Cooking Fails: I’ve Had More Than A Few

I’m no stranger to a cooking fail, mainly because I’m a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to cooking. My mum tried in vain for years to get me interested, but I didn’t really start to enjoy it until I moved out alone and got sick of 2 minute noodles every night. Like most people I’ve developed some tried and true favorites that I can cook correctly every time without much thought, but from time to time I like to experiment with new recipes or just throw stuff in and hope for the best. Sometimes I end up with triumphs (like the awesome risotto made completely in a microwave), but has also led to a fair few inedible failures. Here’s three of the best (worst) for you.

Baking Substitutions

cooking fail baking soda

I started off teaching myself how to bake as I thought if I got it wrong, at least it wasn’t too expensive of a mistake.  There’s nothing better than biting into a freshly baked brownie or biscuit that you made yourself.  The sense of pride is amazing. Early in my cooking career, I made a batch of peanut butter cookies and proudly brought them out for friends to share with coffee.  They tasted like peanut butter choc chip Drano.  I ran out of baking powder and figured baking soda was the same thing. Nope, nope nope.  I’ve never lived this one down. Every time they eat my cooking since a joke is cracked about whether or not it is safe for human consumption. Thank God for Google, it’d never happen now you can check these things during the cooking process.

Salmonella On A Plate

cooking pork

After moving out, I had my entire family over for dinner to prove how mature and responsible I was. And what says mature and responsible better than a full roast meal with all the trimmings? What could go wrong? Well, I didn’t realise that you have to adjust temperature for fan forced ovens, and my roast came out with crusty black crackle and raw in the middle. I’m not talking the little blush of pink that chefs love, I’m talking practically oinking. Luckily my clever mum was helping me in the kitchen and showed me how to finish it off in the microwave to avoid embarrassment. And food poisoning.

Classy Vegetable Pulp

cooking ratatouille

Back when we were dating, I learned my now husband hates eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and capsicum, all of which I love.  For some bizarre reason I decided the way to convert him was to cook them all together, because yeah that seems like a good idea in hindsight. I mean, it doesn’t even look that appetizing in the movie and that’s made all fancy and stuff. Ratatouille is a simple dish but any episode of Masterchef will tell you that often the simplest dishes are the toughest to get right. Cook it too little and its basically salad. Cook it too much and it’s unidentifiable baby food. I tried slow cooking it for some unknown reason and fed my husband mush. This fail has become the yardstick for all future fails – ‘I know it tastes bad, but is it ratatouille bad?’


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  1. I don’t really follow recipes so much as throw stuff in pans, but I’m quite expert at veggies and the correct firmness. Maybe I should try ratatouille (and learn what it is, too).

  2. I’m always so disappointed when a cooking adventure doesn’t turn out quite right, usually because I got sidetracked. Most of my basic cooking is just chuck it in but anything more than that is done using a recipe in my slapdash fashion.

  3. Oh dear you’ve just reminded me, of the first couple of times we had people visit for dinner when we were newlyweds. When the in-laws came, I stuck the big fork thing into the roast to see if it was cooked, but when I tried to take it back out, the joint came too before splashing back into the pan. Nasty burns … then when some friends came over, I managed to scald myself taking something out of the microwave! It was a long time before I would agree to have people over for dinner again!

  4. Hubby recently attempted my salted chilli bread recipe. He ended up using 2 tsps of the chilli salt rather than a pinch and then 2 tsps of table salt. The chilli in the salt was a level 4. Burn baby burn.

  5. Ahh ratatouille… I made it once because it looked so pretty in the movie.. and hated it LOL!

  6. I’m laughing so much at this – the attempt of trying to convert your husband by cooking his hated vegetables all together just killed me.

  7. I had so many failed experiments when your Dad and I were first married . Just ask Dad he will tell you… Lol ….. But your Grandpop lived everything I made even the stuff ups . God bless him 🙂 .

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