Recipes and Cooking Hits and Errors

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Every cook, every master chef, every gourmand, everyone who’s ever opened a can of beans has made a mistake in the kitchen. Julia Child famously pointed out that since you’re usually alone in the kitchen, no one will ever know what happens there. Some things work, some things don’t.

I was reminded of that when I did a little cooking recently. One thing worked and was delicious. The leftovers were gone in just a couple of days. One thing didn’t work. I had to throw the whole thing away. When that happens, it’s natural to be angry, embarrassed, and feel like you just wasted your time, money, and valuable food and ingredients. But the key is to learn from your mistakes and live to cook another day.

We had a single banana that didn’t get eaten before turning black and soft, so  I decided to make sugar-free banana nut muffins. I vaguely remember making these before but couldn’t remember whether I liked them. I found out. I hated them. They were dry and tasteless. They stuck to the paper liners. They had a strange, sticky texture, almost rubbery. Into the trash they went. A waste of time and ingredients.

A note of caution: if using Sucralose to replace the sugar in a baking recipe, expect that stickiness. If making muffins, try spraying the paper liners with non-stick cooking spray once they’re in the pan before filling.

Oh well, live and learn.

But a few days earlier, I had a success. At least I thought it was. I made Potato Soup with Bacon. This was a modified recipe from chef Dawn Welch, owner of the Landmark Rock CafĂ©. She says she was looking for a way to use up leftover baked potatoes. She came up with a potato soup that became one of the most popular items at the restaurant. I modified this recipe to make it a little more “green.”

This turned out delicious, a great accompaniment to a salad or sandwich. It also goes well with any grilled meat or fish. It’s very filling and can be made with minimal fat.

The lesson is, keep cooking. We all have disasters and successes in The Bachelor’s Kitchen.