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Win a bundle of cookery books worth over £80

(129 Posts)
VirginiaGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 21-May-15 16:38:02

Ever had a disastrous cooking incident? Fancy winning a selection of fabulous cookery books worth over £80?

Reveal your most terrible cooking episodes for a chance to win. The more catastrophic the better - just leave your answer by midday on Thursday 25th June. Good luck.

Congratulations Maggiemaybe, you are the lucky winner! We'll be sending an email shortly.

shysal Thu 21-May-15 17:36:28

I once bought some conga eel steaks, which looked rather like chunky cod steaks. Being newly married and an inexperienced cook, I decided to poach them and keep checking for tenderness. Well, they got tougher and tougher as time went on, and the smell was disgusting! Not even the cat would eat them after I eventually gave up. I have not seen them for sale since.

rosemary55 Thu 21-May-15 18:04:58

Left my hubby in charge of the Cauliflower cheese, his quite good with plenty of instructions, on my returning home from work I found him staring into the oven. He said this doesn't look right. I said I'm sure it will be fine just dish it up. How wrong I was he had used icing sugar instead of the cornflour to make the sauce. They are very similar looking. He ended up blaming me for keeping them in similar jars!!! But its something I always remind him of. blush

jessycake Thu 21-May-15 18:05:45

I once made a quiche in a pyrex dish and put it on top of the cooker but accidently turned on the ring instead of turning the oven off, fortunately I wasn't in the kitchen when it exploded showering the kitchen with quiche and broken glass.

daisy60 Thu 21-May-15 18:06:06

When first married I bought two globe artichokes and had no idea how to cook them. This was 1972 and I thought they were quite wild when I saw the in the Greengrocers - I asked him how to cook them and he said 'boil them'. I duly boiled them for 20 minutes, put them on the dinner plate with some butter (the whole thing stalks and all). We tried to eat them, or fathom out how to eat them, yes you've guessed it we gave up!! I have never bought them since.

GrannyGlyn Thu 21-May-15 18:14:59

Years ago, I decided to try my hand at a sponge cake never having tried before.
I chose a recipe and don't know why but it didn't rise at all.
I managed to get it out of the tin and showed it to the family who couldn't stop laughing.
It got worse when they decided it resembled a frisbee and threw it to each other.

It was a very long time before I tried again but I can make a very passable Victoria sponge now!

whenim64 Thu 21-May-15 18:46:07

My legendary Baked Alaska, which I was making for a dinner party in the 70s. We invited a few friends round to sample our home made wine, which was set out ready for us all to help ourselves. A demijohn each of white, rosé and red, syphoned off into carafes, the best our local wine and beer making shop could provide.

By the time our guests arrived, I had tried each wine and was happy with the results. We had our starters and I thought, 'I know - I'll whip the egg whites now, so I don't have to spend much time later when I bung the dessert in the oven to brown.' An hour later, after much chat and laughter, we had got through the main course and I wobbled into the kitchen to make snowy peaks on my pudding. Difficult to focus but I could just about see the pool of liquid that had once been my whipped up whites. 'Never mind' I reasoned, 'it'll be fine when it comes out of the oven.' I poured the liquid over the sponge and icecream, threw it at the oven shelf and got another drink. Half an hour later, my friend enquired about the pudding and we collaped laughing in front of the oven, which had a pool of goo running from below the door. My friend tells people that Baked Alaska is my signature dish grin

thatbags Thu 21-May-15 19:35:11

When I needed a break from sixth form homework I used to bake. I made a rice cake one day. It rose beautifully and smelled delicious. My mum served it at tea time. My eldest brother had the first slice. He chomped into the cake, chewed for a bit and then said, deadpan: "This cake has bones in it." He carried on eating it.

