General Question

jlm11f's avatar

Have you had any cooking/baking disasters?

Asked by jlm11f (12353points) January 18th, 2009

Please share what happened and what you learned from the experience. Maybe we can learn from each others mistakes? If not, at least we can laugh at ourselves :)

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34 Answers

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I was once babysitting and making a frozen pizza for the kids. I don’t know what went wrong, but I pulled out the pizza and there was a giant, black bubble of crispyness over the whole pie. I popped the bubble and the pizza was just fine. I still don’t know what the crispyness was, or how it happened, but at least it was okay!

Allie's avatar

I made delicious french toast for my breakfast one morning. I thought it was so good that I wanted to save some for my mom to try when she got home from running errands. So I saved a little piece of it and set it aside. When I saw her pulling in the driveway I stuck it in the microwave and went out to talk to her a bit. When I came back in there was smoke swirling around in the microwave and the french toast was charred and sparking. I pulled open the door and all this smoke came billowing out of the microwave and my mom was like “Oh geez Allie, what in the world were you doing?” So I told her I had made bomb french toast and I wanted her to have some. She looked at it and gave me this look like “Sorry hun, but I’m not eating that” to which I said “Well, go ahead.. give it a try.” I didn’t make her eat it. It looked awful. Nothing like my beautiful breakfast it had been but a few minutes before.
Soooo.. I guess you’re not supposed to put sugar or syrup in the microwave? No one told me that!

Snoopy's avatar

I was making mac-n-cheese for my kids the other day. I dumped the water, milk, butter, pasta, cheese pack all in the same pot and sat it on the stove to boil.

Hmmmmmmm. Oh. I was supposed to boil the pasta, dump off the water and then add all of the other stuff. Oh yeah. Now I remember.

The lesson? >>>>> read the directions. No matter how often you have made something.

IBERnineD's avatar

Once I confused baking soda with Baking powder and my lemon poppy seed muffins were HORRIBLE!!! It is important to read the labels…

Another time I made snickerdoodles, and ended up making the balls of dough too large, and my snickerdoodles turned out to be the size of huge waffles. Although I don’t know if that is really a bad thing…

Harp's avatar

A long time ago I was working as the oven man for a big French pastry firm. We had spent all morning making and piping out choux paste for Paris-Brest. It was all loaded into the huge rack we used for the rotational oven (an oven about the size of a large closet).

The cooking time was 40 minutes, so I went to the cafeteria for a quick lunch. But I spaced out and forgot about the oven. By the time I remembered, everything was chocolate brown, a total loss.

I threw myself at the feet of my chef (figuratively speaking), who must have really sensed how devastated I was. To his great credit, he just put his arm around me and said “they’re only cakes”.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I also once meant to put popcorn in the microwave for 3:00, but accidentally put it in for 30:00. I was at school, so I was talking to someone and not paying much attention, and went to talk to someone. Realizing it had been a little too long, I went back after about 7 or 8 minutes. Smoke was everywhere, and when we pulled out the bag, it was on fire. The entire floor smelled like burnt popcorn for about a week.

tinyfaery's avatar

Every time I try to cook I either burn the food, some other item (like a paper towel or a notebook), or myself.

Allie's avatar

@tinyfaery: OH! I’ve burned my homework before and nearly burned the house down, but that’s not a cooking accident.

Nimis's avatar

I used to have a roommate that grew up quite well-to-do.
She was really used to have maids and cooks
and didn’t quite know how to take care of herself.
But that’s not to say that she didn’t try.

She had a bit of a sweet tooth and she was very absentminded.
Don’t know how many times I came home to an apartment
billowing with black smoke. It’s a wonder we didn’t all die.
Many charcoaled cookies found burnt to a crisp in the oven.
And once she even managed to boil off an entire pot of soup.

jessturtle23's avatar

I tried to cook lasagna for someone when I was about 16 and I thought a clove of garlic was a bulb. It called for 3 cloves and I put 3 bulbs in. I also didn’t cook the pasta first. It was bad.

Nimis's avatar

@Allie My parents’ house once caught on fire from a mirrored closet door in the backyard.
(They were trying to remodel the closet.) Sounds pretty ludicrous,
but that’s what the fire department reported. Bizarro!

Also not a cooking accident.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@TitsMcGhee, and nothing smells worse or lasts as long as burnt popcorn!

Bri_L's avatar

I went to bake a cake for my wife for her birthday. A box cake.

