One thing I don’t really talk about on my blog is my kitchen flops and just because you don’t see them posted, doesn’t mean they don’t happen. They do, and the more time I devote to cooking and trying new things, the more I tell myself I don’t need a recipe for this – I’m just going to…oh no…ruin it.
Most often, my experiments are small ones that I think will make a big impact like using a fresh coconut to make Coconut Bacon.
Other times they come straight out of left field, usually because I’m missing a key ingredient or want to try something ‘radical’ like my Asparagus Polenta Pizza, polenta for the crust, who would have thought?
Occasionally I use a recipe and the act of using said recipe throws me off, or something breaks (most recently my food processor), or I don’t have something in my pantry I swore I had yesterday. I’m here to tell you it’s ok, and it happens to everyone and sometimes you just have to feed it to the dogs, or the composter (if it’s not dog friendly). I’m also here to tell you that sometimes, you can flip those flops, the flipping flops you got into. It’s called making some lemonade with the lemons you created.
Here are some examples of my lemons, and if possible, the tart lemonade they inspired.
First up I have gluten free pan-cakes this would be a great example of the time that there really wasn’t anything you can do to fix them. Sue had bought me coconut flour and I wanted to make a vegan, gluten free pancake with it. I pulverized some oats and raisins, I added flax, almond milk and maple syrup and let it sit for a while to puff up the raisins and gel-ify the flax seed. I then added baking powder and coconut flour and had a puffy, but seemingly fine batter. I tried to fry it, and it simply wouldn’t hold together, it was a scrambled pancake flavoured mess. Out of spite I tasted it, it tasted like a raw coconuty pancake, straight into the composter. No lemonade was created that morning.
Next up was a first attempt to make a perfect seitan vegan donair. I’ve worked a lot with seitan making veggie sausages, Seitan Turkey rolls for holidays and also using wheat gluten to bind things like my Terriyaki Tofu burgers. I threw spices, tofu and wheat gluten together, steamed it, baked it and let it cool and what resulted, although incredibly tasty and flavoured almost perfectly, the texture was off, wayyyy off. I think the tofu made it too crumbly and I don’t think I added enough vital wheat gluten to hold it together. It would not cut into slices, but when fried it tasted like spicy ground sausage. To flip the flop, I pan fried it, breaking up the pieces, adding kale and topping a pita to make an amazing and hearty ‘sausage’ pizza.
My boyfriend is not a big drinker, but he does like dark rum and coke. Hard liquor and I get along in small doses and preferably in a martini (not rum) or a good cocktail once in a while, but that is it. In order to drain some of the excess rum we had, I decided I was going to make rum slush. I didn’t have any fresh herbs, so I brewed some very nice mint tea. I mixed it with a cup of orange juice, 5 shots of dark rum, 2 shots of blue curacao and let it chill in my freezer overnight. The next night I got into it, took a taste and it was way too strong.
I decided that filling half my glass with the slush and the rest with ginger ale was a great idea. The flavour was weak in all the wrong places, the orange juice seemed watered down by the tea, the mint didn’t come through because it was masked by the sweetness of the liquors and the ginger ale flattened when mixed with the slush and wasn’t gingery enough to give a kick. I was disappointed, I made it way too complicated.
How did I flip the flop? I put the whole thing into a blender and mixed it with 1 cup of frozen raspberries and called it a daiquiri. I added a touch of ginger ale to each glass to thin it, the raspberry tartness unsweetened the drink and overpowered all the other tastes. Success!
I try to test recipes out on my family and friends before posting to my blog. The more people I want to share it with the more often it’s a popular post. It also helps me think of ways to adjust the recipe to make it better, think of combinations and paring with what I’ve created. My co-worker and foodie cohort Lee bought me some fancy flours you may remember from my post on Pesto Focaccia. He also gave me a version of the flour with dried olives in it. I instantly thought I wanted to make ciabatta with it. I made a starter, followed a recipe and baked the prettiest bread covered in sea salt. I was so proud I texted him the picture below to show him what was coming his way.
He was stoked until the next day when I had to tell him that my dog ate both loaves. Leaving delicious bread in a kitchen with ninja dogs is a major flop waiting to happen, and there is no serving that lemonade with a smile!
What flops have you flipped with success?