When I decided I wanted to write a book about a chef, I realized I had my work cut out for me. In order to write HOT FLASH and the character of Jill Morgan Storm, I had to do a tremendous amount of research and oodles of kitchen experiments. I read books on cooking, books on becoming a chef, books on what it's like to work in a restaurant kitchen. I talked with working chefs, friends who are cooks, and consulted online cooking websites. I even dragged cooks out of restaurant kitchens in order to ask their opinions!
There was a good reason for this.
It's because I'm personally somewhat renowned for my cooking disasters.
I grew up in a very large family -- a mother, father and five girls. So when I learned how to cook, it was cooking for a crew, rather than a few. I cooked things like spaghetti, pork chops, lasagna, and chicken fried steak. I cooked southern. I cooked using a pinch of this and a dash of that. My fist was a measuring devise.
After I got married and wanted to cook for two, I had many kitchen catastrophes. Like the time I wanted to make meatloaf.
Simple you think?
The recipe I had called for a mix of ground beef and ground pork. And my mother taught me that pork shouldn't be pink when it's cooked. So when I baked that meatloaf and checked it after the time required by the recipe, it still seemed fairly raw. So I cooked it some more. And some more. And some more. After three additional hours, I called in my husband to look at it to see if he thought it was cooked yet. He agreed that it remained pretty pink. So back it went into the oven. Eventually, we left that puppy in overnight and ate a can of Chili instead. The next morning, I realized I'd learned how to make really delicious bricks!
Another of my kitchen nightmares was fairly recent. I accidently overcooked the ham I was heating up for New Years and created a new delicacy: blackened ham. It's not a recipe I'd ever wish to share!
I can assure you, however, that the recipes prepared by Jill in HOT FLASH have been checked and rechecked by both myself and friends. They actually work and are good :D I created a Hot Flash Recipe blog where I've posted some of Jill's recipes and I'm hoping you'll share some of yours, as well.
I'd love to hear about other people's kitchen disasters, so please post a comment and tell me about your worst cooking experiments! -- KC