mashedpotatoesThis happens to all of us.  Well maybe April Bloomfield doesn’t have this problem, but the rest of us do.  Meals gone wrong.  You start out with the best intentions, you painstakingly source your ingredients, you envision your dining companions bowing down to your culinary genius.  And then you blow it.  Undercook the fish, oversalt the sauce.  You sneak away to wring your hands in grief, cursing the day you ever picked up a chef knife and wondering if a better use for it would be to trim your toenails. 

I’ve had some terrific screw ups.  Like the time a guest ran an hour late and I thought I could leave my potatoes in the oven at a low temp while we waited.  This trick works for most foods, not fried potatoes.  When we sat down for dinner, the potatoes had turned into deliciously salted goose-fried rocks. 

Another time I had 16 guests over for Thanksgiving dinner and as I started to carve the turkey, whoops(!) still raw.  I clearly hadn’t shoved the probe in deep enough into that poor fellow’s hindquarters.  

I’ll never forget the evening that my friend, still a novice cook at that point, had a bunch of us over for a dinner party.  She’d put some lamb shanks into the oven, and had gone off to shower and get ready, loving this whole dinner party thing.  What a breeze.  My heart went out to her when she pulled the shanks out of the oven, crisped to a dark shade of black.  Her kitchen suddenly became a triage unit, with three cooks working frantically to save what was left of our meal.


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