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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Inedible. Confessions of a Culinary Failure



This is the face Wayne wanted to make when
he ate my rubbery, gluey calamari picatta.
Capers. Olive oil.  Lemon juice. Vermouth.  Calamari (aka squid). What could be bad about that?

Sometimes I follow a recipe.  Sometimes my cooking starts with a recipe, and I improvise from there. Sometimes I wing it – especially if there’s some base ingredients or condiments to use up.  Usually the result is pretty good.  Once in while, though….

In the case of “calamari picatta,” I followed a recipe.  I love chicken picatta but my calamari cooking experience is limited.  My mistake was too wet calamari, which sat too long in a flour dredge.  And, possibly, the quality of the previously frozen calamari and our freezer capability, where the calamari spent a couple weeks, further contributed to the recipe’s demise.  The result?  A rubbery, gluey, disgusting substance, not remotely picatta-like.

Gamely, Wayne played the dutiful husband and attempted to eat it, and he doesn’t even care much for most seafood.  What can I say?  My husband loves me.  But he sighed audibly with relief when after a few bites I admitted, “I can’t eat this,” and pushed it away.  “Whew!  I thought it was just me,” he said.

We couldn’t eat it.  We didn’t eat it.  But somewhere in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, we’re betting we made some crabs very happy when my culinary disaster went overboard.  At least it came from our plates, instead of our gullets.

Note:  This is a flashback to when we were in St. Lucia; four months ago.  We are currently in St. Barts and happily have not needed to throw out a meal since, unless it was buried in the fridge too long.  Though I will admit to stubbornly choking down some of my less than stellar culinary creations since then.  Yes, even "Galley Wenches" have bad cooking days.