Epic Failure - What food did I ruin this weekend???

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Melana

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I love to cook. In my quest to try many new recipes and techniques I've learned quite a bit. Ninety percent of my cooking involves no recipes or I use a recipe as a guideline - tweaking as I go. I have canned food, made jellies and jams, cured meats into delicious bacon, made pasta and bread... you get the idea. Sometimes the cooking gods smile fondly on me and my food turns out fantastic... And then there are other times I bring in a total flop. Not one person in my house will eat my failure.

Last nights Epic Failure #1. Apple Crisp. One might think that it is a tough thing to ruin but alas... it was not. the 'crisp' on the top was tough and inedible and the apples were just... wrong. I believe they were seasoned incorrectly but I'm just speculating. Now don't misunderstand... I have made dozens of apple crisps in the past that were lovely. This one sucked large parts of the anatomy.

So... HBT cooking community... What food have you prepared and thrown out? What are your horror stories?
 

TheCADJockey

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I tried baking brownies once and ended up with a brownie flavored cake. Baking is stupid.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Did not ruin, per se, but it did not come out as expected. Decided to make a dutch oven mountain man breakfast. Simple enough. Bacon, sausage, hash browns, corn, eggs, and cheese. Cooked in that order.

Trouble was, the bacon was cheap and extremely salty. Thus the dish was too salty despite not adding any salt.
 

mb82

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Chicken pot Pie. I have never made one but have watched several people do it. The filling never solidified even remotely it was just a liquid.
 

mikeasu

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1 year anniversary - my wife buys us some Kobe steaks. Thicker than anything I've ever grilled. Grill first side, give it a little extra time than usual, "just in case". Grill 2nd side, some extra time, again, "just in case". Then, off the heat with the lid down. "Just in case". There was not a HINT of pink left. Shoe leather well-done Kobe steaks. :smack: Failed BIG...and I'm decent on the grill.
 
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1 year anniversary - my wife buys us some Kobe steaks. Thicker than anything I've ever grilled. Grill first side, give it a little extra time than usual, "just in case". Grill 2nd side, some extra time, again, "just in case". Then, off the heat with the lid down. "Just in case". There was not a HINT of pink left. Shoe leather well-done Kobe steaks. :smack: Failed BIG...and I'm decent on the grill.
Get yourself a good meat thermometer. They are worth every penny.
 

beergolf

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Get yourself a good meat thermometer. They are worth every penny.
ding, ding, ding...we have a winner...

I use my thermapen all the time when grilling. Hit your temps and you get perfectly done food.
 

gratus fermentatio

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I once tried to bake raisin bread in a woodstove oven, 1/2 was rock hard, the other 1/2 was still dough. So I turned it around so the doughy part would bake up rock hard; then pulled it out & broke into manageable chunks & broke those chunks into smaller pieces with a hammer...
Voila! Granola! The best that could be said of it was it stayed crunchy in milk; tasted terrible though. I put it out for the ringtails, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring-tailed_cat They ate it without comment.
Regards, GF.
 

DrunkleJon

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I have failed at several simple recipes over the years. Usually due to getting cocky and omitting a step because obviously I know what I am doing.

The most notible was when I was way way younger, I was trying to make boxed macaroni and cheese (I still hold a place in my heart for mac and cheese. be it good, bad or indifferent). I left out a crucial step. Drain. I ended up with Mac and Cheese soup.
 

TheCADJockey

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I have failed at several simple recipes over the years. Usually due to getting cocky and omitting a step because obviously I know what I am doing.

The most notible was when I was way way younger, I was trying to make boxed macaroni and cheese (I still hold a place in my heart for mac and cheese. be it good, bad or indifferent). I left out a crucial step. Drain. I ended up with Mac and Cheese soup.
If we're going back in time, my best one was when my mother fell off our horse and got hurt; I cleaned the house and tried to make a dessert to surprise her with when she got home from the ER. It was a simple ice cream in a cup sort of deal and I knew she liked coffee, which it called for. So instead of brewing a cup of coffee, being too young to like coffee yet, I put a quarter cup of fresh grounds into the ice cream.