Mum investigated the cake's innards. I had used uncooked rice grains instead of ground rice grin

eGJ Thu 21-May-15 20:50:30

One year with a surfeit of gooseberries, I decided to cook them in the pressure cooker. When I released the weights, a stream of gooseberry puree spurted out and liberally coated the kitchen ceiling. The house was a tied dwelling...........................we recoated the ceiling with white paint, but the green still grinned through when we left a year later. grin

Galen Thu 21-May-15 20:58:35

Trying to fry my first egg.
Nobody told me I had to crack it first!blush
Haven't improved much since!

AshTree Thu 21-May-15 22:05:35

There were to be six of us for dinner, my DH and I plus two other couples. I decided to try beef olives (never having made these before). I asked the local butcher to slice some beautiful topside of beef into 12 very thin slices. I spent all afternoon preparing everything: making the stuffing for the beef olives (about 12 different ingredients!), spreading the stuffing onto the beef slices, then rolling them and tying with fine string to hold them in shape. Into the dish, sauce poured over and covered with foil ready to cook.
The meal was a huge success, it was a lovely evening of good food, fine wine and sparkling conversation. Everyone complimented me on my cooking blush. I noticed that one of the guests (a rather quiet, shy woman) had only eaten one of the beef olives, but I didn't want to draw attention to it - maybe she didn't enjoy them but didn't like to say anything. I cleared everything away and served dessert.
The evening drew to a close, the guests left, hiccuping and giggling, and thanking us for a lovely evening. I kicked off my shoes and went into the kitchen to tackle the washing up.... and found the one remaining beef olive, still on my friend's plate, still with the string firmly and tightly tied around it shock. I thought I had been so careful removing all traces of it, and it was sod's law that the one I missed would be served to the one person who would have been too embarrassed to say anything about it!

Maggiemaybe Thu 21-May-15 22:39:12

Oh dear, where to start? blush

Trying to impress my new MIL by presenting her with a jar of home-made pickles - not realising I should have cooked the beetroot first.

Serving up "watercress" soup at my first dinner party, having used the wrong sort of cress. I didn't even know there was any sort but mustard &.... It had no taste whatsoever, but everyone ate it politely in puzzled silence.

Stacking my home-made red wine horizontally in a rack on top of the fridge before it had finished fermenting. The explosions in the night didn't wake us, but walking in the next morning to find 9 litres of red wine splattered liberally all over the kitchen walls and floor certainly did.

Losing control over the heavy tin containing my oversized turkey one Christmas Day and sloshing fat all over the kitchen floor. Despite my best efforts at cleaning up, everyone had to skate over it on their way to the festive table, clutching the kitchen units for support. The cats never recovered.

Eagerly accepting my colleague's offer of some pigeons that he had bagged that weekend, naively imagining they would arrive oven-ready. After hours of chopping off heads, pulling out innards, tweezing lead shot and plucking enough feathers to fill a duvet I ended up with a kitchen that resembled an abattoir and 4 small pigeon breasts that I just couldn't face eating. I was veggie for a couple of years after that.

worzi Fri 22-May-15 00:53:26

I Made a really tasty welsh rarebit - creamed potatoes and grated cheese on top for a change, instead of using toast.

Just to brown the top and make it look more appetizing, I placed the glass dish under the grill, thinking it could withstand the heat. The next thing I heard was a rather loud bang, only to discover that the glass dish had cracked from one side to the other.

The only thing left to do, was to throw the whole thing and all of my efforts in the bin!!

sophie56 Fri 22-May-15 06:55:42

I cooked a fabulous lamb on sliced potatoes which was inedible because I left a knife on top and the handle melted all over the dish. Beans on toast anyone!

kittylester Fri 22-May-15 07:43:33

Where to start!

The trendy coq au vin , served to our most foodie friends, which sat in a really sweet red wine sauce. I never could work out why. confused

The Cxxxxxxxs Turkey served with a beautifully cooked bag of giblets still inside.

