Two tablespoons is different than two teaspoons!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kathy813, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As some of you oldies know, I'm not a cook. My kids grew up thinking that being told to get ready for dinner meant getting their coats on and meeting us at the car.


    You may have noticed that I never contribute to the recipe threads. :smile:

    However, I recently saw a breadmachine on a lightening deal on Amazon that was so good that I couldn't pass it up.

    Okay, I thought, how hard can it be to make a loaf of bread in a machine?

    Well, the first loaf that I made using a recipe from the instruction manual was okay but not great. So I turned to the trusty Internet and found a bunch of recipes on an online recipe site. One was called "Best Breadmachine Bread" and had over 300 reviews as the best bread they had ever made.

    So, I thought, why not try that one? The first kink was that it said a packet of Breadmachine yeast and I had a bottle of Breadmachine yeast. Luckily, the bottle had equivalents on it (in very small print) so I used 2.25 TABLESPOONS of yeast.

    Did I mention that I don't cook?

    I peeked in while it was kneading and it looked dry so I added more water. Then it looked okay so off I went.

    When it was ready, I opened the top and found a loaf of bread with the top totally caved in. I went back to the instruction manual and looked up the problem page and it said that too much yeast could cause that problem.

    I looked back at the bottle and realized that it said 2.25 TEASPOONS instead of tablespoons.

    The bread is rather yeasty smelling and very dense. Maybe the birds will enjoy it.

    If at first you don't succeed. . .

    Anyone have a cooking disaster to share so I don't feel so bad? :bag:

  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    The first time I tried to make lasagna, I had lasagna soup!! I cooked the noodles before hand. I now make lasagna, but DO NOT cook the noodles before hand.

    I also cannot make chocolate chip cookies from the recipe on the back of the nestle morsel bag. I can make them from other recipes, but not that one. They spread out too much and are just yucky.
  3. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Did I ever mention the pumpkin pies I made the first Thanksgiving husband and I were together. I forgot the sugar. They were the nastiest things you ever wanted to taste.

  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Kathy, I buy the breadmachine kits. I like "dummy proof" stuff. Works like a charm.

    My first thanksgiving turkey was labeled"turkey in a lake" and is retold frequently at almost every thanksgiving get together. The stuffing melted and ran. :bag: It tasted ok but sure isn't going to be on the cover of a Cooking magazine.
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I made chicken marsala the other day.

    Set off the smoke alarm.

    Kinda makes your mouth water, heh?
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Kathy - Go to walmart - there is a brand of bread mix that is no fail - in a box, add water - let it rise - set the timer - viola - Risin' High! I think the brand is called (no kidding) Crusteas (we always said Crusty 's)

    I make homemade bread - gave the bread machine away - and it's a lot of work, and time consuming - but nothing beats the smell.

    Oh and as far as disasters? One comes to mind - I thought those boxes with the flip tops of Swansons broth kept in the cupboard after they have been opened. I can tell you for sure that home made potato soup with month old broth will make you hurt - and then i did the dumb thing - took the box out of the trash and smelled it - dang near keeled over on the floor. I had to start ALL over with the veggies, cream, potatoes cut to perfection. ARGH.
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Kathy, before I read your description of your bread baking adventures I kept getting visions of that old "I Love Lucy" episode ...


    And Fran, just out of curiosity, how do you make turkey stuffings that melt?
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    My most famous mishap in the kitchen happened when I was twelve. I decided to make my brother's 16th birthday cake for a party we were having later that day. I must have forgotten to grease the pan because it broke apart when coming out of the can. Of course, being a bratty little sister, I just heaped it into a mound on the cake plate and drizzled a frosting glaze over it. I couldn't figure out how to get the cake candles to stay put so I put one long taper candle in the center.
    My brother did NOT see the humour in this. :rofl:
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, my older sis decided she wanted chocolate cake with choclate icing. My Mom always bought Jiffy cake mix and icing mix because it was good and cheap. It took 2 boxes of the cake mix to make one of those rectagular cake pans of cake.

    So my sis mixed up the 2 boxes of cake mix. Baked per directions. Then went to mix the icing, but couldn't find the box of icing. There was just another box of cake mix on the counter.

    She had used a box of cake mix + a box of icing mix to make the cake.

    Turned out to be the best darn brownies we ever had. :rofl:

    Mom wanted to repeat this "successful" mistake. So she asks sis if she followed the directions for using two boxes of cake mix?

    Well, we never had them again. Sis couldn't remember HOW she did it, and Mom could never figure out which directions she'd used or if it was a combo of the 2 sets of directions. Every attempt Mom made turned out disgusting.

    The hardest thing I ever learned to make was white gravy. For years it either turned out runny like milk or stiff and thick like the mashed potatoes it was to cover. :bag:

    Happy to say, I finally got the hang of it eventually. lol

    But in our family, one needs a knack for cooking. Most of the family recipes don't really have offical recipes with "measured" ingrediants. It's a "dash" of this or a "pinch" of that or a "lot" of this. :rofl: Our recipes are almost all Hands On learning. :wink:

    Which has frustrated both my girls to the extreme. :rofl:
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Donna, turkey in a lake is made when the mashed potatoes and sausage are mixed with wet bread cubes that weren't properly drained. :slap:
  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Any particular brand?

  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    This is why I try really hard not to cook for anyone outside the family. :wink:
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    These stories are cracking me up :rofl: I have several stories but can't think of many. I remember the first time I cooked for husband-I was making blts and burnt the bacon to a crisp-yuck!

