"Definitely one of my worst - my husband and I were young and poor and made a big pizza together for a special treat. As I pulled it out of the oven and partially slid it onto a cookie sheet (it was finishing up on the rack), I lost my footing and shifted to balance myself. In the process, the pizza slid off the baking sheet, flopped onto the oven door, and landed face-down onto the floor, like a big pizza slinky.
I just sat down on the kitchen floor and cried. The oven door was hot and steaming from the toppings that stuck to it, and now we had no dinner and a giant mess to clean."
"It was my first New Years with my now husband. I decided we were going to class it up and I was going to make duck legs with cherry sauce. I roasted the duck legs and they looked awesome. Not understanding that Pyrex has no business on an open flame, I put the pan full of glorious duck legs and scalding hot duck fat on medium heat and started to stir in my morello cherries. I leaned down to grab something else out of the oven and just as I was about to stand up, I heard this earth-shattering BAM! The Pyrex had exploded over the range and there was a sea of broken tempered glass and hot duck grease over about 5 square feet. If I had stood up from the oven even a few seconds earlier, I would have caught a face full of glass and scalding duck fat.
Oh, that and the only time I ever attempted to make macarons. There were tears."
"My boyfriend at the time and I got back to his place from a party and decided to make a pizza and mac and cheese. We left the pizza out too long and it thawed out, but we put it in the oven anyway and turned on the burner for the water to boil. We started to play a video game and smelled something burning.
We turned on the wrong burner and there happened to be his stepdad's paycheck right next to the burner that was turned on. I really don't know why he thought that would be an appropriate place to put a $900 check, but it caught on fire and we flipped out.
We then saw smoke coming from the oven, the pizza was so thawed it literally went through the rack and onto the bottom of the oven, which started an oven fire.
We cleared out the house of smoke and went back to my place and passed out - Oops."
"When I was 13, my parents left me and my much younger brother (who was in kindergarten) home alone while they went out to dinner. There were very few groceries in the house that night, so I couldn't really make the two of us dinner. There was enough leftover mac and cheese in the fridge for one, so I gave it to my brother because, well, duh. I guess my parents assumed there was enough mac and cheese for the both of us but nope, only enough for one bowl for my brother.
So while my brother was eating his dinner, I started digging through the fridge, the pantry, anywhere for something to eat. Keep in mind, I was 13 and while I knew how to make rice, ramen, and mac and cheese from a box, cooking was not my forté - also the fact that there were very few groceries in the house at the time. Anyway, I finally braved the freezer for something that I could eat and I found a frozen chorizo. I'd seen my parents cook sausages on the stove in a pan before, so how hard could it be?
Silly 13-year-old me didn't realize that you have to defrost them once you get it out of the freezer. Instead, I just plopped it in the frying pan and cooked that thing till it was completely black and charred on the outside. Thought it was done, started eating - oh no, oh no, oh no it's still frozen and RAW in the middle. And I guess I had a rough day because I started crying.
And that's the image I'll leave you with, a 13-year-old girl forcing herself to eat a blackened and still raw and frozen chorizo alone at the dining table, tears streaming down her face."
"I'm a very, very good cook now, but back then...yikes.
I had stayed the night over at my then-boyfriend-now-husband's apartment, and for some reason one morning, before he woke up, I decided to Betty Crocker it up. I had visions of myself in a skirt and heels, complete with pearls, placing a perfectly crafted plate of food in front of My Man, and having him proclaim me to be the quintessential Domestic Goddess.
He didn't have much in his bachelor fridge, but he did have eggs and bread; fried eggs and toast - a perfect classic breakfast for a newly minted Domestic Goddess.
His pan was (I know now) a beautifully seasoned cast iron pan, the type that gets handed down from a great-grandmother. I hadn't used cast iron before, but really, how different could it be? I put it on the stove top and tried to turn it on - but it was a gas stove, and I was used to electric. Again, pffft, not that different, right?
I looked down at the dial - it read 'High - Light.' I figured that if High meant 'high temperature,' then naturally, Light must be 'light temperature,' or low. I put the pan on the stove, and let it preheat just like you'd do on an electric stove. I futzed about, cleaning off his plates and silverware, setting the table, pondering going down to the corner store to get juice, or really, just being absurdly proud of how cute I was being - I even put on lipstick.
After a good fifteen minutes or so, I put a pat of butter into the pan. It melted quickly, but I apparently paid that absolutely no attention. I cracked a couple of eggs into a glass and added them to the (now-blisteringly) hot pan.
Whoosh. You've heard of six-minute eggs? These were more like six-second eggs. I've never seen anything turn to carbon so quickly in my life. I was surprised and mortified. I decided that I should just start over. I picked up the pan, tossed it in the sink, turned on the water (yes, and created a steam cloud unlike any other), and started scrubbing away.
To his credit, the then-boyfriend-now-husband didn't flip out in quite the spectacular fashion that I would if this happened to me now. I tried to give him some explanation of 'high' and 'light,' but he just started laughing - and kept laughing for a good long while."
