Don’t forget the baking powder (and other mummy mishaps!)

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One afternoon last week, in a whirlwind of floral-aproned domesticity and inspired by a new jar of luxury lemon curd I set about impressing my kids with not one, but two batches of lemon cakes.  Undeterred by the lack of self-raising flour in my cupboard, I continued with plain flour, safe in the knowledge that I could add baking powder later and all would be good.  Fresh unwaxed lemon zest was sprinkled into the mixture and the zingy blend tasted delicious (eating cake mixture at this stage is a obligatory!).  Dividing the extra large batch of 4 egg mixture between fairy cake cases and a round cake tin I smugly (yes, smugly) placed them into the preheated oven and closed the door, realising at that precise moment that I’d forgotten one essential ingredient – baking powder.  Fifteen or so minutes later and my worst fears were confirmed:  the cakes were as flat as the chicken that crossed the road!

Determined not to throw away the less-than-perfect cakes I continued with Plan A:  turn them into cute fairy cakes with lemon curd and a chocolate egg.  This photo highlights the advantages of a good camera angle and a spoonful of Photoshop!

This isn’t, of course, my first mummy mishap in the kitchen.  There have been numerous occasions of burnt rice, squishy sticky pasta, broken omelettes and dried out fish – all because I take multi-tasking to the extreme and forget that I’m even cooking.  Thank goodness I’ve never set the house on fire!

The baking powder incident led me to wonder what other mummy mistakes happen every day around the world.  I asked a group of ladies all studying with the Open University to share their experiences and the resulting flurry of replies exposed a link between intelligence and creativity, multi-tasking and food-related faux-pas!  With their permission I’m sharing a few of the best, with names changed to protect the innocent…

Denise: ‘I put normal sugar in the liquidiser once.  I thought if it could grind up ice cubes it could grind up sugar, really fine, and turn it into icing sugar.  It didn’t work.’

Natasha:  ‘I often get creative and make substitutes when I haven’t got all the ingredients…epic fail was running out of icing sugar and a too-runny icing.  I tried to thicken it with cornflour which made it taste gross so I added white sugar.  I learnt from that mistake!  I still served it though!!’

Hazel:  ‘Having a new pressure cooker and deciding to cook rice in it.  Ended up plastering the ceiling when the thing exploded!’

Thea:  ‘I tried to bake a cake in a pot.  Only thing, the pot kind of ballooned out a little around the base, so it was narrower at the top.   Which made it impossible to get the cake out!’

Tracey:  ‘First Christmas of being married I cooked the turkey and all the trimmings no problem…until I tried to carve it and couldn’t find any breast meat…beacuse it was upside down!!  DH has never let me forget it…’

Karen:  ‘I put a bit of vinegar in chocolate cakes to make them richer…mixing up teaspoon and tablespoon never ends well!  My mum actually liked the resulting cakes and insisted it gave them a citrus taste but I was much too embarrassed to feed them to anyone else!’

Hattie:  ‘My sister is brilliant at doing daft stuff.  She put gravy granules in coffee once, and gave it to my mum.  She put a potato in the microwave without pricking it first.  She puts ready meals in the oven without stabbing them….um, what else…Salt instead of sugar.  Suffice to say I’ve never let her cook for me LOL.’

Nadia: ‘My worst mishap was when I decided to bake a cheesecake using a loose bottomed tin.  The base was probably the best it has ever been, cheesecake filling was ready.  Clumsily, I picked it up to put it in the oven and the bottom gave way.  It made a really pretty messy puddle on the floor.  I have severely learned my lesson now.’

Evie:  ‘Food related-ish:  I was talking to one of the year 8 girls yesterday, and she was proudly showing me her new bag.  When I looked puzzled about the label she said, “What, you’ve never jheard of Kiplin?”, to which I replied, “You mean like the cakes?”  Apparently this wasn’t the appropriate response.’

And finally, here’s a great blog story entitled ‘Epic Fail’ by C:

I had a sick day today, but decided that I’d make lunch for my hubby since he was busy getting ready for a job interview. We agreed on soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Easy enough, made it a hundred times! No problem!

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this blog and hope it’s made you smile today 🙂

For some edible food inspiration, click on my Facebook link below for regular recipes, photos and nutrition advice.  (Plus occasional mummy mishaps – I’m only human after all!)

It would be great to hear some of your dietary disasters or culinary cover-ups – Go on, write them below, you know you want to share!

Until next week,


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Post Author: Lorraine Pannetier

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