By far the worst disaster was the time I had cooked five pounds of mince, a vat of white sauce and assembled various sizes of lasagne in serving dishes, covered them in foil, labelled them all very carefully, opened the back door to take them all out to the freezer in the garage and got bowled over by two basset hounds excited by the smell of cooking. I dropped the lot, every dish was broken and I had to throw the lot away! sad

Anya Fri 22-May-15 08:54:32

The first Christmas dinner I ever cooked and to make it worse my aunt, a notable cook, was staying with us.

Nobody told me that Turkey giblets (in those days) were packed in both ends somwhile I retrieved those inside the body, I cooked the turkey with the rest still in the neck which added a nice plasticy flavour to that end of the bird.

Then having wrapped it in tin foil I cooked it upside down. There's not much meat on the underside of a turkey and I panicked was I watched my new husband attempt to carve enough for our guests. Aunt was too convulsed with laughter to point out my mistake for several minutes having also inhaled her wine (a dreadful one called Blue Nun).

The gravy was solid as I'd kept adding more and more Bisto not realising it needed to come to the boil before it thickened. At least the carrots and peas were OK, though aunt kindly pointed out they could be bought fresh and peeled (the carrots) or frozen (the peas) as tinned varieties were better avoided blush.

pamelaJEAN Fri 22-May-15 09:33:18

I bought some fresh fish off the market, I had invited my two friends for dinner, telling them yummy fresh fish, better than frozen...... in the kitchen busy preparing the meal......... thought I saw something move........ yikes a couple of large worms...wrigglin around in the fish ... my friends chatting away in the lounge.... shouted telling them dinner ready ... luckily I had fish fingers in the freezer.... so fish fingers, mushy peas and chips....... we had to laugh........ but I have never bought fresh fish since. !!!!!!!!

MrsJ2000 Fri 22-May-15 13:22:30

the pressure cooker exploded and I ended up with sprouts on the ceiling - what a mess !!

annodomini Fri 22-May-15 13:31:47

Living abroad, I invited friends of my parents, who were on holiday there, to Sunday lunch. All went well. They enjoyed my traditional roast beef and two veg. But it was only after we'd had our pudding and were having our coffee that I smelt burning and realised that I hadn't served the Yorkshire pudding which was still in the oven.

grannytotwins Fri 22-May-15 19:01:24

The first party I threw, back in 1970 was a total disaster. I, stupidly, thought one cold, cooked chicken would feed all the guests with a few crisps thrown in. A few unexpected guests turned up as well and everyone stood around, glass in hand, too embarrassed to start on the chicken because they realised there was enough for about four people and there were around twelve. I always massively over cater now. I still feel the mortification!

Purpledaffodil Fri 22-May-15 19:34:39

When first married, I decided to make a bread and butter pudding; one of the few puddings I loathe. Had it in my head that it was DH's favourite. As we finished our main course, I told him about the treat in store. Not being the most tactful of men, he pulled a face and made retching noises. Yes, he loathed it toogrin. The pudding went straight from the oven to the bin and I have never made one since!

sally55 Fri 22-May-15 20:13:42

My husband cooked me a meal for our 20th anniversary. He never cooks but tried his very best. He cooked my favourite vegetable, asparagus. Unfortunately he cut off the tips, threw those in the bin and the served up the tough stalks!

plastigffantastig Fri 22-May-15 23:58:51

I'm a terrible cook at the best of times, but I once managed to set off the office fire alarm by cooking bacon in the microwave and setting it on fire. The other half says I should be banned from the kitchen blush

alabaster Sat 23-May-15 06:44:58

I don't do microwaves....just once for Christmas pudding. Not knowing the wattage of the oven, I misread the instructions and added together the three cooking times plus "two minutes for good measure". After 14 minutes of microwave radiation, no amount of poured cream would soften the caramelised pudding even though my doughty late Mum, on crunching her way through the dessert, insisted that"it was lovely" - but that's what Mum's always say isn't it smile

shysal Sat 23-May-15 09:43:46

alabaster, my Mum would have complained. I was never able to please her, but my brother on the other hand......(grrr!)