Kitchen Disaster

I suppose it wasn’t quite  a disaster, but the bulk lunch I made for this week is definitely not the best thing I have ever eaten. Every Sunday I do my best to make something that I can easily package up in Tupperware and bring to work to last me at least through Wednesday. Curries, chili, soup or big salads usually do the trick, keeping me full, within budget, and healthy.

This Sunday I decided on a tofu curry with parsnips and carrots because I had a load of parsnips and carrots to use up before I leave for San Francisco.

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I broke out the slow cooker and started layering flavors to create my curry sauce. I started with a can of Goya coconut milk, Thai Kitchen green curry paste (store was out of red), Burmese curry spice mix, and habanero oil. I wanted a rich, spicy sauce.

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I chopped the carrots and parsnips and tossed those, along with baby potatoes into the slow cooker to start cooking. In the meantime, I cut extra firm Nasoya tofu into small strips.

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I left the carrot/parsnip/potato mixture cooking on high for about an hour and a half, and when I went back to check, nothing had gotten the least bit tender. But the sauce was drying up and browning around the edges. I turned it down to low and left it for another 30 minutes, and went back to find more edge-burning. I thought the beauty of slow cookers was that you could just leave them to cook and not really do anything? After a little longer I added the tofu in, and because the root veggies had so long to go, the tofu ended up mush. The sauce got extremely thick and almost gluey. The taste was worse. I don’t like green curry nearly as much as I like red curry, and for some reason it tastes like raw tofu?

I let it cool, packed it up, and brought it for lunch on Monday. It looks absolutely hideous and really doesn’t taste that great, but since we are traveling and going to be spending a bit of money this week, I really need to eat it. I actually skipped it today in favor of eating peanuts and apples. I have a colleague from Virginia and she always brings the best peanuts when she visits! So, the moral of the story I guess is that while I truly do love about 98% of my kitchen creations, there may be times where tossing ingredients together might not work. I am also a little jaded with the slow cooking process. What if I hadn’t been there to stir every 20 minutes? Oh well.

 

I am off to do some packing for the weekend ahead and to hopefully do some blog post scheduling. I have a few great posts coming up while I am away, in addition to some coverage of the Foodbuzz Festival and my wine country adventures. I am also really hoping to find the time to write a post on food in literature and food memoirs. It has been brewing in my head for awhile, and maybe sitting on a plane for 6 hours will be a good time to let it out.

Have you had any kitchen disasters? Were you able to recover them or did you just toss it? Any lessons learned?

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  1. Raija’s avatar

    One of my clearest kitchen disaster memories was trying to “whip up” an omelet out of whatever I found in my fridge, like so many foodies can do. Well, needless to say, parmesan cheese is not the cheese to add to a spinach and onion omelet. Yuck! I should’ve known…

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  2. Caroline’s avatar

    OH dear. So sad because it has such great ingredients and it sounded like it had real potential. I made some muffins a month or two ago that came out wet, and salty. They were pretty gross but I managed to eat them by heating them in the toaster oven and smearing enough butter/jam on top to mask the saltiness.

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  3. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)’s avatar

    Ugh, I feel your pain! The first few times I used my slowcooker the food burnt to a crisp, and I tossed it. I have learned that you need a LOT of liquid in the cooker to keep things from burning. I have had my share of kitchen disasters, but enough successes to make up for them :-)

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  4. Lynn’s avatar

    aw sorry your dinner was a disaster – i just had a slow cooker success that you can use the recipe for next time.

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  5. Kelly’s avatar

    So sad…that definitely sounded like it was going to be cook. I’ve only used the slow cooker a few times also so I am still new at it. However, when it used it, it literally took like 8 hours to cook something…are you sure it didn’t need to be in longer? as I said..not an expert though haha

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  6. Lara (Thinspired)’s avatar

    I LOVE parsnips! What a fun dish…I would never think to pair parsnhips and carrots with tofu, but I bet it was delicious! Have a great time in SF!!

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  7. leslie’s avatar

    oh, i hate kitchen disasters. it can be so frustrating to put in the time and effort and get nothing in return! the dish sounded like it had a lot of potential too. i think my worst disaster was a baking one – i made a maple cornbread, followed the recipe exactly, and it sunk in the middle. i stuck it in the oven longer, hoping it would rise, and it ended up burned and sinking more. to this day, i have no idea what went wrong, but i am still scarred from baking. i hate to put in the effort, use the ingredients, and just waste it all if it doesn’t turn out.

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  8. Simply Life’s avatar

    We’ve definitely had our fair-share of kitchen disasters that an hour of prep and cooking usually ends up with bowl of cereal or canned soup :) ooops!

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  9. theredmenaceeats’s avatar

    Hmmm…the idea sounds promising. Maybe more liquid per the commenter above, and cook the tofu before adding it? Sauteed or baked so it stays firm?

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  10. greensandjeans’s avatar

    I had a bunch of friends over for breakfast not long ago and I managed to burn every single batch of pancakes! I ended up whipping up the world’s largest batch of oatmeal and all was saved…

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