"I had a rather embarrassing mistake.
Easy-Mac. The word easy is literally in the name, but I found a way to screw it up.
The recipe is put pasta in bowl, put water in bowl, cook, and stir in cheese mix. Easy, right? Now, from these, what do you think the worst step to skip would be?
I forgot to add water. I placed dry pasta in the microwave and pressed cook. After a minute, I noticed there was smoke on the ceiling, but I thought it was my brother's cooking as we were sharing the kitchen. After another minute, the smoke was so thick we could barely breathe and we finally realized what happened. We unplugged the microwave as the pasta inside was smoking and maybe even on fire.
The microwave was permanently damaged and I had to replace it. And the saddest part, I never got my 4 pm snack."
"Once upon a time, when I was a teenager and didn't know how to cook, we were out of state visiting family friends. I woke up early one morning and decided to make breakfast for everyone - Pancakes!
'Do you need a recipe?' the woman of the house asked.
'Nah, I got this!' I mean, pancakes. Everybody knows how to make pancakes, right?
You just take a bowl and throw in some flour, and some eggs, and some sugar, and some milk, and maybe a little of this and a little of that, and then you cook them up on the griddle. And they refused to change color, they just stayed white. No beautiful golden brown, no black burning crust, just white.
They were like rubber discs.
I refused to admit that I couldn't make pancakes and insisted that everyone taste them."
"1)It was my first time cooking. I was about 10 and I was going to make my first dish that wasn't egg related. I thought of fish and vegetables. Yummy, right? Well, not when you crack open a can of sardines and a can of sliced carrots and call it lunch. It gave me the worst Hershey Squirts ever...
2) So, when you think of dessert, what comes to mind? Cakes, cookies, rice pudding? I made 'rice' pudding. My brother, who was 6-7 at the time, was my 'Cooking Assistant.' I opened about three boxes of JELL-O Chocolate pudding mix and read the directions as followed. Then, I threw in about 4 1/3 cups of raw rice...and made my brother eat it. You know you messed up when your little brother eats it and is crunching with focus. My mom got mad at me while I was dying laughing.
3) I had eaten half of my cheesesteak when I decided to save the rest for later. I wrapped it up with aluminum foil and set it in the fridge. Later that day, I wanted the rest of my cheesesteak, but there were no paper plates and I was too lazy to wash the dishes. What did I do? My idiot self put the foil-wrapped cheesesteak in the microwave for three minutes - three minutes too late for me to save the microwave as it caught fire from the foil. I forgot I was told to NEVER MICROWAVE METAL. Learned that lesson.
4) So when you're making muffins for breakfast, it's always important to make sure you have it on the right time and temperature. I baked my muffins at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Burnt.
5) When I was making fried chicken, I set the fryer to HIGH while heating the oil. After the first few pieces of chicken were fried, I set it to a slightly lower temp. I made my chicken and it looked so pretty, like someone spent hours making the perfect fried chicken. So, my family and I were eating until my brother and I bit into a piece of chicken to find blood leaking out of the wing. We ate out after that.
"I was working as a short order cook and had to train a new employee. She came in boasting about how she had owned and operated two restaurants and managed two others, then she proceeded to tell me that she didn't need me to help her at all, she knew how to cook. The start of the morning shift was awful, to say the least. She didn't know anything, not even the difference between a scrambled egg and an egg over easy. It was a nightmare and the more I tried to help her, the more resentful she became; you truly could cut the tension with a knife. An early lunch order came in and, finally, it was a simple order that I assumed she would be able to handle without a problem. Boy, was I wrong. The order was for a grilled cheese sandwich and fries extra crispy. I asked her before she started the order if she knew how to make a grilled cheese sandwich and her answer was, 'Yes, I'm not stupid.' So I watched the stupidest thing I've ever seen. She walked over to the grill, grabbed the bread, put in the toaster, then proceeded to place three different types of cheese (provolone, swiss, and sharp cheddar) on the grill. It was on the hotter part of the grill used for meats, which burned the cheese badly. Then she put that mess together on the toast, which smelled so bad, then put the fries down to cook - In that order. Of course, I had to intervene and fix the order, but it was truly magical to watch. So by the time I remade the sandwich, the customer's fries were cooked to perfection and all was good. Of course, she complained to the owner that I was a bad teacher and didn't explain anything and that I was pushing her around, but it was all on camera to prove she was a straight up idiot. The only thing I can say about the whole mess is, yes, she did in some sense make grilled cheese, just not anything I would recommend eating unless you enjoy punishing yourself."
"I found a recipe for pan frying shrimp. It asked for an entire jalapeno, nothing about scraping out seeds/veins like I normally do, but I figured it would be fine. It had been summer and I had been using them in a bunch of things, so I figured I could handle it - my spiciness tolerance isn't crazy but it's alright. So in the pan go some herbs, the pepper, some oil, and the shrimp...
The heat didn't kick in right away, my boyfriend and I didn't even realize we were crying eating dinner until it was way too late - most painful dinner ever."