I didn’t have a 9×13 pan so I got a ruler and measured the pans I had and couldn’t figure out which one equaled the same proportions So I guessed.

It said “grease the pan thuroughly” I took that to mean “so you can’t see the pan” so I did.

Then it said “sprinkle flour about the pan so it covers the entire pan” I started doing this but when I went to spread the flour I removed some of the shortening. So I patched that up and figured out that if I threw it at the pan it would stick. So I would throw a hand full of flour at the pan, dump the excess back into my hand and repeat until it was covered.

Then I mixed the batter and poored it into the pan, waiting for 45min for it to rise. As most of you would already know it didn’t.

I put it in the oven and it took 1 hour and 15 min. instead of the 25 to 35 min it said on the box for the out side 3/4 inch to bake crunchy and the inside middle to remain raw.

Luckily I didn’t frost it.

I think the greater gift would have been to video tape the attempt.

tinyfaery's avatar

@TitsMcGhee One of my college roommates spilled cumin in a kitchen cabinet and the smell never went away. Whenever I smell cumin I am instantly taken back to that time and place.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@tinyfaery: Haha, my roommate cooks with cumin all the time, and the smell always lingers! The girls down the hall also cook FISH all the time. No smell lingers in carpet like fish!

cooksalot's avatar

I still remember the time my brother and I decided to make muffins without a recipe. They looked absolutely perfect, the smelled even better. My mom came home and told us wow what smells so good? Then we tasted it! I never knew you could put the taste of old tires into a breakfast muffin. LOL! We still don’t know what we did wrong. I did learn that you need to make something a few times before you start messing with the ingredients.

Vinifera7's avatar

Oh yes.. The time I put plastic in the oven.

I know what you’re thinking, but listen to the story. I’m not as retarded as you think.

I got some sort of ethnic food—savory pancakes of some sort—and carefully read the directions for heating in a conventional oven: “Remove lid and place container on a baking sheet. Bake for whatever minutes at whatever temp.” I look at the container, which appears to be made of plastic. I read the directions again just to make sure. Mind you, I am a single, male college student. What the fuck do I know about cooking, right? I assume that it’s some sort of special heat-resistant plastic and just do as the directions tell me. Long story short: I would have wrecked the oven if I hadn’t noticed the delightful scent of melting plastic.

I even called the customer service hotline on the box to complain that my food was ruined and that the directions were faulty. The lady on the line says in a snide tone, “You put a plastic container in the oven?” I’m like “I followed the directions to a T, lady! Your company put faulty directions on the package!” In the end, the only thing that they offered to do was to give me a coupon if I drove about 20 miles out to some warehouse or something, which wasn’t worth the trouble.

cooksalot's avatar

@Bri_L That is too funny. I can just see that in my minds eye. LOL!

cooksalot's avatar

Oh then there’s the time I put my bread dough in the oven to rise and ushered the kids out to my oldest’s baseball game. My husband came home decided to be helpful and preheat the oven for pizza when we got home. Ran out to the ball field and watched the end of the game. I come home to the plastic top all melted over my nice new SS bowl, and the reek of burnt plastic. I had to throw the bowl out because we never could get the plastic off of it. And to make it worse we have never found another bowl set to replace that one. It was one of those once in a life time finds.

syz's avatar

My cooking stories are all courtesy of my little sister. She once wanted to make mac and cheese (the powdered kind), but didn’t have any milk. She used non dairy creamer instead. She also managed to catch a birthday cake on fire one time. She now stores road kill in her freezer (she’s a biologist). We eat take-out at her house.

wundayatta's avatar

As far as I can remember I’ve only had one true disaster where the food was absolutely inedible. It happened a long time ago, when I had to take home economics. I was trying to make pizza. I have no idea what happened, but it came out squishy and gooey, and not at all like pizza. I found it ironic that this disaster should occur in home ec, since I was quite an avid baker at home.

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

Where should I start? The most recent was when I was home visiting my dad. My mom died a few months prior and I went home to help with things. Well…there were some bananas in the freezer so I thought I would make banana bread for my dad. First, I forgot to put in an ingredient so I poured the batter back into the bowl and added the missing ingredient. Poured it back into the pans. Baked it like the directions said. The loafs were an inch high if I was lucky. They were edible but didn’t look really pretty.

