CHUsday and the One That Got Away

I hate wasting food.  Which is why my husband and I smiled over burned salmon last week and pretended to smack our lips. 

Truth is, neither of us was willing to throw away a pound of wild caught salmon, even if the glaze, for which I’d held out so much hope, was now a layer of charcoal on top.  “Yum,”  I said, “it reminds me of meals straight off the barbecue.”  He, of course, (the man who DOES the barbecuing) couldn’t dispute this since right before I burned the salmon, he burned a pot of rice–the residue, of which I’m still trying to get out of my Green Gourmet saucepan.  He knew that one word of criticism, and rice would become the next conversational topic.  Wisely he swallowed salmon and criticism together.

Oh, did I mention the artichokes weren’t quite done either, at least his wasn’t?  Mine was perfect.  I wonder how that happened?

This all started with an online recipe from Once Upon A Chef, a website I mentioned two weeks ago.  For the month of October I’d suggested here that anyone who wanted to enter the CHU giveaway, could also enter with a new online recipe.  I wanted to be right in sync.

The recipe, Broiled Salmon With Thai Sweet Chili Glaze, not only sounded simple and good, it made use of the Thai sweet chili sauce I’d mistakenly bought for another online recipe, Thai Sesame Noodles, which actually called for spicy chili sauce.  I used the sweet sauce for the noodles anyway, and the result?  Well, it’s not a recipe I’ll hurry off to make again.  It was surprisingly bland, even though I used sesame oil with hot peppers.  But it’s hard to critique a recipe if it’s not followed exactly.

In all fairness to Chef, I think this salmon recipe’s probably a keeper.  But I learned my lesson.  When broiling fish, never leave the room to watch the news, not even if you’ve set a timer–which I had. 

Never walk away from the broiler, period.

So why all the cooking errors when we’re usually pretty adept in the kitchen?  It’s actually pretty simple.  Chalk up my mistakes to 60 hour work weeks in October as I finished One Mountain Away and did my final revisions before sending it off to my editor.

Maybe authors just weeks from deadline shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen.   At the end of the next book, I’ll just look up restaurants and not recipes.  The world will be a safer place.

November’s here.  Dig out that old cookbook and make a new recipe.  We only have two months left of the giveaway, so get cooking!


  1. Paula Petty on November 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I once bought a frozen turkey for the holiday and dropped it at the top of the stairs. It flew down like a soccer ball headed for the goal–good momentum. It hit the wall and made a dent. We now buy turkey ready-to-serve. I guess you can call this a “pre-cooking disaster.”

    • Emilie Richards on November 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

      Ah, could you dust it off and cook it anyway? And frozen turkey could be a murder weapon. Hard and heavy! (Sounds like something Aggie might need to know.)

  2. Paula Petty on November 1, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I washed the turkey and served it. I chose not to tell the “recipients” until much later. At least it was tender once it was cooked. As far as I know, no one saw the dent in the wall or if they did, they assumed that the kids did it.

    • Emilie Richards on November 1, 2011 at 10:28 am

      One of those unheralded reasons to have children.

  3. Cindy Dickinson on November 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    When we were newlyweds and poor, and I was just learning to cook, I was trying to make spaghetti for supper. I cooked the entire package of spaghetti instead of just two servings, not knowing any better. Then when I went to strain it, the strainer moved and the entire pot of spaghetti went down the drain. We had meat sauce with our salad and bread that night. I can still see my sweetheart dunking his bread in the sauce and telling me how good it was.

  4. Cindy Dickinson on November 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Just yesterday I made a new recipe from the internet that I will not be making again. Pumpkin brownies. Sounded great and perfect for fall weather. Blend together a box of brownie mix and a can of pumpkin. Bake. They smelled wonderful, but the texture was really odd, and they just weren’t good enough for the calories. So I sent them to work with DH! Ha!

  5. Liz on November 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm
    • Emilie Richards on November 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      What a good idea. This author’s doing a book giveaway for people who contribute to their local food bank. Thanks, Liz.

  6. Liz on November 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Thank you Emily.

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