Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cooking Catastrophe

There is a smell haunting my nostrils and turning my stomach. A smell that was caused by my most recent kitchen blunder. I am no chef, but I do consider myself to be relatively competent and knowledgeable in the kitchen. Except when something like this happens.

I decided to break out my trusty yogurt maker in an effort to cut food costs. I was on a roll making homemade yogurt when the big boys were babies and early toddlers, but for some reason I stopped making and started buying. I'm not sure why - maybe it was because we moved and I really didn't have any counter space for a while.

Normally when I make yogurt, I leave the milk out to get to room temperature. The instructions recommend boiling it, but I never wanted to do that step. I think I figured it would be too messy. Possibly too risky. So I have used the alternate method. Normally. For some reason, tonight, after a late night grocery run, I decided to get some yogurt started. At 11:00pm. And for some reason, I also decided to boil the milk this time. I followed the instructions, but somehow ended up burning the milk. Milk is not cheap! I did get a pretty good price on some half gallons that had Manager's Special stickers on them, but still. I wasted a quart of milk, about half of a little jar of Black Raspberry all-fruit jam, and a couple of big spoonfuls of yogurt before I realized my mistake. I cannot express the offense to my nasal sensibilites this repugnant stench made. Compounding the nausea from the smell was the feeling of knowing I just wasted time, effort, ingredients, and money.

So I scraped the burnt milk off the bottom of the pan. I lit a candle in an attempt to rid the foul odor from my kitchen. I poured another quart of milk out to be left to reach room temperature on its own. And I came in here to whine about it all. I also researched the internet for information on how to boil milk without burning it. I still don't know what I could have done wrong. I have no yogurt (yet), but I do have a bruised ego. But then cooking is really a trial and error sort of thing, right? So much for my attempt to save money. This was a total backfire. I'm hoping for a better turnout tomorrow.

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