Every Day’s Not a Good Day in the Kitchen

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This poor guy’s seen better days.
This post comes about from being glued to the TV every night for the past year watching My Kitchen Rules or Masterchef. I’ve been watching for so long now that I’ve picked up a few things and I wanted to share them with you today.
Every day in the kitchen will not be a fantastic day. Whether you’re cooking on a TV show or just cooking at home, or feeding 100 people, or just 2, you’re going to have days when things just don’t work out the way you want them to!
I remember a night in 2011 when I’d been so proud of myself for making homemade pizza bases but an hour later the bloody things still weren’t cooked! The top was almost black and the bottom was still uncooked dough. Argh! I’m not sure how the glass dish survived that night as I threw it across the benchtop in my fit of anger before I stormed off to the shower to cry. We ate McDonalds for dinner that night at 11pm.
A couple of burns I got
to the neck and chest
earlier this year.
You might remember I started the year with a bad few days of cooking in New Year, New Shocker. I also had an ongoing Pasta Disaster that I posted about and I’ve just this week posted about being a messy cook. I’ve burnt cakes, dinners, myself, and the occasional finger (and sometimes it wasn’t even my finger!); I’ve cursed and thrown dishes; I’ve eaten take away at midnight and had a few cereal dinners all in the name of cooking the evening meal.
Sure, I’ve cried. I got upset plenty of times. I even got really angry on a few occasions. I was nervous that others wouldn’t enjoy my food, but you know what, I persevered.
I did it all in the name of practice, and in the hopes of becoming a better home cook for my family.
Each day that was a shocker or ended with toast was a day that I learnt a valuable lesson. And that’s what I most want you to take away from this post.
Mistakes happen, but embrace them and learn from them! Mistakes are okay. Don’t fear mistakes!
This was my philosophy when I was teaching, and I told all my classes that I loved mistakes because it meant that I could teach each person something and that I was doing my job properly. From children to adults, I could tell they didn’t quite believe me until inevitably a mistake was made and I was able to help them through it. After that first hurdle other mistakes were made and my students would open up to me and let me see what they really needed help with.
I got creative with my bread making.
Some of the loaves and rolls I’ve made.
And it’s the same with cooking. I realised that I wasn’t good with dough so I used my mistakes and learnt from them and each person that has tried my bread since I started focusing on this missing skill in 2012 has told me how great my bread is. I can now make pizza bases, white, wholemeal or multigrain loaves and bread rolls, I’ve attempted tortillas and naan bread and I love making savoury loaves too. Did you see, I also made my own raisin toast?
During Masterchef 2013 Noelene made a pretty terrible dish that the judges unanimously hated. She’d put everything in she could think of, and the flavours just didn’t mix. She had tried to overcompensate and she had put too many ingredients into her dish. After some advice from the judges she stuck to her guns and continued with the meal, only to end up with the worst dish of the day. Her pride got in the way and she didn’t learn from what the judges had said until the end of the day when she ended up in the next day’s elimination challenge. But she learnt from this mistake and now she’s made it to the top 10 having experienced so many more opportunities than if she’d just given in to her mistake.
During My Kitchen Rules this year Dan and Steph kept finding themselves in eliminations after they had spent so much time making meals they had hoped the other contestants and the judges would enjoy. They were disappointed each time but they learnt from their mistakes as well. They went on to win the whole competition with their persistence and a positive look back at what they’d been through. Go Dan and Steph!
So, let me make it a bit clearer for you. Every day won’t be brilliant. Every day will have challenges for you to meet head on and trials you will overcome with success. If you learn from your mistakes and find some expert advice to help you change the way you faced your problem, then the number of bad days will reduce. Get help from Masterchef judges, My Kitchen Rules contestants, online recipes or a chat with a good friend, and of course from me, and your good days will grow exponentially!
So go for it!
Make a mess, cry, and throw things around your kitchen. Get it all out and get passionate about it (but take care as you don’t want to hurt the kids, your husband or your best friend when they come to find out what all the noise is about).
You’ll be a fantastic chef or home cook in no time!
Here’s to making mistakes! Here’s to learning from them too!
Please share with me your disasters, your passions and your challenges. Leave a comment and share your stories with us all.

Thank you.

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