crisis of confidence in the kitchen

I like experimenting in the kitchen. Sometimes it really pays off to experiment and find out what sort of deliciousness you can cook. However. Sometimes those end results scream go back to the kitchen and it’s grilled cheese sandwiches for you my friend.

A crisis of confidence in the kitchen that’s what I had recently. I think I got carried away… Other aspects of life were being challenging and I wanted the security and comfort of making something up and it being delicious. Sure, maybe I should have held back a little and tried not to do so many new things at once…but, I didn’t.

Date and Almond Sourdough Triangles– nope. Just didn’t work for me. They tried, I gave it a red hot go, but still nope.

Sourdough Pizza– not enough time to prove, so quite a dense base. It could be worked on though…there is hope for that one.

Chocolate Tangelo Cake– sweet mama, that was disgusting. All effort, no taste. Mr Chocolate even refused to eat that one. It even ended in the bin, it was so hideous…picture? God no.

Strawberry Scones, (top picture) I still think this could work (maybe) it’s just….I really do suck at scones.

Was I doomed to be a kitchen failure for ever?! Oh the horror!…

However, after a little pause. Some time to reflect, a little recalibration with a fried egg and salad my mojo snuck back.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart here we come.

* So whats the moral of the story? Playing in the kitchen is fun. Experiment, find out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be put off by burnt bread, raw biscuits, runny marmalade. Yes, they are annoying but you learn from them. Kitchen mistakes can quite often be salvageable and turned into something else. If you are running in to consecutive mistakes, just take a break and go back to the basics again.

And, above all…DO NOT make a Chocolate Tangelo Cake.

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26 thoughts on “crisis of confidence in the kitchen

  1. That sounds just like me… after alot of slap-dash, no recipe, give it a go type cooking over the years, I’d class my success rate at 90%. Or maybe I just have a husband with an open mind… or rather, an open mouth!

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  2. and don’t add rancid walnut oil to your best sourdough efforts heehee –

    did you put the strawbs in the scone mix? Scone mantra – less is more. You just want to mix it as fast as you can, like muffins, I don’t even knead the dough, and sometimes don’t even roll it, just sort of pat it out into a flattish shape and then cut away…

    I am not as free-form as you with baking, it nearly always ends in disaster when I try to do something off-piste, though I rarely look at a recipe for our main food, takes too long when we are trying to get dinner ready, last night started off was going to be pasta, then changed my mind to curry, then back to pasta, a trail round the garden for some herbs, opened a bottle of wine, chucked in some chopped veggies,a sloosh of wine, a bit of bacon, some cold roast chicken, and a large spoonful of that aging cream yoghurt to finish, parmesan and chopped parsley on egg papadelle. Oh I sound like one of those casual english tv cooks, I’ve watched too many shows πŸ™‚

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    • I like that imagery of you casually walking around your garden, finding ingredients whilst talking to the camera….obviously Zeb would have to feature πŸ™‚
      The scones, I did put the strawberries in the mix. I try and do it fast, don’t man handle, pat it down with finger tips etc. It’s still hit and miss though, mostly miss.

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  3. Some days it’s best to stay out of the kitchen…I know from my failings! Everyone has them… best however to dwell on the highlights and you my friend have shown us many…have a great day..Yvette x

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  4. I have had some phenomenal failures, as well!
    But I learned from each of them and have gotten better as choosing what my family would tolerate in ingredients and I guess would say it has helped me in developing a better palette.
    I’m not going to list them, though.
    (the list would be too long. ;))

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    • Thats the thing Heidiannie, I do learn from them. Consecutive ones make me want to throw the tea towel in, but a little pause, and I do get better after these mistakes….except burning bread. You would have thought I would have learnt by now not to do too many other things while my bread is cooking at 250C.

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  5. I’m feeling confessional: I didn’t do cooking, let alone baking at school,it wasn’t on the syllabus. My mum didn’t cook anything apart from boiling artichokes, and making pickled salmon, and the odd fruit salad, her party piece, was one made with slices across the grain of oranges, peeled, laid out in a huge glass dish, soaked in alcohol, and covered with curls of dark chocolate and toasted almond slivers. She was big on anything cold, anything that you had to fiddle wih for hours, prawns, artichokes, hot sweet chestnuts, the more unpeeling before you had to eat it the better she thought, meant more time to chat. My dad could make gravy and carve things.

    It’s a miracle that I bake anything when you consider my culinary heritage πŸ™‚ I think it must be great in your household with all your exciting dishes and your interest in making lovely food πŸ™‚

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    • Its funny how things work out, I don’t think you can really guess whether someone is going to be a cook or not. My grandfather has recently taken up cooking, couldn’t boil water a year ago and now is whipping up biscuits, bolognese, and desserts. It took a neighbours school fundraiser cookbook to get him going, and he’s loving it! Does your dad do much cooking now?

      Party piece cooking! Now I have a little special cookbook, with nothing but devilled eggs, melon balls, jelly moulds and lashings of cream in it, and I think I need to recreate some of it. What do you think?

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  6. You would get on well with my husband! I am a “I’m a failure in the kitchen, I’ll just give up” type of gal, whereas he sees how to make everything good or persevere to make it perfect next time. Defo give the strawberry scones a second go – they could be so awesome! x

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  7. Ah yes, those days when the cooking mojo is in hibernation…..we all have them! Having a dog and chooks helps as they are fairly uncomplaining about eating the failures. I tried to make a lentil soup the other night, thinking that I would divert from my well worn rut with cooking lentils. Lets just say one mouthful was all that got consumed by me. I “innocently” asked my husband to taste it and let me know what he thought – just so I could double the consumption… to two mouthfuls. The chooks enjoyed it though….I think!

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    • Ahh, the benefits of having chooks! See there would less guilt from me then if we had chooks. Cook food, food is an inedible flop, give to chooks, chooks lay eggs, we eat eggs… A lovely cycle. The one time we bought kanga bangas, I tried it, innocently passed it over to husband, who in turn innocently passed it over to eldest child πŸ™‚ Who ate with gusto! Evil parents I know…

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  8. B, for what it’s worth, I’ve never had any success with sourdough pizza! Everyone tries, and some people swear by them, but I always find them heavy and chewy. For me, it needs the burst of yeast in the oven!

    Glad you’ve got your mojo back, I knew it couldn’t have gone far. Now I’m waiting for the 6 armed starfish bread.. πŸ™‚

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  9. i should be braver in the kitchen, i fall into the fear we won’t like it and then i will have to scramble up another meal. i need to keep in mind there are always eggs in the fridge.

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  10. So glad you weren’t disheartened for long. Surely, having failures is just normal unless you stick to a handful of well know dishes – I certainly have plenty. I can’t seem to manage a good scone either, although I do try from time to time. But how could a chocolate tangelo cake be so bad – what is it anyway?

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    • It was hideous. Tangello instead of orange- too much juice? I don’t know, I had in mind like a Jaffa thing, but ended up a pudding consistency. Even when I served it up and just pretended it was a pudding, you just couldn’t get past the taste.

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  11. Too funny! You sound just like me in defiance of recipes!! I thought the strawberry scones looked yummy though…I have a fantastic recipe for strawberry coconut slice from Bill Granger, I’ll make it and blog and then you feel free to go ahead and ‘tweak’ the recipe!!

    PS I love the whole concept of your blog, I’m an ex-farmcityhippyfarm girl! We should be friends haha!!

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  12. Pingback: Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart « Cityhippyfarmgirl's Blog

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