Cutting Room Confessions – Disastri Diversi

As it is obvious, I am by no means a professional in the areas of cooking, writing nor photography. But what I may lack in those skills, I try to make up with persistence and tenacity (/ stubbornness) – in addition to my friends helping with many of this blog’s beautiful pictures.

Hence it is inevitable that things do not always go as planned in this fintastic kitchen, and during my 7.5 months of food blogging the amount of less successful culinaristic adventures has not been insignificant. Inspired my latest attempt yesterday, this time I decided to share some highlights of those moments that were edited in the process!

1. The Ketchup Wrong – Pappa al Pomodoro

This traditional tomato and bread soup sounded like a sure winner for this biggest tomato fan in Helsinki. I even used the very street-credible source of Giallo Zafferano for my recipe. Yet something went very wrong. Maybe it was the tomato concentrate that I added although it wasn’t included in the recipe (as I didn’t have enough tomatoes). Or perhaps the smaller amount of bread is to blame. Whatever the reason, just imagine ketchup with occasional pieces of water-soaked stale bread and you will see why this dish won’t be making another visit to my kitchen anytime soon.

2. Lost in Translation – Briciole di Pasta con Ricotta e Pomodori

I still have no idea what this recipe from an Italian cooking magazine was supposed to be. I managed to make quite an impressive imitation of the picture of the dish. The only slight issue was that it tasted terrible. I was so stubborn that I re-read the recipe more carefully and tried again a few days later. The look of dish was even more impressive. And it still tasted terrible.

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3. Fake Bake – Muffins al Cioccolato Bianco e Lamponi

I have already admitted that baking isn’t exactly one of my fortes. Yet I optimistically promised to make these muffins for my mother on Mothers’ Day. Having learned something from the past, this time I however warned my mother not to solely rely on my muffin delivery. At least I did that right. The muffins on the other hand looked like this:

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As I had already invested in cute cupcake wrappers, I didn’t give up and managed to disguise the barbapapaness of my muffins:

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However, this did require some serious muffin editing:

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Based on this experience, I am thinking of launching a new term: to fake bake = to miraculously disguise (with all possible decorative tricks in the book) a cake/ pastry gone badly wrong to a somewhat edible form.

4. The Ingredient Issue – Insalata di Radicchio Trevigiano

I prepared this salad a few weeks ago to accompany caserecce alle noci. Nothing wrong with it as such but it tasted exactly what the ingredients were: chicory and apple – nothing spectacular either. I think the main issue was the kind of chicory I found here in Helsinki as opposed to the types available in the sunny fields of Southern Italy!

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5. Orange Overload – Finocchi al Forno con Arancia, Pinoli e Uvetta

Lesson learned yesterday: at my skill level, it may not be a fabulous idea to try a recipe that doesn’t give any indication on the quantities of any of its ingredients (especially if it is a dish that you can’t taste and season as you prepare it).

Another lesson learned yesterday: peels of organic oranges sold in Finland are not entirely free of preservatives.

The result of learning these two things only yesterday: What might have been quite a nice veggie side or main dish, was now a messy mouthful with an overpowering plastic flavour of orange zest.

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So, please rest assured my dear readers that I do not post every dish ever tried in this kitchen to this blog but there are strict quality control measures in place on Cucina Fintastica. And even more appreciation for those times when things do go as or better than planned!

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