Monday, June 22, 2009

When good recipes go bad

Today, dear friends, I need you to help lift me out of the depths of cooking despair. You see, the crowning glory of my Father's Day meal yesterday was *supposed* to be this Chilled "Watermelon" recipe I found in Woman's Day magazine and attempted on Saturday. You scoop out the fruit, freeze the watermelon shell, add a layer of lemon sherbet tinted green to simulate the rind, whip up the watermelon and a few more ingredients in an ice cream freezer, add mini-chocolate chips to simulate watermelon seeds, freeze it all in the watermelon shell, slice and serve. What could go wrong?

Scooping out the fruit was easy, and I even managed to scoop out the pulp without breaking through the rind. Excellent. I froze the shell for 2 hours and sure enough, it was a rock, and ready for the "rind" of sherbet. So far so good. And that's when things went downhill fast. The sherbet didn't want to stick to the inside of the shell, so I scooped it all out, refroze the shell, re-spread the sherbet. Outside, DH tended the watermelon mixture in the ice cream freezer, which after an excessively long time in the machine was the consistency of a Slushie. I put the stuff in the freezer to harden some more and eventually spooned it into the watermelon shell. On Sunday, even after letting it soften a bit I tried to slice it into those cute little watermelon slices but to no avail. A circular saw might have worked, but I have yet to see the dessert I'd risk a limb for.


Blessedly, my sweet sister completely ignored my request not to bring anything for the meal and showed up with a perfectly delicious icebox coconut cake. (My seven-month-old nephew Matthew enjoyed the watermelon Slushie she managed to scoop out for him.) I will now use the new ice cream freezer to make Matcha ice cream and pray for a better outcome. Tell me about *your* most infamous recipe disaster before 7 a.m. EST tomorrow and you can win a prize of the new book "Victoria: The Essential Tea Companion."

And here's niece Cari with that save-the-day cake, which was quite delicious! (And if you look at the two tea pitchers behind her, I'll bet you won't be surprised to hear that the one on the left held sweet tea!)

9 comments:

Rhonda said...

Matthew and I both very much enjoyed the watermelon freeze - ice cream ? thing. I found it very refreshing on such a HOT day. But after all that trouble, we won't ask you to make it again. :>)

Ginger said...

Angela, I'm so sorry your desert didn't turn out as planned. I often wonder if some magazines thoroughly test the recipes before publishing.

My worst recipe disaster was when I was in college. I was home for the summer. I fixed dinner for my family and boyfriend (now husband). I made a recipe I got out of the local paper. I don't remember the name of it but it had shrimp and cilantro. It called for something crazy like 4 cups of cilantro. None of us had ever eaten much cilantro so we didn't know it was too much. I made the dish as is and it was terrible! No one would eat it. It was a waste of good shrimp. The next week the paper printed a correction, it should have been 4 TABLESPOONS of cilantro!

Southern Touch Catering said...

Too funny & sad for you. But if you want to feel better, please ruch over and revisit my blog from November 7, 2008 you will feel MUCH better and get a good laugh in at the same time. I wish I had a remedy for the dessert, but I haven't made ice cream or other in so long.

Cynda P said...

One of my many recipe disasters was Coq au Vin. I was a teenager and thought cooking with wine was an elegant and grownup thing to do. Coming from a family of teetotalers I had no idea that substituting red cooking wine for white cooking wine (I couldn't purchase real wine) would turn the dish a lovely shade of purple. It didn't taste bad, but it looked horrible.

Marilyn said...

When I first got my ice cream maker last year I had to dump two batches of ice cream out. They just wouldn't firm up. Later I realized it must have been old cream. Now I don't buy the cream until I am ready to use it. I love my ice cream maker now.

Linda J. said...

The coconut cake looks yummy, thanks to your sister. And, your tea pitcher is a great testimonial for how Georgia folks love sweet tea!

Anonymous said...

With 43 years of marriage, I've encountered more than one recipe disaster to laugh about...
Roasting my first turkey as a new bride and leaving the paper sack of giblets in the neck cavity... A Betty Crocker cinnamon applesauce jello mold for a New Years Eve potluck that never congealed... Serving a white chili recipe to guests without a "trial run" that set their mouths on fire [with green chilies & cayenne pepper]. Live and learn!

Phyllis said...

I didn't mean to be Anonymous -- I hit publish too soon, sorry! This is my first comment on your blog, which is very enjoyable. I went back to your archives when someone told me you had written about the "Friendship Teapot." A Friendship Teapot was sent to me for the month of June and I had my tea party today using it.

Gerri said...

Actually one time I tried to make Arnold Palmer cupcakes. I had read your blog (Aug 26,2008) about them and I checked out the recipe that you used. I still do not know what I did wrong but they took forever to cook and ended up with chewy tops and ruined bottoms. Of course they were not edible...but my husband went around and ripped off the tops and ate them. He loved them. If only I knew what I had done wrong, perhaps I could have made Arnold Palmer cookies. LOL!