"This one time when I was around five, I wanted one of those single serving bags of popcorn. The problem was that I didn't know how long to cook it. I just knew that my parents pushed some buttons and popcorn came out. So I threw the bag into the microwave, pressed random buttons, and let it cook. Minutes later, I went back to a smoke filled microwave. 'DAD! CAN YOU HELP ME WITH MY POPCORN?'
My dad came running in, opened the microwave, filling the room with smoke, threw the bag outside onto the concrete, and then turned to me and said, 'Don't ever, ever, ever cook popcorn without me or mom's help again.' The worst part was that I never got my popcorn."
"So a friend and I were going to make a cake. We had a lot of different chocolate mixes and marshmallows. We put the marshmallows at the very bottom and started putting the different mixes in trying to create a layer cake, including brownie mix. This was for a friend who was a chocoholic. We baked it, took it out, and let it cool, though we thought it felt a little heavy.
We went to the friend's house with this. It felt like it weighed a good 20+ pounds, no joke! My friend went to put it on the counter and we heard a loud THUD because it had fallen out of my friend's hand. This is only the beginning. The next fun part was turning it upside down and getting the thing out of the pan. It took a few tries until we heard another loud THUD. What ended up happening is that the marshmallows had caramelized on the very bottom, causing it to stick, but we finally got this brick of a cake out of the pan.
But it gets worse. Now it was time to cut it. We got a good, sturdy, heavy cutting knife and began to try and cut this. After a few attempts, and breaking the knife from the handle, we got a serrated knife and began sawing it. Almost nobody could finish one piece of it as the sugar content and chocolate taste of it would easily put any diabetic into a coma. The only reason why I finished one piece was because I was determined to NOT let a piece of food make me quit.
We called it 'Death By Chocolate With The Density Of Plutonium.'"
"My dad went through this phase where he'd cook everything in vinegar. Some stuff was okay, but he got way too carried away with it and wouldn't listen to anyone who told him he was using too much. So one day, he gets a bag of about 400g of bean sprouts and he just fries it all in a cup of cider vinegar - and that was it, that was the whole meal. He called it a stir fry and he expected us to eat it. It doesn't sound too bad, but I swear it was one of the worst things I ever tasted. In the end, we refused to eat it and he ate the whole lot of it by himself, telling us how great it was the whole time. Years later, he finally admits that it was disgusting and the worst thing he ever made, but he still thinks he's an amazing cook."
"I tried to make falafel at home. I can't pinpoint what I did wrong because I'm pretty sure it was every single thing. I rarely truly follow a recipe, just use them for inspiration, so I figured it was no big deal if I changed a few things. I was wrong. I didn't have the budget for all the herbs and spices called for, so I just improvised with what I had on hand; I used canned chickpeas even though it said not to; I baked them instead of deep frying them, etc. I ended up with a crumbly mess. They were burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. And the flavor? I'm pretty sure if I'd just eaten a tablespoon of cumin it would've been about the same.
I tried again awhile later, this time with fresh boiled chickpeas and all the spices from the recipe in their proper proportions, and they were better but still pretty terrible. I haven't had the heart to try again since. There's a place a couple blocks over that has decent falafel for takeout and that's good enough for me."
"It was my first year away from home. I had been given a crash course in cooking by my mum, but otherwise was on my own.
I attempted making fudge.
I didn't look up a recipe at all, thought I was smart enough to know what to put in it - sugar, vanilla extract, let it melt down.
Well, what we initially ended up with effectively vanilla sugar. Then I had the bright idea when my husband and I attempted to recook it to add water to a boiling hot pan of molten sugar. The water did the job of binding it all together into a horrible black, sludgy mess that would not dislodge from the pan. Took it home to my mum and eventually it came off.
It's been almost ten years and my husband still gives me a look when I comment about making fudge. I'm a lot better now, honest!"
"When I was in middle school, my friend and I tried to make one of those pizza-sized giant cookies like they sell at the mall. We didn't take into account that the dough would rise and expand and ended up with an oven overflowing with cookie dough.
Another time, the same friend and I decided to try and make Skittles by combining as many of the ingredients on the back of the bag as we could understand/find in a large pot and boiling it for a while, then forming them into tiny sugar pellets. We sprinkled food coloring on and let it harden. We ended up with multicolored sugar cubes, which we tested on my younger brother, but didn't dare try ourselves."
"In high school, my friend and I wanted to make a cake for a surprise party, but the only cake tin in her kitchen was this insanely detailed 3D representation of a castle, with like three turrets and everything. No big deal, we'll use that!
Then we couldn't find any Pam or other non-stick spray. No big deal! We put some vegetable oil in a spray bottle and sprayed the inside of the castle mold.
Then the cake would not come out of the more detailed parts of the mold as we should have expected. Altogether, it looked disgusting and gross.
So we poured the rest of the batter into two small meatloaf tins, then stuck those to the top of the castle cake and slapped frosting all over it.
Nobody ate that cake."
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