Remember earlier this year, when you made banana bread at 3 A.M., when you set your oven mitts on fire, when you meant to turn on the oven but only turned on the timer, when you let your black truffle go moldy?
Nope? We don't either! Let's all forget those embarrassing flops and move on with our lives.
But but but first, because our parents taught us that mistakes are made to be learned from, we're reflecting on some our biggest #fails and hoping we took away a lesson or two.
I tried to mix the wet ingredients ahead at the office for Maialino's olive oil muffins for an important ad client meeting, ended up with gently-orange-juice-cooked clumps of egg in my muffins. To hide my shame, I bought new ingredients and rebaked circa 1 A.M. (Luckily it takes about 4 minutes to mix together.)
I spent all afternoon last Sunday making this, feeling extremely zen and proud and #worthit and then, instead of turning off the timer, turned off the oven.
I made flourless chocolate cake for guests with a different butter than usual and it came out like soup. I couldn't serve it and have feared to make it again.
Tried to make a braided pie crust on Thanksgiving and after headbutting my husband out of the kitchen and not listening to him when he said I needed to anchor the dough around the rim, I had one shrunken pie. But we still ate it.
Made a huge pan of cherry shlumpf the day we were leaving for vacation. Why? I don't know. Ate a corner of it before we left and then came back 4 or 5 days later. Ate some more. It wasn't very good by then.
Last night I mixed tahini with beets before roasting them. At best it was a grainy, mushy mess; at worst inedible. I thought it would turn out like this.
I started an herb garden fully knowing that I have no plant-growing skills and now I have several buckets of dirt hanging from Grundtal.
I thought that ricotta salata was the same thing as ricotta, then tried to toss regular ricotta into this salad for the first meal I made for my boyfriend's mom, which was a little like trying to smear cream cheese onto kale leaves (in my defense I was drunk because I was the lucky winner of a quart container of negronis from an event at the office).
I ice-dyed pillow cases in a white roasting pan that then took on the color of the (indigo) dye and it took me a whole afternoon to clean.
I washed our kitchen scale under running water. It no longer works.
I bought a piece of art in an online auction thinking it was teeny tiny and, after paying $70 for shipping, realized it was poster-sized (and ugly) when it arrived.
Because my long curtains bunched up on top of my bed since it's flush against the window wall, I switched them out for cute little half-coverage cafe curtains. Darling, but... not quite private enough.
I burnt all the cheese straws (okay, okay, wafers) that I cooked for Thanksgiving because I think (?) my pans are too old and then I took them to the family hosting us in Staten Island anyway. They were nice about it.
I took the time to read The Martian.
I lent Tenth of December to a friend against my typical instincts about book loaning and have never seen it again.
Ordered 2 capons from the meat hook for Friendsgiving, because duh and one of anything is never enough.
Arrived at the Meat Hook, realized it was $147 worth of bird and that I couldn't carry it all by myself.
Took an Uber home and quietly sobbed in the back seat.
Wondered if they would fit in my oven.
Realized they would not.
Roasted them anyway, nose to tail, the outside of each little one's leg touching the side of the oven. They were cozy! This would all be okay!
Pulled them when we were ready to eat, but their legs were completely raw. Salvaged the breast; hid the raw meat deep in the fridge to figure out what to do with later; poured much, much, more wine; hoped no one noticed.
I left the baking soda out of a cake. Normally a lost cake would not be the end of the world, except that this one was for a very important taste test.
I rescued an amazing wooden-framed cot (albeit with a moldy cover) and two Eames chairs from the side of the road and have taken no steps towards rehabilitating any of them (other than cutting off the very moldy cot cover).
I thought that I could keep an orchid alive.
I did not get the bean recipe from our company field trip lunch; I did not get any of the amazing recipes from that lunch.
I decided that the best way to endear myself to my husband's new coworkers was by regaling them with urban planning theories, like the myth of free parking and why adding more lanes won't fix traffic congestion.
I tried to make blueberry simple syrup from fresh blueberries we picked with my grandparents. Stained the spoon, the counter, my shirt, the apron, the towels... but the blueberry Tom Collins was great.
I accidentally doubled the butter in a cookie recipe. Even my butter-loving self couldn't eat them.
I went to make a recipe for chocolate sauce I've made a thousand times and forgot to turn the burner down. The kitchen smelled like scorched cocoa, which is not pleasant.
Power went out in a snowstorm. Forgot to readjust my fridge. Went to grab the cheeses I had in there, and the cheeses were very sad. Lesson learned: Always have #backupcheese.
I decided to wash my curtains. And had forgotten that I hacked off the bottom of them because they were comically long. They came out as frayed disasters. This was three months ago and I keep finding threads all over the place.
I made my famous upside-down pecan pie (pulverized nut crust with gooey nut-free filling). In a Thanksgiving Day frenzy, I used my immersion blender and accidentally made pecan nut butter, then used it anyway, hoping it would be really cool and work out. It was neither cool nor did not work out.
Four of us went upstate for Thanksgiving. Four of us came back with food poisoning. I promise it wasn't the pecans.
There is much, much more that I have done my best to block out.
I made the Genius brisket and messed up every step of the way: wrong cut of meat, wrong pan, had to create a foil contraption, wrong temperature. The result was tough but I pretended it tasted good—to the entire editorial team. And then ate leftovers for days on end. Never ending.
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.