Sep 16th, 2004
It's all well and good to report the successes you have in the kitchen - the recipes that turn out yummy, the jam that actually sets, the idea that makes it on to your dinner plate. But it's the failures that people really want to hear about. They want to know about the 'perfect recipe' for rice that came out perfectly crunchy and inedible, or the expensive ingredients you buy only to learn that you hate them and leave them to mold in the fridge. Just the other day I was thinking about this site and realized I wanted a good failure to post about. Luckily, I got one as ordered.
Unfortunately it wasn't a spectacular failure, no cookware exploded, and there were no poisonings. But the recipe looked good on the page, all the ingredients were good going in, and the resulting dish totally sucked. So I think that counts as a failure.
The recipe was for Cabbage and Asian Pear Slaw with a gingery lime vinaigrette. It still sounds good, but it ain't. I got it from Kathleen Daelemans' Getting Thin and Loving Food, a cookbook that has given me mixed results. And I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that she and I part ways when it comes to salads, as both the recipes I have not liked from her book are salads.
Anyway, the recipe calls for shredding/julienning some cabbage and asian pear and then dressing it with lime juice, fresh ginger, scallions, and Vietnamese chili paste. I may be leaving something out but I think that was it. It sounds so simple and tastes so nasty. I think the problem with it is that the tastes are too spiky - there's no oil or neutral ingredient rounding them all out. It tasted raw in a flavors-not-melding sense.
I served the slaw with dinner one night and we each took an obligatory mouthful and then politely ignored it. I carried it back and forth to work for a few days trying to make myself eat it for lunch but that plan failed too. Last night I threw it out. Tonight I'm making spaghetti with a roasted tomato sauce, and I'm hoping for a success, because a failure every now and then is sort of fun, but I wouldn't want to make a habit of it.