    There was the time I was boiling water to make ice-tea and forgot the water was boiling-it boiled completely out!

    Another time I was making stuffed peppers and put in cloves instead of some other spice-uh-not good!

    Really-I'm not a bad cook!
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Oh, Kathy, I was so worried it might have been one of the recipes I gave you... Aussie teaspoons/tablespoons do vary from US, but not THAT much...

    Don't give up. I've had a few disasters also. Are you SURE it's inedible? Don't worry if it's just a funny shape. A lot of my bread is a funny shape, but it still tastes OK.

    With the dough looking dry - I found this was a worry for me in the beginning also. A bread mix I use has some useful instructions on this, about how long it takes the mix to "take up" the flour. You sort of time it, if it takes more than a certain amount of time, you add a bit more water. If it takes less, then you need more flour.

    One thing you should learn- there is a lot of 'wiggle' room, and you should get a feel for relaxing a bit more about baking bread.

    Something else you will find - when the loaf is freshly cooked, it's very difficult to slice. You will easily make a real mess of it. If you wait until the loaf has cooled, it's easier to slice. A couple more hours - easier still. You can also get gadgets to help you slice a loaf. It's up to you.

    An option - slice it really thick, like stepping stones. If it's really fresh, it will get wolfed down fast.

    better luck next time!

  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm gonna be naughty and use Marg's sig...
    I did notice that she didn't tell about any of her disasters.
    The best was many years ago before we were married when she read in one of those 'family' magazines (I think it was "Australian Women's Weekly")
    -engage syrupy voiceover voice:
    "for that special dinner simply melt a Mars bar and pour over ice cream"
    -disengage syrupy voiceover voice
    Americans, see for what we mean by a Mars Bar.

    She was young(er), she was inexperienced and I didn't know any better either. She simply dropped a couple of Mars bars into a saucepan and heated it until it was molten and poured it over the ice cream where it instantly set into a leathery toffee that wouldn't crack and wouldn't break. In Marg's words when she tells the story it resembled some life form crawling over the ice cream trying to engulf it. One ate the ice cream from under the toffee which remained poised over the plate like some prehistoric spider eight inches across.

    We invoked the student household burnt pot rule. Cooks do not wash up unless they burn the pot - then they clean up their mess. She tried but couldn't and it fell to the household males (greater strength) and visitors (ignorance of the problem) to attempt - the cleansing.

    That's when we discovered it wouldn't dissolve in boiling water either! It eventually came clean after soaking for nearly two weeks in daily changes of water and m-u-c-h elbow grease from many elbows.

    We now know that she should have used a double boiler to melt the bars; but we didn't know that and the magazine didn't say to.

    I don't get off Scot free either. I asked Marg to remember my best disaster but it's blanked out of both our minds by the most recent.

    Remember it is high summer here so difficult child 2/easy child 2 managed (with great difficulty due to their popularity) to get three boxes of strawberries for us to have on Christmas Day. I brought them home and, due to lack of space any where else in a crowded kitchen, put them on the stove top sitting in a frying pan. Thinking that it would be a disaster if someone turned the heating coil under that pan on I pulled the control knob off so this couldn't happen.

    I then cut some bacon, set it to broil on a low heat and went to change my clothes. A few minutes later I returned to the kitchen to be greeted by smell of poached strawberries mingled with a hint of polythene and more than a of polystyrene. I had pulled the wrong knob off and 'broiled' the bacon by putting it on a cold coil. I had turned the coil with the pan full of strawberries on a low heat! Yum; Yum (not)

    Marg's Man
  16. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Does non food disasters count?
    Back in the stone age of my first infant. I boiled the nipples to the bottles in water to sterilize them. Yep, I forgot and realized when the horrid smell of melted baby bottle nipple ran through the house. It was a melted blub, blub, blub sound that got my attention. I threw the melted nipples and the pot away. There wasn't much chance of saving anything. I think I stopped sterilizing them from then on.
  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Kathy, Krusteaz and Hodson Mills are two brands that are available at my supermarket. The yeast packet comes with the kit.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Fran...I did that with Billys bottle nipple's too and never sterilized another thing for any of the boys or Keyana!

    I think I have two major recipe disasters. My mom always made welsh rarebit when I was growing up and I loved it. When I first moved in with Tony I wanted to make it for him but didnt have a recipe for it but thought I kinda knew how she made it. WRONG! I heated cheese whiz and milk in a sauce pan and added some nice cooked shrimp and we had it over toast. was horrible but he choked it down. We still laugh about it. I have since learned how to make

    Another time I cooked the turkey and forgot to take the innards out...I was rushed for time and thought he had done it. Of course, that had to be the time his whole family was there for dinner!
  20. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Kathy, I loved the bit about "get ready for dinner" means "grab your coats and meet at the car"! :rofl: :rofl:

    I don't have a standout cooking disaster to relate, more like a series of small disasters...

    The nastiest food product I ever encountered: when I was in Explorer scouts many many years ago, I went on a two week long wilderness packing trip (which was a truly fantastic experience, by the way). We packed in all of our food (and packed out all of our trash); most of it was freeze-dried stuff from the Wilderness Adventurers store. I saw this package labeled "freeze-dried ice cream". I was intrigued and bought some. A bunch, actually.

    The stuff bore no resemblance to ice cream. "Sawdust loaf with and sand" would be more accurate. I could not give it away. I ended up carrying all of it back out to civilization (where it got chucked into the first available dumpster) minus one package, most of which was spit out on the ground, an environmental sin for which I feel ashamed to this day; I wouldn't be surprised if there is a dead spot there still.