Learning From Our Cooking Mistakes
Tonight I've been writing a review on this new cookbook, Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis, and I keep thinking about a topic that's been on my mind lately. This new books is marketed as a "help you be a better home cook" type of recipe collection, and I always think that screwing up royally is one of the ways we all become better cooks. That is, screwing up and learning from that screw up makes us better.
Boy, I've done some doozies in my day. I've given my family bloody burgers, burnt chili, and made gooey cornbread. She's going to kill me for this, but a few months ago, my wife forgot to put the sugar in a chocolate cake. Next the the chocolate, it's the most important ingredient. But it happens.
You can put al the recipes in face, force me to watch 96 hours of Julia Child reruns, and make me listen to the Joy of Cooking on audio tape, but the only person who ever taught me to check the meat before I serve it to my guests is me.
When I was dating my first love, I had her and my parents over for dinner in my tiny one-bedroom apartment and made them steak burgers ... fresh out of the skillet. I was so proud of myself that I didn't pay attention to my cooking, nor did I check the meat before plating up. When they cut into the meat, blood just poured out of the burgers and onto everything on their plates. I was so embarrassed.
But I learned from that experience, and my burgers have been perfect ever since. in fact, I was so embarrassed that day, I have been very obsessive-compulsive about the doneness of my burgers. But such is life. Think Julia Child was a perfect cook 100% of the time? Heck, even Giada has her bad days.
Lots of us food bloggers are not professional chefs or have any sort of training whatsoever. We cook for the love of the craft and it's fruits. We make mistakes, we screw up. It's how we learn to do better. We might ruin a meal or embarrass ourselves, but it sure beats the hell out of getting verbally abused by Gordon Ramsay.
Leave a comment and share your major screw-ups in the kitchen. You know you have 'em.