Epic fail, from Dorne

I know you’ve been dying to know what we made for our Game of Thrones viewing party! We slaved away creating a “Dornish” feast, where “Dornish” really means “vaguely Mediterranean”—or “incredibly annoying,” depending on which of my friends you ask. It’s true, I may have overdone it a bit on significantly intoning “from Dorne” after every recipe name. Also, at least one person pointed out that the TV show hadn’t yet introduced Dorne, so I only knew about its cuisine or even its existence from the Google Books preview of the cookbook. Fine, fine, I’m a total poser. From Dorne.

We had:

– leek, garlic, and chickpea flour flatbread from Dorne
– chickpea paste (hummus) also from Dorne
– goat-cheese-stuffed dates with honey from Dorne
– fiery white-bean-stuffed jalapeño peppers from Dorne
– candied orange and grapefruit slices from Dorne (no, this isn’t annoying at all)
– chocolate Easter dragon’s eggs from Hershey

And, finally, we would have had those gluten-free hot cross buns. I pieced the recipe together from a couple different sources, and they were coming along really well until I left them to rise in a “warm place,” meaning an oven that I turned to low heat and then forgot to turn off before going out to shop for other ingredients. The buns “proofed” at 250 degrees for about an hour. They did rise rather nicely. Unfortunately they also had plastic wrap baked into them.

Since I couldn’t be sure I’d removed all of the plastic, and carcinogens can’t really be picked out with one’s fingers anyway, I of course threw out the buns. I’d have taken a photo first, but I was a bit preoccupied with having a full-scale kitchen meltdown, complete with door-slamming, tears, sinking to the floor, and wailing about how stupid I am. This was among my most disastrous cooking errors yet, and what’s worse, I can’t even blame it on the gluten-free baking learning curve. There is no one and nothing to blame but me and my bad, bad memory (unless it was, uh, brain fog).

Nevertheless, I’ve forgiven myself and moved on. Mostly. I’m still not ready to talk about how much all the wasted gluten-free ingredients cost.

What was your worst-ever cooking error or baking flop? Can you chalk it up to a new cooking style or do you only have yourself to blame? How do you respond to kitchen disappointments?

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12 thoughts on “Epic fail, from Dorne

  1. cav513 says:

    FYI, it is probably good enough to just put the dough in a cold oven; that will keep out draughts, which is the most important reason for letting dough rise “in a warm place”.

    My worst baking event was while working at Colonel Brooks Tavern in DC; we made a fair amount of pizza there, in addition to lots of other dishes, and had a wonderful giant pizza oven. One particularly hot and humid night the dough was giving us nothing but trouble…it was just too hot. Finally, I got an order for a large pizza with everything; I rolled out the dough, put it on the floured peel, loaded it up with sauce, cheese, sausage, ground beef, peppers, onions, pepperoni, etc, opened the door, put the peel in, and gave a practiced jerk of the peel…and all of the toppings and cheese flew into the maw of the oven with the dough stuck to the peel.

    The walls of the kitchen were, unfortunately, not thick enough to preserve the ears of the diners from my vociferous and off-color complaints!

    • Molly says:

      Haha! Oh noooo! I guess I see where I get my cooking-related temper issues from.

      Thanks for the tip about rising. If I ever get over my disappointment sufficiently to try another recipe that requires rising I’ll keep it in mind. 😛

  2. It was totally brain fog! Don’t be too hard on yourself. Epic fails for GF (esp early on) are common, and they suck more because the ingredients are so freaking expensive and we’re so extra hungry. Or at least, I am. I don’t have celiac, but daughter does. So maybe that doesn’t count. But I do eat GF and I find I am hungrier than I was (maybe thinner too??) because I can’t just eat a bagel (or two or, um, three) every day when I’m out with my kids. Maybe that’s a good thing. Or not. Can’t decide. Is that brain fog?? The sleep deprivation kind, anyhow.

  3. By the way, I’ve had plenty of fails. I just choose to block them out. Sometimes I’d freeze the fails and pretend it was just something I was saving for later (to make myself feel better). Then throw them out eventually. Total waste of freezer space, but helpful somehow.

    • Molly says:

      Haha! I can totally relate. I sometimes freeze leftovers of meals I didn’t like that much, and then take them out months later when I’m desperate for something fast and have forgotten that I didn’t like them to begin with. At that point I’m so hungry it doesn’t matter if was a disappointing meal.

    • Mary Kate says:

      It is so comforting to know I’m not the only one who does this!

  4. Laurie C says:

    My kitchen failures are usually more from accidentally leaving out a key ingredient, but I have burned entire pans of things and had to throw them out more than once. The feast of foodstuffs from Dorne sounds fabulous, though, even without the buns!

    • Molly says:

      It was good! We didn’t really need the buns anyway, since there were tons of leftovers. I tend to burn things but then eat them anyway (like the nachos when I was home). The broiler is not my friend.

  5. Ethan says:

    the time my nachos exploded and i threw a bucket of water over them

  6. […] So I’ve learned a thing or two about lack of space, but in my new kitchen, I’m sure to have more than I have now, because we will have a gluten-free household! (Pretty much, anyway. My sister, and soon-to-be roommate, needs her Grape-Nuts and beer—though we’ve been scouting out gluten-free Gnuts recipes.) Yes, I will be making the fateful switch to the much-touted 95% gluten-free kitchen, so the entire kitchen should be safe for me. This will make cooking more relaxing, at least until the next time I bake plastic wrap into my hot cross buns. […]

  7. […] romantic on Valentine’s Day, and drew pictures on Celiac Awareness Day. I shared a cooking mishap or two, plus a success here or […]

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