The kitchen can be a dangerous place, with sharp knives, high heat, and harmful bacteria. However, not all kitchen accidents are safety issues. Sometimes, you slip up and ruin a magnificent meal because of a mindless mistake. Below are ten instances when home cooks accidentally messed up their food. Hopefully, you can learn from their catastrophes.
1. Gravy Down the Drain
One of the saddest and tragically most common kitchen mistakes is accidentally pouring what you were working on down the drain. People have admitted to spending all day making a warm bone broth or gravy made with giblets, only to mindlessly strain the liquid into the sink without anything beneath the colander to catch it. It’s a painful lesson many cooks have learned the hard way.
2. The Cinnamon-Cumin Swap
Another common tragedy is emphatically seasoning a dish with the wrong spice. I’m guilty of this, as I’ve reached for the cumin to bring a curry to life, only to be horrified after realizing I’ve just cinnamon-fied my savory dinner. In my and many other home cooks’ defense, cinnamon and cumin are almost the exact same color.
3. Frosting With Cornstarch
One home cook told the sad story of how they accidentally made their frosting with cornstarch instead of powdered sugar. While these two ingredients look and feel the same, they taste wildly different. The home cook reported that the frosting was horrifically zesty and had to go straight into the trash.
4. Sushi Dipped in Worcestershire
Soy sauce is the classic accompaniment to delicious sushi. However, Worcestershire sauce isn’t quite as good. Some people have accidentally poured a ramekin of Worcestershire instead of soy sauce, making that first bite of sushi a zippy and salty surprise. Despite their appearance, Worcestershire and soy sauce offer wildly different flavors.
5. MSG-Loaded Chocolate Cake
MSG makes everything better, right? One online commenter shamefully admitted to purposefully tossing a heaping spoonful of MSG into their chocolate cake batter, thinking it would bring the flavors to life and make the dessert even more decadent. This turned out to be a huge mistake, so into the trash the cake went.
6. Vanilla Tzatziki
Tzatziki is a tasty Greek dipping sauce made with dill, cucumber, garlic, some seasoning, and Greek yogurt. It’s a light and refreshing dip but loses its appeal when that Greek yogurt turns out to be vanilla-flavored. One cook didn’t read the yogurt label clearly enough, resulting in a weirdly sweet tzatziki that was a total letdown.
7. Lysol Chicken
A new home cook was excited to prepare a beautiful whole chicken they’d picked up from a fancy butcher shop. While prepping the bird, they grabbed a can of cooking spray to achieve a nice crispy exterior. After dousing the bird in the spray, they glanced at the can, which, to their dismay, was Lysol disinfectant. Sadly, the chicken could not recover.
8. Soap Soup
If your parents taught you not to curse using a bar of Dove, you know that soap doesn’t exactly have an appetizing flavor. One cook lost track of things while making a mushroom soup, squeezing soap all over the dishes in the sink, including the stock they had made. Without realizing it, they added the stock to the soup, resulting in the unpleasant invention of soap soup, which they do not recommend.
9. Gluey Mashed Potatoes
This kitchen fiasco is a common one among new cooks. Most people want supremely creamy mashed potatoes, which involves a decent amount of mashing and stirring. However, you have to be careful. Over-mixing or whipping potatoes results in a vile, pasty mixture akin to the white glue stick you used in preschool. The moral of the story – thoughtfully and gently mix and mash your taters.
10. Buttermilk Cereal
Buttermilk cereal actually sounds pretty good, but don’t be fooled. The flavor of buttermilk is quite sour and tangy, and it’s hard to differentiate from spoiled milk. It’s wonderful in biscuits and other recipes, but on its own, it’s foul. A great way to ruin an entire bowl of cereal is to fill it with inedible buttermilk.
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