Five Ways to Fail in the Kitchen

New city. New school. New apartment. What is the most important of these three? The new (to me) kitchen, of course! What comes next is completely true account of my cooking failures. Here are five different ways to fail in the kitchen.
1) Use coconut oil for marinades

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When I saw a jar of coconut oil in the aisle at Costco, I was thrilled. Wasn’t it supposed to be super healthy and good to cook with? It is indeed great to cook with and adds a sweetness to foods that I’ve come to enjoy. I’ve been using it so much that I never went out and bought a jar of canola oil or vegetable oil to keep in the cupboard. So when I needed a tablespoon of oil to complete a cilantro and lime marinade, I scooped some coconut oil and poured it into the bag.

Nota Bene: Coconut oil is a solid at just below room temperature.

As soon as it hit my not-quite-defrosted fish it solidified right up, taking all my garlic, lime, and cilantro with it. Coconut oil = not good for marinades.

2) When the recipe says “dry white wine” any old white will do!

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No. No it won’t. Adding a sweet white wine to alfredo sauce is not tasty in the slightest. And, before you make a last minute run to the grocery store for a nice Chardonnay, recall which day it is. Some states, including Indiana, don’t sell alcohol on Sundays. I relearned that lesson last week when they confiscated my wine at the register.

3) Put your oatmeal in the microwave for three minutes straight. Nothing bad will happen.

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Oatmeal explodes with the slightest provocation. Exploded, scalding oatmeal is no fun to clean out of your microwave. Watch it like a hawk. Don’t look away for even a moment. Be prepared to heat it in 60 or 30 second chunks of time to avoid overflow. I’ve even gone down to 15 second segments. Why do I still try after so many failed attempts? Two words: apple butter. Worth it.

4) Put things into the blender hodgepodge. Don’t worry. It will all blend just like in the commercial.

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I have a Ninja blender and tried to use the single serving smoothie cups to make a strawberry greek yogurt smoothie. Sounds yummy, right? I thought I followed the picture’s example, but ended up having to spatula the entire concoction out and pureé each ingredient one at a time. And the smoothie didn’t even taste that good. Not cool commercial. Totally not cool.

5) Ripeness-smipeness. If you buy it from the store then it will be fine.*

Unripe avocado is crunchy. It also won’t slice out in fancy crescent wedges to lay on top of your fish tacos like the Instagram picture said it should. Leave an avocado out on the counter to let it ripen. Or eat it crunchy. Your choice.

Such are my cooking failures in the new apartment so far. If you want to fail and make a mess, be sure to follow these five tips!

Have you failed in the kitchen? Do you have a kind enough heart to help me avoid future mishaps? Let me know in the comments or we might end up with a “5 More Ways to Fail in the Kitchen” post.

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