Another time I was making zuchini bread and forgot to add flour.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

My mom once attempted to make chocolate chip cookies using my recipe, but she switched the amounts of salt and sugar. Man they were nasty.

cak's avatar

I had a truly horrible one and very embarrassing. I was cooking for my now ex’s boss and wife and several other couples. I am a decent cook – in fact, I love to cook. I was making 40 Clove Garlic Chicken – believe me, it’s not a strong flavor -it’s great. I got it in the oven, knew I had time for a shower so I went about my business, guests arrived, it was time for dinner. I went back in, pulled it out of the oven – finished everything and dinner was served. We all set down, they loved the chicken, then I bit into something, it was crunchy. Nothing truly crunchy in this dish – I continued, another crunch. I looked down, I saw something and was horrified – there was glass in the food!

I moved my fork over it, and I saw a few more pieces. I told everyone to stop eating, went and looked in the oven, a bulb had burst! I didn’t even notice when removing it from the oven. Luckily, I was the only one that ate a piece of glass.

We ordered pizza and played cards…I was embarrassed, but, they did come back over for dinner….with a new pack of light bulbs.

augustlan's avatar

Oh far too many to count! The only food I make really well is sandwiches.

May2689's avatar

@cak : You are so lucky you didnt cut your tongue! or your cheek!!
We have a tradition in my family that whoever wants to cook a dessert, he or she has to put it in the island in the kitchen so everyone that walks by can have a slice or a bite.
I’m usually a terrible cook… but I decided I would give it a shot. I tried to make an apple pie because I figured out it would be so hard. Little did I know that I was completely untrained for this..
It all began with the measurements. And the missing ingredientes like crisco. I tried to gather as much information as I could but ended up reading two different recipes with different measurements. So, I decided to mix them up.
Well, my pie ended up like this: The crust of the pie has HARD AS A ROCK. I was unable to make one single cut. When I lifted the crust it tasted like way too much clove instead of cinammon and sugar, or even apple. Finally, the apples were not enough.
Needless to say, NO ONE ate my pie from the island.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I’m sure there’s been a few that I don’t remember, but the most recent one was about 5 years ago at Christmas. I always make my dressing in the crock keeps it moist. Well, it was moist, alright! I’d added too much broth, obviously. That stuff would NOT cook! I put it in the oven…I finally put it in the damn microwave! It never did get firmed up. We about had to eat it with a spoon! Ever since then, I
am very careful about how much broth I put in there. I certainly don’t want a repeat of that disaster!

cak's avatar

@May2689 – I know!! It was a long time before I baked, roasted or broiled, anything!!

lollipop's avatar

The biggest memory I have is when I was still learning to cook/bake as a child. I believe I was in 5 or 6th grade. I made cinnamon rolls from scratch that I had a recipe for from a ‘Betty Crockers Children’s cookbook’ which also had pictures showing the different steps to do. My mother left me to do it all by myself. Well, I got so mixed up in all the steps that when I got the ‘dough’ into the pans I realized I had forgotten the cinnamon and sugar mix that you put on before rolling them up, so I just sprinkled it over the top and baked them anyway. Well they came out as hard as a ‘brick’, My dad would always try anything I would make, except these…he couldn’t even bite one, same with our dog! I never attempted them again until after my son was about the same age as I was and Yes they actually came out great the second time. But it was a ‘joke’ in the family for years.

JellyB's avatar

No real events that i can call “disasters”, but i’ve had many booboo’s…..many….i’m not so good in the kitchen. sigh

Frenchfry's avatar

I have made plenty mistakes. A funny one came to mind. I made a chuck roast recently. I left the paper that it came packaged in and roast it I went to transfer it to a plate for serving I sae a black thing stuck to it. LOL.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

We just had a similar one to @Frenchfry a couple days ago. I smelled something burning so I went down to the kitchen to check it out and there were full-fledged flames spewing from the toaster oven. I grabbed the extinguisher and put it out (those things DO actually work!) only to find the remains of the chicken pot pie my mom forgot to take the plastic off of.

tigress3681's avatar

When I was in elementary school my mother, sister, and I used to make cookies and stuff together. One time, I was adding the baking soda (or powder, i forget) and saw the wrong number, instead of adding a spoon or two, I added well over a quarter cup. The cookies came out awesome (sarcasm) but I learned an important lesson: Always double check the quantities!

GracieT's avatar

I forgot to make sure that I had powdered sugar before making a cake. That really wouldn’t have been bad but the recipe called for powdered sugar in the icing to be used immediately upon removal from the oven.
I learned to check and RECHECK ingredients.

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