Culinary Wannabes Unite!

I’m still here which means that my stomach did not explode during Thanksgiving, despite the massive amounts of southern cooking at it’s best – all made from scratch and/or pulled from the garden: three turkeys, collard greens, turnip greens, corn, green beans, macaroni pie, shucky beans, 2 different sweet potato casseroles, broccoli salad, coleslaw, turnips, apple fritters, banana bread, sage dressing, carrot cake, apple rum cake, chocolate pudding cake, and rolls.  I watched my Aunt Bertha in amazement as she threw together a double batch of sage dressing.  No recipe, no measuring spoons, no worries.  And the taste was out of this world.

I keep telling myself that I have the gift – the ability to cook marvelous dishes ingrained by generations of genetic code.  I rarely use measuring spoons either; I barely skim recipes.  I spend very little time worrying about the outcome of the dish.   But come to think of it, I don’t receive very many ooh’s and ah’s over the things that I make, either.  Instead I get a lot of confused looks when I mention that I occasionally shake cinnamon into my hot cocoa; or stir in a can of pumpkin when making black bean soup; or mix slivered almonds with my green beans; or that I’ve used diet coke in a boxed-cake mix instead of egg and oil.  I will try just about anything in the kitchen. Sometimes I have a major fail, but I can and do pleasantly surprise myself, too.  

This of course got me thinking of my own failed attempts in the kitchen:

……there’s the time when I forgot to add yeast to the bread I was baking;

……or the time when I thought I had added powdered sugar to a plate of brownies, then panicked because it tasted like it could have been some kind of poison, then felt great relief that it was just baking powder. 

……or the time when I decided to substitute Splenda instead of the sugar a recipe called for, not thinking about the fact that you are to use HALF the amount called for; my barbeque beef stew tasted like Meaty-dessert Surprise.  It had to be thrown out.

……how about the time I left a plastic spoon in the pot of chili I was cooking on the stove which then made the chili taste like plastic (and the worst part?  I still served it to my brother and sister-in-law when they came over for dinner that night because I didn’t have time to prepare anything else.  Yes, I really did.)

……or my personal favorite: the time I made chicken tarragon from chicken that had unbeknownst to me been left on the countertop for 24 hours, which immediately resulted in a trip to the drugstore for two doses of syrup of ipecac.  Enough said about that one.

I say we Aunt Bertha/Alton Brown/Rachel Ray wannabes lift our spoons and unite!  Who here among us has an embarrassing cooking story to share?

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