Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Failure.....That Wasn't

We're all guilty of the occasional kitchen blunder....the recipe that the kids hated, the cake that fell, the tried-and-true side dish that didn't turn out right this time. I know I've had my share! And most folks probably toss out the failure without a second thought. It's okay if you've done that - I won't tell! But if you think about it, some of the things we use every day were created because of a "failure" to make something else! So instead of a spoiled batch of whatever, you now have an opportunity to create something new and different for your family!

Last fall I bought some cherries to make my husband's favorite cherry jam. I used the same pectin that I always use, and followed the procedure the way I've always done it. I timed everything and properly canned the jars. But instead of a lovely gelled product, I ended up with a slightly thickened liquid. Talk about disappointment!! But I went ahead and put it in the cabinet anyway. This morning, I made a batch of pancakes, and the kids loved the "cherry syrup" that I heated for them to pour over the top. We've had cherry yogurt where I've added the failed jam to thick store-bought yogurt. We've even had a poke cake with the cherry jam poured over it instead of unset jello. The point is that I'm using all the cherry jam that technically failed, and it's really good!!!

Another creative moment was when I baked a cake that stuck terribly in the middle. I don't know why, but apparently I didn't grease the center well. When I tried to remove the cake from the pan, It fell into a few pieces. I was quite upset, but decided to make something good out of the situation. I ended up tearing the cake into pieces and layering them in a glass bowl with sliced strawberries and Cool Whip. I even made a simple strawberry glaze and layered that in there, too. Instead of cake, we had a strawberry shortcake trifle, and nobody even knew it was a mistake!! :-)

I tried a new recipe for granola in the crock pot. Yuck. It never set up like granola, and I basically ended up with slightly flavored oats. I came really close to tossing out this mess, but instead I put it into storage containers to see if I could find a use for it. It worked pretty well for an apple pie topping, and I've also used it on muffins prior to baking. I still have some left and am contemplating trying to substitute it in cookies for the standard oats.

The point is, even when you have a kitchen goof, all is not lost. You can probably find a great use for what you have created, and it's possible that nobody will ever know that the end result was not the planned outcome. Have fun with it!!!


  1. You are so creative!! When I have a blunder I just throw it out. Next time I have a cooking blunder and/or disaster I will e-mail you for some ideas.

  2. oooh...that cherry "jam" would be great as a sauce over chicken I bet!

  3. YUM!
    I'm wishing I had some of that to drizzle over some vanilla ice cream right now!

  4. That does sound yummy!! Both the comments sound good too, chicken, ice cream. I'll bet it would be good mixed in with hot sauce as an ingredient for chicken wings...mmmmm. Now I'm thinking of what to make for dinner!!!

  5. Any cooking disasters Im going to keep from now on, as long as it tastes OK that is!

    "Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest"

  6. Oooh...this comes in handy for me, I'm messing things up nearly every time I cook!

    Happy Saturday Sharefest!

  7. That is absolutely true - it you don't tell people it was a mistake chances are they will never know! Great post!


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