Southern Fried Screw Ups - Southern Fried Blog at - 245024

Southern Fried

Southern Fried Screw Ups 
Jul. 27, 2011 10:27 am 
Updated: Jul. 30, 2011 3:21 pm
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.
1.  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. 
2.  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. 
3.  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.
4.  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! 
Jul. 27, 2011 12:49 pm
Fun stuff. I have a lot more fun writing about my screw ups than my successes.
Jul. 27, 2011 7:32 pm
Hey Nashville Nosher~I am just a little south of ya in Brentwood! One of my best screwups was the first time I made mashed potatoes.... it was really more like soup. I was 19 and didn't have a clue how to fix 'em! My poor bf!
Jul. 28, 2011 7:08 am
It sounds like yur having one of them lives well lived! Good on ya.
Jul. 30, 2011 1:35 pm
My mashed potato "screw-up" happened one day while as a teen-ager I was cooking for a couple of harvest hands, one of whom happened to be a cute teen age boy! Hopeing to impress him, I wanted to serve white, fluffy mashed potatoes so I added something I thought my mother added to make them white and fluffy. She always added a pinch of baking powder but I mistakenly added a pinch of baking SODA which turned the potatoes gray! They tasted fine but were not attractive! Got teased a lot about those potatoes and I don't even remember the name of the boy I was trying to impress!
Jul. 30, 2011 3:21 pm
Sounds like potatoes are causing trouble for everyone - ha!
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Nashville Nosher

Home Town
Springfield, Tennessee, USA
Living In
Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Member Since
Sep. 2007

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern

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About Me
I grew up on a farm in Tennessee learning how to cook what we grew in the garden. I'm definitely a Southern girl at heart and love Southern cooking. I like to say there isn't a recipe I won't try...unless it involves beets. Ha!
My favorite things to cook
Southern food! You can't go wrong with it when you cook for guests - who doesn't like macaroni and cheese? Plus, i know most of the recipes by heart, so I don't have to drag out a cookbook. It also proves the theory that enough cheese can make anything taste good.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My sister and I get together each Thanksgiving and go absolutely crazy. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without someone making pink gravy, or potatoes turning black, or completely forgetting the squash in the I suppose I would say "Thanksgiving Mishaps" would be our tradition.
My cooking triumphs
I got my husband to enjoy salmon. Granted, we had just started dating when I made it for him and he HAD to enjoy my salmon, but I'm calling it a "W" anyway.
My cooking tragedies
Well, there were the peanut butter noodles that I made with Worschestershire sauce (note to self: just because soy sauce and Worschestershire sauce come in similarly-shaped bottles does NOT mean they are similarly-flavored.) There is also the blackened catfish that turned out more "blackened" than "catfish." My husband still teases me about that (it even made an appearance in our wedding vows!)
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