The mighty territory of the kitchen can be a formidable one.
Too-high temps, forgotten pork roasts, and the dreaded feeling of opening an oven to the sight of flattened, unappetizing cookies.
While I’ve certainly battled these foes before, it always helps to reiterate these “learning experiences” to not only learn from your mistakes, but to laugh uncontrollably at some of the incredibly dumb things I’ve done in the kitchen.
And so I present, Southern-Fried Screw-Ups.
Perhaps one of my favorite stories involves the first time I ever made dinner for Travis, my now-husband.
Wanting to knock his socks off (not literally. Well, maybe a little…haha!) I decided to make the famous “World’s Best Lasagna” from this site.
Focusing on looking cute in my apron and flirting with Travis, I somehow managed to add to much water…to the tune of three times too much water.
Panicking while attempting to look cute isn’t my strong suit, but I laughed at his jokes while I scoured my cabinets for tomato paste of any form.
Luckily I had some and after adding that with some diced tomatoes, I managed to drain off some of the water and save the lasagna.
And he apparently still thought I was cute…or he was too nice to say otherwise.
Speaking of blackened, let’s talk potatoes. My sister and I get together every year for a slightly ridiculous spread for Thanksgiving.
We meet the Wednesday before to knock out some prep work and, more importantly, drink a lot of wine (priorities, right?)
Anyway, after a glass or three, I decided to put together the au gratin potatoes so they could be thrown in the oven the next day.
Either my inexperience with raw potatoes or the shiraz took over, because at that point I conveniently forgot that raw potatoes oxidize when exposed to air.
Taking the pan out of the fridge the next day was difficult for two reasons:
1. I had a hangover and 2. The potatoes I was supposedly going to serve to 12 guests were black on top.
In an effort only attributed to a Thanksgiving miracle, my mother and I successfully shaved off the tops of the black potatoes, threw on enough cheese to mask the remaining black marks as browned cheese, and smiled like we were
Martha Stewart when we presented our world-famous potatoes to the table.
And speaking of things turning colors on Thanksgiving, let’s move on to the subject of gravy.
My mother makes giblet gravy each year for our aforementioned “slightly ridiculous spread.”
She usually adds just a touch of yellow food coloring to, as she says, “Make it look edible.”
Mistaking the red food coloring for the yellow, however, “makes it look pink.”
A hearty laugh was had that year, along with several renditions of Aerosmith’s “Pink” every time someone asked for the gravy.
Another lovely kitchen faux pas of my mother’s involves two staples of my childhood:
muffins and football. An avid University of Tennessee household, Saturdays were often spent in the kitchen yelling at the TV because some Alabama quarterback had just shattered our defensive line and scored on the mighty Vols.
One particular Saturday my mother decided to make muffins to distract her from the UT game.
Just as she was taking the first batch out of the oven, a sack caused a fumble, which caused a streak of orange towards the Alabama end zone.
Overcome with joy, my mother began jumping up and down, with the muffin tin still in hand.
Muffins rained down from the ceiling just as John Ward exclaimed, “Give him six!” and the cats began a feeding frenzy on the muffins that were, much to my mother’s chagrin, covering the kitchen floor.
I've got so many more stories, but I've got to get up from this chair at some point and get in the kitchen to add to my battle scars!