Writing about food is all about the spin

Last night I placed seasoned and very lightly breaded chicken drumsticks in the oven to bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes along with a side dish of loaded mashed potatoes (think cheesy mashed). At 45 minutes, I went to check them and they looked great – I flipped them over and turned off the heat to the oven – thinking that the carryover heat would crisp up the side that was flipped. This was at 3:45 p.m.

I took a quick shower and did a little EYB work and kept thinking to myself, “wow that dinner still smells great.” At 6 p.m., I went to remove the things from the oven and discovered that I did not turn the heat off. My drumsticks – and potatoes – roasted for over three hours.

My recipe for this should rightly be entitled “How to make chicken jerky on the bone”. However, if I were sharing this recipe on the internet I could put a positive spin on the situation and call the recipe “The crispiest oven-fried chicken drumsticks ever.” It would be the easiest, almost hands-off sheet pan dinner and would be recommended to be eaten by those with healthy teeth and not by those with dentures.

My husband came down to make his plate and asked if I wanted something – I said, “A chicken leg and a spoon of potatoes”. I warned him about my “error” and he said, “that’s okay”. He is a good sport about everything. 95% of the time my meals are delicious even if they are semi-homemade. He always appreciates when I cook. I have made some “oven to trash can” meals in the last few years due to my health issues.

Beer can chicken by my chef friend.

Jim got a plate and the tongs and asked if I wanted my chicken with the foil baked on or not. I replied, that this was an interactive meal wherein you peeled off as much of the foil before eating – if that is your preference. There was a lot of chewing going on in our home last night – but the seasoning was spot on. I managed to choke down one bite of the chicken but the cheesy mashed potatoes were fantastic with that brown crusty cheese around the top and sides of the pan. Jim and Andrew however enjoyed the meal and Andrew even thanked me for dinner. I think the Vatican needs to be called about that miracle.

The positive spin is that the fire department did not need to pay us a visit. Anyone local want to try some? Shoot me a DM. I require a note from your dentist before providing you with a sample. Be sure to follow me for more great recipes – all my recipes come with a discount code to be used at First Alert.

What has been your biggest cooking blunder?

*Photo used without permission. My great friend MS is an incredible chef who went to culinary school and has taken cooking classes all over the world. He made this beer can chicken years ago and myself and a few of his “friends” have never let him forget this. I bet after you chisel off the asphalt-like crust I bet the meat was delicious – or at least chewable.

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  • stahl_amy  on  February 29, 2024

    Ricotta cheesecake. No idea what went wrong. Picture Mt. Vesuvius, dripping off the racks and over the element, ending in sickly sweet smoke. The stuff was like cement, even before it was cooled. Took two self clean cycles and a can of EZ Off with serious elbow grease to clean the poor oven.

  • lean1  on  February 29, 2024

    I once added too much flour to Leek-potato soup and came out like wallpaper paste. Never made that recipe again!

  • lselke  on  February 29, 2024

    I so regularly set fire to things put under the broiler that my family side-eyes me whenever I tell them I am using it. (It’s easy to put out! Just pop a pot lid over the food. I also keep a box of baking soda handy just in case, but that also ruins dinner, so.)

  • mjes  on  February 29, 2024

    Cherry pie … when I was a live-in babysitter to work my way through college, I sent 4 kids up a tree to pick cherries, gave them hairpins to pit them and made a perfect cherry pie for the grandparents. Next weekend I repeated for the parents, except this time the sugar in the filling settled to the bottom and made a layer so hard a hammer and chisel couldn’t break through. Never did figure out why.

  • darcie_b  on  February 29, 2024

    Turning away from a pan of bubbling sugar syrup and then leaving the room and completely forgetting about it until the smoke detector went off. I returned to a flaming meteorite of blackened, smoky charcoal. We had to use a sandblaster to get the stuck on bits off the pan, but we got it clean.

  • rosajane8  on  February 29, 2024

    I once misread “prepared” mustard as “powdered” mustard 😳 um…I love mustard but…oops 😂

  • demomcook  on  February 29, 2024

    The great chocolate honeycake fire is a legendary in our family. I bake it in a large tube pan. Because it is annual, and I tend not to use this particular pan often, I didn’t notice the bottom had warped. The batter ran out and caught fire. The spin? I had new ovens for Thanksgiving.

  • TeresaRenee  on  March 1, 2024

    Multi-tasking gone awry: I was grilling extra chicken and left it on the BBQ while we had dinner. Then I ran an errand. When I returned home 90 minutes later, my much-appreciated neighbour came over to let me know that he saw flames and turned off the BBQ. He also closed my back door which I had managed to leave open. Needless to say, the chicken resembled charcoal.

    A couple weeks ago, my husband decided to substitute parchment paper with abeego wraps for baking some frozen croissants. The pan, wrap and croissant were all toast, so to speak. I’ve hidden the abeego wraps.

  • webchef  on  March 1, 2024

    There was the time I started the spaghetti in the water on the stove and then went to check on my son who was working outside on his truck. While outside we heard someone’s alarm going off. But nobody shut it off and there didn’t appear to be a fire anywhere. We continued to work on the truck until it was done. As we headed back in the alarm got louder and louder. When we opened the door we found the apartment full of smoke. The water on the stove had evaporated out and the spaghetti was totally scorched in the pot. There was no way of saving anything, including the pot. The alarm was turned off, the doors and windows opened, and the oven hood turned on. We then ordered a pizza and ate on the patio.

  • Fyretigger  on  March 2, 2024

    Similar story to WebChef, but it was my sister-in-law. My brother’s family were living in an upstairs apartment. SIL put a pan of eggs on to hard boil, and came down to do laundry. We hear sirens at the same time a neighbor is pounding at the door. She tells us there is smoke billowing out of an upstairs window and she called the fire department. At which point SIL cries out “OMG, the hard boiled eggs!” The firefighters entered, found it; turned off the stove; opened more windows to vent the smoke and doused the pan with water to stop its smoking. The pan had boiled dry, the eggs had exploded and then the whole mess had fully carbonized.

    After a great deal of work, the pan actually was recovered — it was part of a wedding present set of RevereWare. Power tools were involved in getting off the upper layers.

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