Kitchen Disasters: What Are Your Worst Ones?


Boy was I hacked off this morning. A dish I’d been working on for days — ruined in a matter of seconds.

Let me back up.

We do a lot of picnicking in the summer. Every Tuesday, if we can. We pack up the cooler and head down to the Mostly Music concerts the Friends of the Nyacks put on in Memorial Park. Sometimes we have chicken or sausages, and usually watermelon and some sort of salad. Lately, grain salads. These can be a lot of work (so many moving parts!) but if you pace yourself, a grain salad can come together easily over a couple of days.

And that’s just what I had planned for this morning. Sunday night I cooked the grains (wheatberries) and made some bacon (Benton’s, shipped in from Tennessee.) Then Monday night, I blanched and shocked some snap peas and grilled a bunch of baby zucchini (we were grilling anyway).


This morning I was ready. I poured the grains into a bowl. Chopped the snap peas and zucchini into bite-sized pieces. Crumbled the bacon over the top. All that was left: to make a dressing and chop some herbs. Mint, I had decided.

I looked in the refrigerator for that jar of pink liquid leftover from last week’s pickled red onions. I pulled it out and opened it. It smelled a little, well, alcoholic. But I thought, nah — must be the vinegar.

Then I poured it on top of my beautiful salad. As it was pouring I jerked my wrist upward. No. Can’t be. Yes. It was.

The leftover Strawberry-Bourbon cocktail I‘d made the week before.

Beautiful farmers market snap peas. Gorgeous baby zucchini. Fancy Tennessee bacon. Even organic grains. All down the tubes. I was devastated — and really mad at myself.

But, I figured, as I was driving to work, lamenting how lame my picnic was going to be tonight: maybe some good can come of this after all.

Maybe I’ll get to hear about a few good kitchen disasters.

So please, tell me yours! What is the worst kitchen disaster you’ve ever created?

I’d like to know if you can beat a strawberry-bourbon wheatberry salad.



About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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