Some friends came from the South to visit one July and brought a bushel of fresh peaches. They were so big and juicy that I decided to make my favorite fruit cobbler.
I made the dough just like my mother taught me, then peeled the delicious peaches. The aroma from that wonderful cobbler filled the house as it baked. And when I took it from the oven, it was picture-perfect.
My husband couldn't wait to try it. But as he took his first bite of the cobbler, he made a face.
"What did you do?" he asked. I took a bite and knew immediately. I store my food staples in unmarked glass jars and had never had a problem identifying what's in the jars. But this time, when I reached for tapioca, I got coarse salt instead. For my husband's sake, I now label all the jars. —Rita Reifenstein, Evans City, Pennsylvania
"One day when I was a teenager, I was hungry for chocolate chip cookies," remembers Carmen Walthour of Ashland, Ohio. "After mixing the batter and adding the chips, I decided I'd also like to put in some nuts."
AT CHRISTMASTIME one year, I decided to do my annual holiday cookie baking with my new mixer. After making 13 varieties of Italian cookies, I gave the mixer a thorough cleaning and discovered that a screw was missing.
My husband grew up on a farm, and his mother was a wonderful cook. So when I made my first banana bread, I wanted it to be delicious. I had everything I needed, or so I thought. When I got ready to put the bread in the oven, I realized I had not added baking powder.
I decided it probably wasn't a big deal, so I baked it without the powder. To my horror (and my husband's amusement), we ended up with a heavy, moist 1-1/2-inch-high loaf of banana bread.
It was too heavy to eat, so my husband suggested frying some slices in butter. They were awful. He even tried syrup on his. Because he didn't want to hurt my feelings, he ate it anyway. We laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny then! —Susan Weiler, Benicia, California
I called home from work one day and asked my daughter to start a stew. I told her to take the beef cubes out of the refrigerator, brown them in a pot, cover them with water and simmer.
"As a young bride, I was eager to show my husband that I could prepare his favorite foods," recalls Donna Marie Mead, Ogema, Saskatchewan. "One thing he especially liked, that I didn't care for, was pancakes."
I'M an avid cook and have been for almost 50 years, so I'm very experienced in the kitchen…or so I thought. Although I cook everything from scratch, a few years ago I bought a bread machine.
I was having my friends over for dinner and wanted to make a loaf of bread to accompany the meal. I added my ingredients as always, but when I checked the bread machine, the dough was not forming a ball as it usually did. So I started adding more flour.
I must have put in about 6 cups before I gave up. I simply couldn't figure out what I had done wrong…until I looked at my ingredients again. What I thought was my container of whole wheat flour was actually my homemade hot chocolate mix. —Betty Gardels, Arlington, Texas
AFTER watching a TV chef create chocolate bowls, I thought I'd make them. So I dipped 12 balloons half-way into melted chocolate, as the chef had instructed, and lined the bowls up on my kitchen counter to set.
WHEN my husband and I were first married, I thought everything had to be cooked at a high temperature. Consequently, the smoke alarm frequently went off when I was making dinner. My husband had gotten so used to the sound that he hardly noticed it anymore.
One night, the alarm once again went off, and our downstairs neighbor charged up the stairs and burst into our apartment. He found my husband sitting on the couch, watching TV.
"I thought your apartment was on fire!" he exclaimed. To which my husband calmly replied, "No, it's just Kendra cooking dinner." —Kendra Antila, Lebanon, Oregon
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"I WAS COOKING Christmas dinner and had finished everything except the gravy, which I made with cornstarch and drippings from the turkey.
"We were all joking and talking as I worked in the kitchen. So I didn't notice right away that as I added the cornstarch to the turkey drippings, it started foaming up and running over the sides of the pan.