I really can’t believe I did this. My kids wanted pancakes for lunch today. I use the pancake recipe from the joy of cooking cookbook. I have made these so many times I can’t count. It is a great recipe. So, I got all my ingredients out, mixed the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients and mixed them together. Well my batter looked like cream soup. had to throw the whole thing out. I started again and really watched when I measured the ingredients. Same thing happened!!!! It looked they my kids weren’t going to have pancakes after all. I was trying to figure out what I did wrong. I measured everything exactly and followed the recipe to a T. Just out of curiosity I decided to taste the flour. I thought that maybe it went bad. I know it wasn’t the baking powder because I just tested it. Well…I just couldn’t help but laugh. Here I was using icing sugar instead of flour for my pancake batter. I have all of my flours and sugars in large pourable rubbermaid containers in my kitchen. Guess I didn’t mark which one was icing sugar. So after my third try the kids finally got their pancakes, and I learned a valuable lesson. Label all your ingredients!!!
LOLOL. OK…I did it with pastry cream. I just bought my new stove. I was making pastry cream…and the whole thing boiled over and made a mess all over the new stove…and I thought ” This is a Viking stove with very high heat…be careful!”
So I did the whole thing again…on low heat…and it boiled over again, foaming all over the place.
I went to the store…bought more eggs and half and half. Then I said…I decided to compare Rose’s Recipe to another recipe. Put the Pastry Bible away and pulled out and old professional pastry book that I picked up in a used book store and compared the recipes. This recipe used flour instead of cornstarch. CORNSTARCH! I was using baking soda LOL
LOL!!! Bill, that is too funny. I can imagine the mess that made on your brand new stove. I’m just glad I’m not the only one to make a baking blunder. My day even got better. I was out grocery shopping at 7pm with my kids. My van was fully loaded with groceries, and the darn thing wouldn’t start. The battery had died. Thank goodness I charged my cell phone earlier on in the day ( I am famous for letting my phone die and not charging it, because I don’t really use it that often ) So I called my husband who was at work at the time and he had to leave work and drive 40 minutes to give me a boost. We had to wait in the grocery store for him because it was quite cold outside and my kids were freezing. Needless to say, I have a brand new battery in my van now!! My husband went out as soon as he got my van started and bought a brand new battery and installed it as soon as we got home.
I know…not a good day. But we all come through them. Somewhere on the blog/forum there is a post about how I was making two cakes in one night…and My bowl of batter and my digital scale all fell into the sink of dirty/soapy water. It was midnight. I was out of flour and butter, I think. No 24 hour supermarket in my neighborhood. At midnight I was walking the streets of New York City looking for ingredients. And without the scale, I had to use measuring cups. I finished up that night at 6 AM…and then went to the party at noon. I have made tons and tons of stupid mistakes over the years. Doesn’t seem to matter how long I’ve been baking, or how many cakes I’ve made…I still mess up.
Oh, boy, haven’t we all had days like this? A few years ago I had been baking up a storm to sell at the Christmas Farmer’s Market and I had my boxes filled with goodies all stacked up to the height of about 4 ft on a bench. Somehow, I still don’t know how, the whole lot toppled over upside down all over the place. I just sat down and wept - honestly. However, all was not lost as I did salvage some - over half I would say. In my book if you don’t take any risks and make mistakes, you won’t learn anything!
These stories remind me of some years ago when I was still working but my husband had a day off from work. As it was a cold day he decided to give me a nice surprise and take some home-made soup out of the freezer and have a nice hot bowl of it ready for my homecoming. I didn’t say anything, but I couldn’t remember MAKING any soup in the first place! However, when I put the first spoonful in my mouth I realized what he had taken out, it was my home-made Chicken stock! I always use carcasses for stocks, and good they are, but not for eating unadulterated. Serves me right for NOT labelling the contents of my canisters! You think you know what’s there but when frozen it could be anything.
Thanks so much for sharing your stories. They gave me quite a chuckle. And like they say, you learn from your mistakes. If not the first time, hopefully the second time. Baking is a never ending learning experience.
I’m almost afraid to start cooking for Christmas…the whole time leading up to it and the food shopping has been a disaster. First of all, I have one burner not working on my stove. A friend said…“I know how to fix it”. Said he’d come by at 6:30 last night…didn’t show up till 7:45, and of course, as we all could have predicted…worked for 45 minutes and couldn’t fix it. Now I have to cook christmas dinner on 3 burners. Next I was supposed to be going out to dinner…clearly got a late start…got the the restaurant with my friend, and there was a wait..so got of of the restaurant late. Had to go to a friend’s house to pick up a blender…because my food processor broke and I’m making Shrimp Bisque. By the time I got back home with the blender, the good grocery store was closed and had to go to this very fancy upscale market to do my shopping for Christmas dinner…and as could be expected, they didn’t have many of the ingredients I needed. After I found that they had no buttermilk, no white chocolate, no fresh looking green beans, no bleached all purpose flour…I got irritated and walked out, leaving what groceries I selected in my cart in the isle. (they did have tons of exotic cheeses, very expensive vinegars and the such…but the basics? Why bother with those mundane things when we can have fancy sea salt, harvested by blind nuns?)
I got up at 5:30 This morning to go to a Supermarket near work and did all the shopping before starting work this morning. I’ve got all the food in the trunk of my car (its 27 degrees here now, so I’m thinking, everything should be fine)...but who knows what disasters lay ahead!
Oh Bill. My thoughts go out to you. But things always seem to work themselves out eventually. I am sure your Christmas dinner will turn out lovely. To me it always seems it is the little details that us bakers worry about. Sometimes it doesn’t work out as planned, but we are the only ones who notice it.
Christmas worked out fine. I will never again cook a meal for a group that required a lot of last minute preparation and cooking. Usually I make something that reheats well (like a Coq aux vin) and do as much as possible the night before. Couldn’t do a roast (we had non beef-pork eaters) couldn’t do a turkey (my other half hates turkey) so I decided to do fried chicken. I was frying chicken for 8 with my guests in the apartment had a tiny grease fire…that was fun…as well as baking biscuits and other last minute preps. Everything turned out fine…the mess was heroic. I didn’t finish cleaning until 3 AM but I got it all done. Thanks for all the encouragement.
my most nerve wracking experience, making 96 cookies for a wedding on the HOTTEST MOST HUMID day of the year. Cookies were done, covered in fondant, piped the monogram, started sweating.
Threw all the cookies onto a tray and brought them to a room that had air conditioning, only to find out the AC wasn’t in the window! Too heavy for me to lift, freaked out, had to have my husband rush home from work to put it in the window. Thought for sure the cookies were going to be a disaster (dark blue writing on white fondant). Luckily, all worked out and they looked great.