"This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it."  - Dorothy Parker

You've done it.  I've done it.  We all have.  Sitting there, mischievously, gracing your coffee table sits that impish tome of a recipe book winking at you.  You know the one.  It's the extra fancy one you got last Christmas.  You've looked lovingly at the wonderful glossy pictures of perfect menus all winter long, bending a page or 2 for when you'd entertain.

Now, the moment has come; the guests are here, and you're standing in the kitchen with lemon curd from end to end.  Your husband lovingly hands you a full martini glass, while your best friend picks dough out of your hair.  Her husband's rummaging through a take-out menu.  You sip your martini, excuse yourself to hose off in the shower, and vow to burn the frickin' book the moment your guests depart.  As best said by another Dorothy Parker quote, "This [recipe book] novel is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force."

What went wrong? You followed the directions PRECISELY.  You measured everything PRECISELY.  You had the PRECISE oven temperature, etc.

I really don't have an answer for this.

All I know is that these disappointments have an amnesia-like affect on me.  I unwittingly succumb friends and family to an episode or 2 of Recipes Gone Awry each year.  My secret paranoid thought is that there are published chefs who knowingly leave out 1 key ingredient, or instruction.  But that rationale is just too easy.

Of course there's always the advice to make the recipe once BEFORE you host company.  But really, can your grocery budget gloss over 4 lbs. of scallops vs.. 2?  Ours can't.  But that's mostly because our budget consists of pet food.  But I digress...

Chocolate soup in a pie crust was supposed to be a Chocolate Mousse Torte.  A mummified filet complete with wrappings (string) was formerly Beef Wellington.  And what became a very useful door-stop was originally meant to be an Artisanal Herbed Baguette.

At least what our bellies didn't gain from, our funny bones did.  And, sometimes I get some funny material for my novels. So, maybe these experiences are worth the risk?  Or, maybe for our next dinner party, I should invite our guests to attend an Experiment and issue everyone lab coats? And maybe have a frozen pizza for a backup...

So - what's your kitchen catastrophe?

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