It was horrible, obviously, but my mother still ate it and swore it was amazing. :eek:
 

dinnerstick

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The most notible was when I was way way younger, I was trying to make boxed macaroni and cheese (I still hold a place in my heart for mac and cheese. be it good, bad or indifferent). I left out a crucial step. Drain. I ended up with Mac and Cheese soup.
the biggest idiot housemate in a college house full of idiots (i was a mid-table idiot) made mac&cheese from a box. we didn't have any milk. we did have butter pecan ice cream. he thought, cream- milk- good, close enough. not really...
this is not by a long shot the most disgusting thing a drunk 20 year old has conjured up, but it just came to mind with your mac-o-soup
 

CreamyGoodness

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My absolute hands down worst attempt came when I just started dating my wife. I had a couple major cooking wins under my belt and felt unstoppable. The recipe I found for "Rabbits in Cream" stopped me. Not so Creamy Goodness there. It was literally saddles of rabbit that are simmered in sour cream, and it looked like vomit. The flavor was curdled milk sauce on a rubber joke-store chicken. This is back when my wife would eat anything I made and tell me she loved it (oh the good old days) but she couldnt choke down more than one bite.

I dont know if the recipe, the cook, or both were to blame, but it went down in history as the "Rabbits in Cream incident of 2006"
 

Cheesy_Goodness

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I've made some stinkers over the years. You almost have to churn out a few few god-awful meals before you start nailing it consistently.

My wife and I were at the beach with the inlaws a few years ago. I love to cook so I volunteered to make a few meals. One day I figured I'd bake a loaf of bread for sammiches, then the next day use leftovers for french toast. Being in a new kitchen, I turned the oven on broiler instead of the bake. Not a whole lot of rising action in that loaf.
Incidentally, that was also the trip that I made cole slaw without mayo or vinegar. The closest thing we had on hand was greek yogurt. Maybe a better cook could have made it work, but I just couldn't.

Another time, I spent all day tending to a pot of beef and vegetable soup. I don't remember what was in it exactly, but I thought it was "dark" enough to handle a touch (just a pinch I swear!) of cinnamon. I unscrewed the cap, gave the bottle a small shake, and out came somewhere between a teaspoon and a metric **** ton of cinnamon. Turns out I grabbed the container that didn't have the plastic holes on top.
Wife still won't let me live that one down.
 

TheCADJockey

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We did make (attempt to make) peach cobbler in a dutch oven over an open fire pit on a camping trip in our teens once. One of our more eager friends declared it finished and decided he really liked the semi-cooked dough/peaches on the cooler side. He then turned in early while the rest of us played D&D around the fire. After some time going by we heard horrible noises coming from the tent. He was about to get sick and was in a frenzy trying to unzip the tent in time. It was too late. A violent sequence of sickening noises happened before all fell silent. Needless to say we all slept by the fire that night.
 

gratus fermentatio

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One time my girlfriend was making some sort of cranberry cobbler-like thing, don't remember what it was called, anyway, she asked me to whip the cream. How much trouble could I get into with heavy whipping cream, a few cranberries, a bowl & a whisk?

I got a little overzealous with the whisk apparently & ended up with butter. While it wasn't whipped cream, the cranberry infused butter was pretty tasty too. The dessert wasn't exactly what it was supposed to be, but it was still mighty tasty.
Regards, GF.
 
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Before we were married, my wife decided to make me some ox-tail soup.

She made the soup and went out. My job was to watch the soup. I was sitting in the living room and heard weird noises coming from the kitchen. They sounded like small, muffled explosions. I went to investigate and found that every time there was a noise, the soup pot lid would jump an inch or so off the top of the pot. The soup had absorbed all of the liquid and formed a solid column that eventually lifted the lid about 4 inches off the top of the stockpot. The lid was sitting on a column of solid soup.

My wife had mis-read the recipe and added 2 cups of barley to the soup instead of 2 tablespoons. Apparently, 2 cups of barley is a lot of barley to add to a pot of soup. It was interesting to eat. We hacked off chunks of solid soup and ate them with a fork. It was pretty good. Take that Campbell's Chunky Soup! BTW - I married her anyway. :D

Another time she made me my favorite cake. The recipe includes yellow cake mix, oil, some eggs, and pistachio pudding mix. She makes it in a bunt pan, and it's green, but it's really tasty. She mixed up the ingredients, baked the cake, pulled the cake out of the oven, and put it on the counter top to cool. I couldn't wait and I started to pick at the cake. Suddenly, it started hissing and completely deflated. It looked like a big, green flat tire.

She was pregnant at the time and she had 'pregnancy brain' (Anyone who had kids knows what that is). She'd forgotten to add the cake mix to the cake. Essentially she made a large, flat, green, pistachio omelette. It was delicious. :D

Of course, both these events come up in conversation on a regular basis. I usually take a shot to the head when I bring them up, but it's worth it.
 

rlmiller10

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Like others I consult recipes but don't really follow them. Made a butternut squash soup which called for evaporated milk. Grabbed the sweetened condensed milk instead. Through that one out.
 

