Cooking fails

We all enter in the kitchen with high hopes, but sometimes our hopes are crushed at the end of the cooking session. Last evening fail in the kitchen inspired me to write this post for all us. Maybe this happens often, maybe only once in a while. Still, when it happens I feel so nervous and mad not about the fail, but about the food waste.

I have no photos, because I don’t know how to take photos of something that doesn’t look good or taste bad. But, we all learn from our mistakes or others.

Last evening I intended to do a Romanian dish which is something like a ratatouille. I found the recipe on the internet, but I realized that it needed more time in the oven than it was on the site. This is a good fail, because I can leave the dish more in the oven or change it in something else. I already got 2 ideas. But, sometimes you just waste food because the recipe is no good or you did not respect the recipe, or in my case my stove is so old that I don’t have too much control of it.

Anyway, get in the kitchen and do it again. Learn something from the experience and move on or you will be stuck. Even the best chefs screw up in the kitchen once in a while.

You control your kitchen, not the other way around.

Good luck!

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

101 thoughts on “Cooking fails

  1. That’s so true, and I have had mine. Those photos will never see the light of day. They just exist inside of a long lost album deep in the recesses of thousands of other photos. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think it is more beneficial to know how to correct or improve a dish after a fail than it is to make a cracker dish the first time. Thanks for sharing. Chickens, compost bin, worms and dogs put me at ease with food waste. Although we go through the bulk, my husband and I tend to grow more than we can give away, cook and eat. I always think at least as a home cook there are ways to reuse the waste.

  3. What you said is absolutely true! I have a couple of failed recipes that I am still trying to salvage by tweaking. Life is full of lessons.

    P.S. I don’t like wasting food either!

  4. Trial and error has always been my way of cooking. Sometimes I valiantly try to finish the mess I made but sometimes it’s beyond saving. I have a few friends who tell me that the recipe is faulty, it may be, but more often we may not like everything that’s in the ingredients list. I try to adapt many things to my own taste and when I do that I need to change the recipe. That means I’m unable to share the recipe because it’s not the same as the original and it would not taste the same as the one I made if I just copied and paste the original recipe to a friend :).

  5. Sounds like you were trying for ghiveci. My mom’s was pretty good though I never learned to make it.

    We’ve all had those fails. Sometimes I follow a recipe exactly and it bombs but … sometimes, it’s cause I was ‘experimenting’. 🙂

  6. So true. Fails are our teachers-nothing wrong with that. 🙂 If it doesn’t turn out I just turn it into something different altogether.

  7. Working up a new recipe or trying an unfamiliar one is always difficult. I find there is always some secret the author forgot to include or just a matter of different taste. Even the big shots bomb once in a while, but they can just make their “assistants” do it again until it’s right. Keep on cooking!

  8. So true, I have done it often. Sometimes it’s just a matter of adding some things to give it more flavor. Other times it all goes in the trash.

  9. I appreciate this relate-able post on a cooking blog. I am a cooking amateur and it’s nice to hear that even someone with skills has fails sometimes. I like that you find a way to not waste the food–so often a failed recipe is still edible, just unsightly 🙂

  10. It is extremely rare for us to waste food. Even if it doesn’t come out “right” we either fix it or bear with. Generally if there are good ingredients, it will still be good to eat, unless it got totally charred. 🙂 Even then, one can usually scrape up some less burned bits.

  11. OMG, I totally had one of these nights last night too! haha great post, seemingly perfect timing too! =)

  12. Many years ago my son, who was then about four years old, commented: mummy I know you try really hard, but sometimes its not very nice. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Nothing like a learning experience to improve.

  13. Reblogged this on Dot to Trot and commented:
    Amen! We all need to learn to be fearless in the kitchen. I hear from lots of folks that they just can’t cook. My response, you can. It just takes practice and keeping it simple.

  14. I think my biggest fail/waste with food is actually making too much. I have issues eating left over (don’t know why) and it’s usually the stuff you can’t make into something else.

  15. I love a good kitchen fail story from people who make excellent food 9 times out of 10. I, however, did post one time about these awful, AWFUL cookies I tried to make. It was more of a PSA not to attempt such a recipe than anything 🙂

  16. I have lost count with how many flop I’ve had over the years! But they’re all lessons for not what to do next time. For all my recipes in development, I keep detailed notes about the texture, flavour, and what can be improved upon for next time. 🙂

  17. This happens to me too… I had tried carrot cake..not once..thrice..It is awful that I failed all the 3 times. It tasted good, but came out as a one giant block of cookie..And another time, it was soggy…It was not worth of any presentation. Thankful that it tasted good.. This is just one such story.. 😉 BUT NO GIVING UP…!! 😀

  18. My worst kitchen fail was way before blogging was invented, I made a spinach pie for my hubs and me when I was newly married. It was horrible. We actually threw the entire pie away and got carry-out. My hubs teases me about it to this day. I actually misread the recipe and used a wrong ingredient. So I learned to really read the recipe before beginning. -Kat

  19. Great post! I am trying not to be so hard on myself when I commit a recipe failure. “I don’t know how to take photos of something that doesn’t look good or taste bad” made me laugh because that is how I felt this morning with something I made this morning.

  20. Thanks for the reminder! I have had so many little fails in the kitchen, and I get so disappointed with myself. Like you, I hate wasting food, so I usually try to rough it out if I don’t love it.

  21. So glad you shared this. Between your post and all the me too comments I feel better in such good company with my kitchen fails. The only one who does not fail is the one who is doing nothing..

  22. Touches my heart too.. thank you for writing

    Its mainly about the food waste, in my case the lovely tomatoes waited for all summer.. but agree its something to learn from.

    Think also in my case, should have waited and looked thru a few more recipes .. did have a misgiving about using some of the ingredients but didnt listen to my intuition.

    Have always had the same effect with pastry.. if heart not in it – cant make it. If im into making it – the pastry is light and seems to taste good.

  23. Love it! It is never a “fail” if we learn something from it. 🙂 Some days I will have one success right after another. Other days it seems like everything I cook turns out wrong. Maybe it is the frame of mind I go into it with. 😉 But “wasting ” ingredients is heartbreaking to me. I usually try to find a way to salvage even the worst disaster. Way to push through, and make it a positive experience. 🙂

  24. I love Julia Child’s earliest autobiographical books – she wrote about going to cooking school, the challenge of it, & of her sweet husband enduring her mistakes with unending encouragement. Often dinner would take her so long to master that they would eat veeery late. Thank you for your encouraging post 🙂

  25. I had one this week, greatly disapproved by all the family! After reading your post I realise I should have made a note on why this failed and so I would know what I have learned. Let me think… Thanks!

  26. It happens to everyone 🙂 one positive thing: when you realize that a recipe is bad or very wrong, then you know that that website is to delete from your list of websites to follow 😀 at least after the second wrong recipe, every blogger can mistake once 😀

  27. If I stopped cooking after my first failure I would have stopped years ago. A failed recipe is simply a lesson to learn from.

  28. I was recently in New Orleans at a cooking school demonstration and meal. The professional chef burnt the sausage when he was making the jambalaya. It tasted and smelt terrible but he served it up just the same! It’s not just you. Sometimes it is the recipe and sometimes you take your eyes off the ball.

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