled off, Chicken caught fire inside the lidded pot and burned down to a 1/8" black burned of crud. It took scrubbing down the kitchen to get rid of the black grease that had escaped from the pot, Throwing away the pot and about 3 days to clear the stink...

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@darkone01: Actually, they sort of are. Baking powder is one part baking soda (an alkaline, or base) and two parts cream of tartar (an acid). There's also a starch in there, which is used as a drying agent to keep incidental moisture from accidentally starting an acid-base reaction.

If you substitute baking soda for baking powder in a cake recipe, the cake won't rise properly because you don't have enough acidity. (The reason the cake rises is because the alkaline soda and acidic cream of tartar react and produce carbon dioxide gas, which makes all of those lovely air pockets which makes the cake tall, light and fluffy.) The best fix is to add cream of tartar. However, if you don't have that either (a safe bet if you don't have baking powder), there are other solutions. If your recipe calls for milk, use buttermilk instead. You can also add vinegar or lemon juice...anything acidic, though you should consider what the acidic thing tastes like and how that will impact your recipe.

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@gmwhit: "Not my mistake, but my mothers. Instead of butter flavoring, she added coconut flavoring to potato soup. Hmmmm Could have been an exotic new soup. Didn't quite make that distinction."

If she would have added some curry (and some garam masala, if available), it could have gone from horrible to awesome. There are lots of recipes that use curry, coconut (usually coconut milk) and potato. Yum.

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Just trying to cook at all was my mistake, after the firetrucks left I checked the oven and it was way over done.

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Definitely forgetting to buy or running out of a key ingredient half way through following recipe or making a dish, especially one that has no substitutes.

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I once decided to have prime rib for Christmas dinner, inspired by an Alton Brown (Good Eats) recipe. You cooked it for 30 minutes or so at some intense heat (600 degrees?) then crank the oven down to 150 and cook it until it reached 140 degrees internal temperature. Complicated by the fact that you're doing all of this covered by a clay pot to keep the heat even. Notice that the recipe doesn't talk about cooking times.

So, we start about 1:00.

By 2:00 we're now cooking on low, but the temp is down in the 60s. Hmm.

5:00 and we're getting hungry, still stone cold.

By 6:00 everything else is ready to eat but the meat is still below 100 degrees. At this point, my wife and daughters start sneaking the oven temp up a bit at a time to try to get it finished.

We had the best prime rib dinner ever around 9:00. And I'll never live it down.

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Letting my wife cook!,mike

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I forgot how to boil eggs one day. I knew something was wrong as I was dropping the eggs into boiling water and they were cracking when they hit the bottom of the pan. Odd thing is, my wife and I were doing this together and neither of us realized what we were doing wrong. Thought they were bad eggs with thin shells.

The next day, I tried to salvage one of those eggs by putting it in the microwave for 30 seconds. During that 30 seconds, the egg exploded with such a force that the microwave door blew open to the sound of a shotgun blast. There were bits of egg all over in the vents of the microwave for months.

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Repeatedly, the same thing over and over.... too much garlic.

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My wife rarely cooks(maybe twice a year) so when she does it is special for me to have the night off. So our first year married she wants to make dinner one night. She gets a casserole recipe from a friend. Recipe calls for a half cup of onion, she forgot to get an onion so she looks in the cabinet and finds dried onion, so she puts in the full amount, a half cup, of dried onion. (Side note, I detest onion, she only included it because the friend told her that you could not taste it in the dish) So we sit down to eat, and she is so proud that she made dinner and of course she wants me to try it first, so I did. It was horrible, but not wanting to hurt my new wife I choked down that bite and a few more until she she took a bite and stated that is was horrible. We chucked the rest and went and got Whataburgers.

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Not thawing out a turkey...you just don't want to know what happened.

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Before I became a BBQ pit master, I had a little learning curve early on in my cooking start. I learned that cooking minute rice for 25 minutes does not produce a good result, but did provide my grandmother with lots of laughter!

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I forgot to peel back the foil to expose the tater tots.

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@dw1771: 1/4 cup dried equals 1 whole fresh onion. An onion lovers casserole!! I'm sure that was strong

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@mtm2: Did you fry the frozen turkey?

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Bad math in my head, when I should have taken my time.

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@dw1771: My ex did that with dried celery. Then he said it tasted fine and got mad when I didn't eat the casserole.

My worst cooking mistake was letting my mother into the kitchen while I was cooking for Thanksgiving. I'd made a turkey with a new recipe. I'd brined it with cinnamon, brown sugar and other things. Tasted GREAT with the turkey. My mother decided that the dressing looked a bit dry. Instead of waiting all of two minutes for me to grab the chicken stock I had 'specially for such an occurrence, she dumped the juices from the turkey into the dressing. Those juices had a LOT of brown sugar in them and were basically syrup. Syrupy dressing is not good, folks.

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I have to admit I had an after-cooking mistake. I was tired, had a few drinks, and added dish soap to the dishwasher. DANG that's a lot of bubbles. You wake up and sober up pretty fast when that stuff comes pouring out.

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@mellielou: Thank you so much for a delightful question! Have so enjoyed reading all the responses. And laughed at many of them. Nodded my head in agreement on way too many. ;-)

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Double butter in my cookies. They tasted great but definitely didn't bake up like I was expecting.

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@darkone01: Baking soda and baking powder are almost the same thing!

If you have baking powder, and need soda, triple the amount of baking powder. It will give whatever you're cooking a slightly different taste, but it might not turn out bad =]

If you have baking soda, and need powder, mix two parts cream of tarter with one part baking soda! Make sure you use the amount of baking powder called for the recipe, and double the cream of tarter =]

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I decided to bake a cake from scratch in an apartment. I don't have very many pans or big mixing bowls, but I figured what the hey I'll try it anyway.

Note 1: Using a handheld mixer makes things a LOT harder.
Note 2: Using a handheld mixer inside of a 6 quart non-stick pot means you have little black teflon flakes in your cake. Couldn't really taste them.
Note 3: If you're cooking a frosting when it says keep the sugar/water solution at a certain temperature it isn't joking. I had to hit the sauce pan against the steps outside a few times to get the sugar to crack in order to get it out of the saucepan.
Note 4: It's worth buying the extra cake pans for baking. I only had one, and tried taking the cake out of the one and letting it cool outside of the pan so I could fill it with the other half of the batter. The first half became the bottom layer of the cake.
Note 5: Always bring baking disasters to work. There everyone feels obligated to say nice things.

It tasted fine at least

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@celeverett @craigster38 good to know about baking soda/powder, but in my brother's kitchen we were lucky to have anything other than beer and mustard to work with, needless to say there was no cream of tartar present