Obviously, I lovvve cooking. It can be SO rewarding, but sometimes it feels like an anxiety roller coaster. You mean I have to remember when to take something out of the oven while basicallyyy concocting a science project at 👏the 👏same 👏time 👏? However, once you’ve accomplished the one dish you thought was Martha-level impossible, it’s a pretty great feeling. As the saying goes, you live and you learn. And I have LEARNED. Seems like you have too!
So, I thought I’d recap some of my most memorable food fuckups of all time. Then, because messing shit up in the kitchen is universal, I’ll share some of the best fails from readers, too. Because it turns out we’ve ALL got the stories…and, in many cases, the scars and burns to prove it.
My top kitchen fails…
The Mandoline Incident
This one is the stuff of legend…John Legend, that is. Remember when John sliced off the top of his finger trying to cut potatoes on a mandoline slicer? And so then I thought I’d show him how it’s done…and also sliced off the top of my finger? The exact same finger. Yeah. We call this day in Teigen-Legend history “Sunday, Bloody Sunday…. “ All we could do was laugh-cry ourselves to urgent care. Luckily nothing can scare me away from scalloped potatoes.
Lesson learned: Now we don’t fuck around and wear Kevlar gloves like these any time a mandoline is involved.
Burnt Sweet Potato Pie…On Thanksgiving
You guys, this one kind of broke my heart. I was making my signature sweet potato streusel pie for Thanksgiving and it was going so well! On my Insta stories I shared how that luscious filling poured perfectly into two perfect pie crusts. How I topped them with the crumble of my dreams. But then, this happened. I know I joke about being a…hmm…challenged…baker (WHY make a cake when Milk Bar exists???) but I’ve got this recipe down and I still managed to burn it to a crisp! But I couldn’t let those pies win. So I made two more, made sure to watch the oven like s hawk, and saved Thanksgiving thankyouverymuch.
Lessons learned: Don’t try to do too much at once (almost impossible when making a big holiday meal but whatever) and don’t forget to set a timer.
Raw Mushrooms = Soggy Beef Wellington
You know how much I love beef Wellington. It’s the ultimate looks- fancy, tastes- great centerpiece. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself when I posted this vid of my perfect looking Wellington on Twitter this past Easter. But then I cut into it and realized I’d made a big, big mistake: I completely forgot to sauté the mushrooms for the filling. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal but trust me, the result was just icky. The mushroom juice leaked all over the place and the pastry bottom got mushy and gooey, and not in the good way. Gross. Don’t get me wrong, we ate it. It just wasn’t very good.
Lessons learned: Don’t let wine prevent you from following recipe directions. Not sure I’ll be able to follow my own advice here, but maybe you will…
Where There’s Smoke…
Then there was the time Pepper almost burned the house down making Thai sausage. We got a sausage stuffer (don’t ask me why) and mom became obsesssssed with making homemade sausages. Then she would show them off by hanging them on my KITCHEN LIGHTS like little decoration pieces and started calling herself the “Sausage Queen”—I swear to God I was going to barf every time she did it. But, yes, even the “Sausage Queen” makes mistakes. Mom left them in the oven for too long and almost Burned. Our. House. Down. We had to use a fire extinguisher and blow out all the smoke with a fan… just so mom could eat her own sausages. This is the world I live in.
Lesson learned: As traumatic as it was, baking sausages is the easiest (yes, easiest) and least messy way to cook these. Bake them at 400° F for 20 to 25 minutes (40 to 60 if the sausages are larger/thicker, turning them once in between). Just don’t get cocky over the fact you are now the “Sausage King/Queen” and forget to watch the clock.
We shared the pic of John and me in urgent care after the mandoline incident and invited you to share your own food fails…and man, oh man, did you come through. You sure know how to make a girl feel better about herself. Some common themes? Use extra caution when drinking and cooking, and beware the mandoline. Here are some of our faves:
I have so many questions, @keezmo. So many. Like, how did you finish the recipe – wasn’t your soup full of slow-cooker shards? I think the most important lesson here is not to use your slow- cooker insert on the stove (unless they are very specifically made for that). Exploding cookware is no joke!
I totally get this. It seems obvious once you know but I totally get how a kid would do this! Lesson learned? For the best fried rice, use leftover cooked rice that’s super dry.
Way to make an entrance! Gas stoves are better than electric IMO but, yeah, if you’re not used to them they’re a whole other beast. For anyone else reading out there, here’s a fun fact: if there’s a fire in your oven you should actually turn off the heat and leave the door CLOSED. The fire should die out on its own after a minute. If not, then you can break out the fire extinguishers, douse the fire in kosher salt, and/or call the pros.
I think this one speaks for itself, I have no words.