Welcome back to Kitchen Catastrophes – where you reveal your most disastrous kitchen moments, be they cooking or baking related or simply something that went wrong in the kitchen.
I like to start with a little confession of my own – just so you know I’m human and I too have bad days in the place I usually find my contentment. I’ve realised that my catastrophes often involve an injury of some sort.
Last year sometime I had an order for savoury platters. I had my work schedule down to the minute for the morning the order was due because I had an event to attend later that day. The night before I went into the kitchen – I can’t even remember why – and cut the underside of my big toe on the tile of the step leading into the kitchen. I still don’t know how this happened. There was a trail of blood right through to the shower where I tried to stop the blood flow under cold water. After doctoring my own sliced toe, I tried to sleep but couldn’t. I somehow managed to finish the order the next morning on one foot and with the help of my mother. However, the pain in my foot and my lack of sleep meant I looked worse for wear for the event I went to.
Do you have any kitchen-related disasters to share? Email me and you might feature in the next Kitchen Catastrophes.
To start with, we have another egg story. This one comes from Jenna.
Eggs go boom!
In the year 2006, I was but a thrifty university student learning about the wonders of journalism. At the time I was staying in a female residence towering 16 stories high. Each floor of nine rooms shared a kitchen in the corridor, equipped with a hotplate and sinks. However most students had microwaves in their room and preferred cooking ‘in-house’. The innovative meals that emerged from that radioactive cube would have amazed even Gordon, Jamie and Nigella on a bad day.
Alas, there was a minor mishap in room 1107 one day.
I decided to make a delightful egg dish. With youthful optimism I dropped a few eggs into a plastic ‘bakkie’ and rubbed my empty stomach in glee. Then I popped the dish into the microwave with a swish like I’d seen on one of those cooking channels.
There may have even been a moment of self-congratulations. “Aren’t you a clever girl for remembering not to wrap the eggs in foil because it will spark and potentially cause the entire res to burn down?!” I may or may not have muttered to myself.
As the microwave whirred a comfortable tune, I lay on my bed just centimetres away daydreaming. A catastrophic BOOM upended ME out of my fantasy of world fame. I gingerly made my way towards the now silent micro to see what had caused the internal explosion. My finger met the open button. Slowly, I applied pressure. The door swung in slow motion. The inward rush of cold air created magic.
KERSPLAAAAAAAAT. That is what I think the remaining eggs sounded like as they flew past my head towards my poster of Prince William. In no time at all, I had managed to repaint my ‘magnolia’ res room walls bright yellow. There was egg everywhere. On my textbooks, in my bed, on the floor. Despite a thorough clean that took ages, I swear I found tiny bits of egg months later. It haunted me.
I am no scientist. Why do you think I ended up in journalism? But I suspect that one or a few of the eggs may have been off. Or were about to go off. Or the heat inside was too intense. What does it matter really? All I know is that it ended with egg on my face. – Jenna
The cake that didn’t bake
I enjoy spending time in the kitchen and I don’t have too many fails – thank goodness! The flat I am in didn’t come with an oven and there is no space for a normal sized oven, so I had to buy a mini one to place on the counter.
I was still getting to know my oven when I decided to bake a chocolate cake for a dessert when a friend was visiting. After 20 minutes of baking the cake seemed cooked and I was afraid it was going to burn so I tested it. The tester came out clean. I coated it with chocolate icing and sprinkled some chocolate vermicilli on top. I was really excited to eat the cake and wanted to cut a piece. Turns out the top was cooked but the rest of it was still very raw.
Because the icing was on top I couldn’t even put it back in the oven to try and salvage it. I just had to throw it all away. I was very upset. Probably more because I was craving a slice of homemade chocolate cake than it being a flop. Luckily the friend had to leave before the cake was “done”. The cake tester has worked ever since, though. – Faatimah