The Worst of 2012 (Ten Ideas that did NOT make my blog)

Happy New Year (early)! It’s a time of joy and celebration!

Champagne with pomeggranate seeds

Champagne with pomeggranate seeds

Do you like to go out?  Cook something special?  Look back on the successes of the past year?

New Years is a classic time for reflection.  A day to sit back and take stock.  To celebrate victories and create “best of” lists.

Peninsula Pulse "Year in Review"

Peninsula Pulse “Year in Review”

Or not.

I like to think of my blog as a place to find recipes and tips that are tried and true.  I test all ideas and those that are not up to par are never heard from again.

Until today.  Here is a different type of Top Ten… My Top Ten Failures of 2012

The Worst of 2012

Strata (three tries).  Do you like quiche?  And French Toast?  Doesn’t a casserole full of eggs, veggies, cheese and bread cubes sounded delicious? First recipe: bland.  Pumped up recipe: bland.  Completely new recipe: bland.  What’s the definition of insanity?

Quiche, good; Strata, not so much

Quiche, good; Strata, not so much

Grandma’s GingerbreadReprising Grandma’s homemade egg noodles worked like a charm.  How hard could gingerbread be?  Don’t ask.  Next Christmas I may try again using mild molasses, which my mother told me is the key. After I made it of course.

Individual Whole Peach PiesSince a peach is one of the world’s most amazing foods–and these little pies were stunningly beautiful, I was drooling to give this a try.  They forgot to mention that large peaches won’t fit into muffin cups (oops).  Four somewhat shapeless pies later, I learned that with no added spices & little sugar, they were also somewhat tasteless.


Great ingredients cannot save the wrong recipe…

Winter White Vegetable Soup.  The picture was beautiful.  I ripped it out of a magazine in 2003 and put it in my hope chest, even though the ingredients looked a little bland.  Alas, I learned… if it looks bland, it probably is.  Alternative lesson: toss old recipe file?

Moving the “Squirrel Proof” Bird Feeder to a “Safe” Spot.  This was actually a post that got published, I guess prematurely.  Before I knew the squirrel would win.  For the third time.  ‘Nuf said?

Squirrel in "squirrel proof" feeder

Squirrel in “squirrel proof” feeder

Decorated Cookies.    You know those beautiful cookies you see for all the holidays?  Colorful Santas, scary spiders, lacey snowflakes…  How hard can they be?  Well… at least we ate them.

Cranberry Toffee.  Again, it looked wonderful in the photo.  Imagine a holiday candy with phytochemicals!  During cooking, it had a sweet, fresh-fruity taste.  But by the time the molten liquid hit the appointed temperature, it tasted burnt.  Okay, did I really expect a candy to double as a serving of fruit?

Mint ExtractI use mint extract in a few recipes and thought it would be fun to make my own.  Soaked my homegrown peppermint leaves in vodka for weeks.  The blog post showed a product that was green and fragrant.  And mine?  Looked brown. Smelled brown.  Actually tasted brown.

Failed Mint Extract

Even Photoshop Couldn’t Save this Mint Extract

And this isn’t even the whole list…

But still I go into the new year generally happy with my 2012 and thankful for my readers who inspire me to always do better.  And I resolve to learn from my mistakes.

Except for the squirrel who I expect will continue to win…

Best wishes for a great 2013!  Cheers!

Champagne in snow

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22 thoughts on “The Worst of 2012 (Ten Ideas that did NOT make my blog)

  1. Kathy

    This is a fun idea for a blog post! (I’m afraid I wrote some of my worst ideas…) Wishing you the Happiest of New Years, Inger, and looking forward to many new blogs from you in 2013.

  2. Promenade Claire

    A fabulous, funny post, thank you so much for putting a smile on my face this morning. Such a treat – so dry and pithy and honest. Hmmm brown tasting mint-vodka………
    Wishing you a very happy, joyful and peaceful new year. Claire x

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      My daughter, who I’d had proofread this, came home from college to the “mint extract” and declared, “you’re right, it does taste brown…” Happy New Year to you too Claire!

  3. Karis' Kitchen

    Such a fun post, and a good reminder that food blog posts only reflect successes in the kitchen. I wish I had kept track of my failures this past year because then I’d have something to do with all the photos I took which never made my blog 🙂 Happy New Year!

  4. croquecamille

    Funny! The best thing to do with our failures is to laugh and move on, so well done!

    p.s. I love strata! Sorry you haven’t found a good recipe.

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      Thanks Camille! And you know it seems like it should be possible to make a good strata (which is why I tried it 3 times), so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Perhaps you could do some strata advice on your blog!

  5. cakewhiz

    we all learn from our mistakes and failures. it’s good that you at least tried these recipes.

    And i know what you mean about those decorated cookies… they are sooooo much harder to make than they look. the first time i made them, i got soooo frustrated!

    and btw, happy new year 😀

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      I am glad to hear that someone who is really good at beautiful food also says it is harder than it looks! Looking forward to much more fun in the new year!

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