Friday, February 12, 2010

Epic Failure

Last month I had a very good friend of mine over for dinner while she was in town. I threw a roast in the crock pot and added some special ingredients. The recipe has been tested several times and is one of The Families favorites when I make it. It's delicious-sort of an upscale pot roast, if you will. And like I said, I've made it at least 3 or 4 times before.

That day wasn't the best-I was running late from the start and things just never caught up. I remember a bag that I was carrying broke and its contents dropped all over the ground. It just wasn't my day.

Once I picked Jess up from work (she lives in Ohio with her new husband now but still works for the same firm here in Boston) I forgot all about my day and just relaxed and had fun with my friend. We came home to my place and poured ourselves big glasses of wine and talked while I finished putting dinner together.

And that's when my day kicked my ass.

The sauce requires a thickener at the last minute. The bowl I usually used to transfer the liquid was dirty so I had to chose a different one. The minute I picked up the pan I dropped it because it was hotter than expected. When I picked it back up again I quickly dumped it into the chosen bowl only to have it overflow because said bowl was too small. I also forgot to add the spinach to the liquid to wilt it before I thickened it so I had to dirty another pan to wilt it so we'd have a green with dinner. After pouring myself another glass of wine I apologized to Jess for dinner not coming out as pretty as my dishes usually are. Being the wonderfully honest person she is, she confessed that it actually felt good to see that even someone like me-a trained chef-has days where nothing in the kitchen goes right. She said she was sorry for me, but it made her feel better to see that she's not an epic failure and that sometimes things just go wrong.

I laughed and told her I was glad I could make her feel better and then I dished out a kick ass dinner, even though it took a little longer than normal to pull it off. (We both had hearty 2nds!)

I thought of this story tonight first while I was preparing dessert for The Family (when, for some reason, my whipped cream would not whip...bowl may not have been clean, leftover fat..who knows) and again when the cookies I was making for a Valentine's Day treat for the office came out horribly.

I won't tell you where I got the recipe, but I will tell you that it was online, from a blog and that they are named "Chocolate Puddle Cookies". The picture on that blog shows rich, chocolaty cookies that look crisp yet chewy and melt in your mouth delicious. I am not certain if she left an ingredient out or if she just had really good luck because let me tell you-these were an epic failure.

The were so horrible, I can't even show them to you in color! They were crusty on the outside but remained liquidy on the inside. The flavor was not at all rich and the texture was disturbing. Needless to say, I am very disappointed. These were to be a special treat for my suite mates today. I chose these over red velvet cupcakes because they looked so delicious and easy to make and the author exclaimed how wonderful they were. And there is no flour in them, which is perfect for one of my friends who can't eat it.

So, instead of bringing in a yummy treat I'll go in empty handed. Which is OK, but I so like to make people smile with food. My only hope is that by posting this baking blunder that one of you feels the same way my friend Jess did when I poured scolding hot sauce all over my counter.

Oh, and I totally wish I could bill that girl for the $12 I just wasted!

PS. Today is truck day!!!!! (Truck Day: Red Sox equipment truck will leave Fenway Park for arrival in Fort Myers, Fla.


SilverNeurotic said...

I'm sorry those cookies didn't turn out good, they sound really good-in theory. I guess that over the weekend (if you have time) you can make the cupcakes.

"Lois Grebowski" said...

I'll steer clear of that recipe...

Bond said...

Bad day in the kitchen- yup been there, have the t-shirt

Truck Day WOOOOO Baby...the truck from Yankee Stadium will beat your truck! LOL

Travis said...

Trav's advice...when in doubt, choose anything that has CAKE in it.

CrAzY Working Mom said...

I love Trav's advice. :)

I've tried some online recipes that look so yummy as well and turn out as a flop for me. But, at least now you'll know.

Happy Valentine's Day!