Although some have criticized me for linking to Kevin Fischer's blog (on FrankliNOW.com) too often, I am a regular reader. One of his regular features on his blog is his ongoing "Culinary no-no's". They started as some simple paragraphs that concluded with something like "No ketchup on a brat" (which I wholeheartedly agree with). In the past year or so, the posts have gotten longer but still lead us to a conclusion about what shouldn't be done with food (Side note; and thanks to the folks at Journal Sentinel Interactive - or whomever decides to change the blogging software every six months - many of Fischer's early "Culinary no-no's" are gone. Of course, so is the blogger's hit counter and the ability to monitor comments, but I digress. Somebody is getting rich off of this, however...)
I've never taken a cooking class, and though I do watch Alton and Rachel (and others), I usually take one of their recipies and tweak it to my own tastes. Alton went to a lot of trouble making a standing rib roast, I made it better by making it simpler. Rachel (who changes her "favorite" hamburger with stunning regularity) had this favorite, which we changed because we don't like olives. I've also found (and tweaked) a meatloaf recipe and a chicken tortilla soup. I even found a killer (literally) white chicken enchilada that uses cream cheese and heavy whipping cream.
Where I fall down is when when forced to improvise (as opposed to choosing to substitute). Which leads me to my first and possibly only - (Sponsor's Name Here) Culinary no-no...
After running errands in Chicago on Memorial day, we had a late lunch (more like a linner) and when we got home around six, we weren't hungry. My-Sugar-Na noticed that The Godfather Part II was on HDNet Movies (side note; why exactly are we losing this station this week?). Knowing it was a 3-1/2 hour movie, I suggested that I make a batch of popcorn.
I don't have a popper, so I pull out the big kettle, and the popcorn, and the butter, and the seasoning (for her... I like it either plain or with a few shakes of parmesan cheese) and the vegetable oil. "Now, hmm, where is that oil? Honey? Did you take it?"
"Yes, Angel-Nuffins" (or dummy, I can't remember which she used) "I used the last of the vegetable oil the other day."
Being too lazy to run to the convenience store a block away - and not being smart enough to send the step-daughter - I decided to my "think on the fly" talents.
This could singly be the worst substitution I have ever made. It took forever for it to get hot enough to pop one kernal, and about 10-15 minutes to pop enough kernals to make it worth my time. When we did get around to eating it, the popcorn was heavy (most likely from soaking in that oil) and had an overpowering sweet, flowery fragrance. This scent is wonderful when firing up the frying pan in preparation for adding onions and garlic, not so when a bowl of it is under your nose. I ate maybe a dozen handfuls when I couldn't take it any more... and two full cans of raspberry LaCroix to kill the taste in my mouth.
But that wasn't all. When I gave up on eating it, I left it on the end table in the living room while watching the movie. That smell hung so heavy in the air that I had to stop the movie and take the uneaten corn out to the garbage in hopes to clear the smell.
Right now, I hate olive oil.