It happens to all of us.
I call them “kitchen mishaps” and they can range from the small to large. Sometimes they come in extra small and other times they might be XXL just like our clothes sizes. But as I said, they happen to us all.
An extra-large-kitchen-mishap could be something like accidentally switching the sugar in your mousse recipe with salt or forgetting to add yeast to the challah dough. And if it’s meant for a special occasion of say, 100 guests then, you’ve really got a L-A-R-G-E problem!
(This of course is no less of a catastrophe than having to buy an XXL sheva brochos outfit after dieting for almost half a year!)
But Baruch Hashem our daily mishaps in the kitchen are on a much smaller scale. Sometimes we “simply” overcook the pot roast or burn a batch of butterscotch cookies to a crisp. Or you might need a paint scraper to un-stick the scrambled eggs that kind of got stuck to your skillet. These minor mishaps can be pretty upsetting but I’m wondering what you do when you meet up with a mishap?
Do you throw in the towel and declare in despair “Never Again!?” Or are you among those who go for it until you get it right?
I’m sure you know that some of the greatest inventions were a “mistake.” Well, the same goes for kitchen follies. I know, because a good part of our favorite recipes were born from flops we learned how to fix the next time or two around.
Take for example my mother’s jawbreakers. Those unforgettable hamentashen were rock hard even though they tasted great. Mother, never one to give up, tried making them again the year after but alas, they almost broke our jaws. Until today we laugh when we remember those hamentashen! Like I said, they are unforgettable.
Something similar happened in our house the other day. When our margarine-less chocolate chip cookies came out of the oven, they reminded me of my mother’s hamentashen for some reason. Could it be because they were as hard as those jawbreakers, do you think…? In any case, we decided to try the recipe again with a little more flour and presto! They came out perfectly soft and chewy.
What I’m trying to say is “Don’t give up!” Be bold. Be daring. Try that recipe again and you’ll gain more than just a tasty pot roast. (Maybe the word “again” is short for “and gain”). Try to understand what might generate a bigger success next time. You’ll acquire a better feel for the process and probably notice a shortcut or two that will help you get it to your table quicker.
Experience is the best teacher. Do your homework and take notice of the do’s and don’ts while you’re at it. As a homemaker, you usually are the one to do the cooking. You might as well make your cooking experiences work for you. You can find the answers!
Or, you can ask us. There’s always something cooking here!
Say the recipe you tried doesn’t look anything like the full color photo in the magazine. You’re willing to give it another go but don’t have an inkling as to what you did wrong. Just drop us a line explaining the mishap or a question about cuisine you’d like to know and we’ll try to solve your dilemma and answer your question.
We all make mistakes and it can be fun to learn from them. We’ll make delicious edibles here together. You’ll see, that with a little thought about “why,” the “how” will become a success. And who knows? Maybe you’ll even find your own solutions. We’d be happy to hear about those too.
But before we embark on our culinary journey, let’s not forget “Tefilas Haderech.” The recipe for a sure shot success in your kitchen (and in all other areas of life) is to daven. Request of Him hatzlacha in the dish you’re making so that your diner’s – big and small – will enjoy your labor of love and gain strength to be true Ovedei Hashem.
So what’s cooking today?
About the Author: Mindy Rafalowitz is a recipe developer and food columnist for over 15 years. She has published a best selling cookbook in Hebrew for Pesach and the gluten sensitive. Mindy is making progress on another specialty cookbbok for English readers. For kitchen questions or to purchase a sample recipe booklet at an introductory price, contact Mindy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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