Homercidal

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Not a cooking mistake, but when I was newly married we bought steaks and I grilled them on the back patio on a hibachi. Wife was inside making potatoes and corn on the cob.

The corn smelled so good that I took a big sniff right above the pot and burned the sht out of my nasal passages!

Dinner was great. I ate with Kleenex stuffed up my nose wishing I could eat and shove ice up there at the same time.
 
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Not a cooking mistake, but when I was newly married we bought steaks and I grilled them on the back patio on a hibachi. Wife was inside making potatoes and corn on the cob.

The corn smelled so good that I took a big sniff right above the pot and burned the sht out of my nasal passages!

Dinner was great. I ate with Kleenex stuffed up my nose wishing I could eat and shove ice up there at the same time.
I didn't even know it was possible to burn the inside of your nose. Thanks for the warning on that.
 

cannman

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I made a meatloaf before brewday yesterday. I baked that sucker for close to two hours... and while the thermometer gave the proper internal temperature 160f, it was way way moist. I love a DRY meatloaf with gravy poured over it. I might try 400f next time...

350f
2lb meat
onion
mushrooms
breadcrumbs
ketchup
worcestershire sauce
italian seasoning
beer
2 eggs

I'm going to nuke the hell out of the left overs today. Dry that puppy up.
 
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Melana

Melana

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I made a meatloaf before brewday yesterday. I baked that sucker for close to two hours... and while the thermometer gave the proper internal temperature 160f, it was way way moist. I love a DRY meatloaf with gravy poured over it. I might try 400f next time...

350f
2lb meat
onion
mushrooms
breadcrumbs
ketchup
worcestershire sauce
italian seasoning
beer
2 eggs

I'm going to nuke the hell out of the left overs today. Dry that puppy up.
OH! Throw slices on a grill or into a frying pan!
 
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I just grilled up a couple of pricey strip steaks.

I used a meat thermometer, added a nice rub, let them warm up to room temperature before grilling and grilled them to perfection. They were perfectly done. Nice and pink in the middle.

Stupid meat had absolutely no flavor. I hate when that happens.
 

DrunkleJon

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I just grilled up a couple of pricey strip steaks.

I used a meat thermometer, added a nice rub, let them warm up to room temperature before grilling and grilled them to perfection. They were perfectly done. Nice and pink in the middle.

Stupid meat had absolutely no flavor. I hate when that happens.
In my opinion with meats like the Strip, Ribeye, etc, if you want flavor, make sure they arent too lean. I find that without the intermuscular fat the flavor never seems to be as good as with a nice marbling of it.

Now I want a steak.
 

CreamyGoodness

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Always label your fry oil if you plan on reusing it. Fried chicken just doesnt taste the same when fried in the oil you used to fry fresh sardines...
 

bleme

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I rarely follow a recipe so it is nearly impossible to make the same dish twice. I don't think my newlywed wife understood this yet. I made some chicken tacos that were amazing, and without asking me my wife volunteered me to make them for her grandparents the next week. My best guess is I mixed up the paprika and the cayenne because they were FLAMING hot. Twenty years later and they still give me a hard time about it.
 

Cyclman

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I finally found a thread on homebrew talk that I might possibly dominate. I bought some $30 a pound dry aged strip steaks, and after cooking them for 10 minutes they were jerky. But not jerky in a good way. I have started baking sourdough during Covid, and have made several loaves that were so flat and tough, they even failed as croutons. I live in Denver, so I have exploded a few cakes when I did not adapt the recipe for our altitude. I have made rum Bundt cakes where where the sugar sauce not only caramelized, it blackened. One of the first times I used my smoker, my ribs came out so dry that they were crunchy and almost broke my tooth. And probably my most famous failure within my family, I cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving, managed to poke holes in the aluminum tray I used because our roasting pan was in storage due to selling our house, the fat caught on fire in the oven, burned up the turkey, set off the fire alarm, and I had to offer a homebrew to the firemen to apologize for my stupidity. We were lucky to sell the house, when it still smelled like a fire. However, I learned the trick that when roasting a turkey I fill the pan with stock, and ever since my turkeys have come out fantastic. While I have had many learning lessons, I am actually an extremely good cook, a master of the grill, and now a master of the smoker. There is no better way to learn from your mistakes.
 
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one time I made a Victoria sponge cake with zero raising agent in. (I forgot)
So it was basically 2 large biscuits with some jam and cream betwixt the two.

it was a sad sad thing to behold.
 
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