Yes we’ve all made them, baking errors, burnt offerings, cakes that stick to pans, missing ingredients, the list is endless. But as someone once said to me, ‘if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing enough’.
Mistake Number 1
My first baking class at Secondary Modern School circa 1963.
We were making scones, fruit scones to be precise. We were told to weigh out our ingredients, place them in bowls add the sugar to the currants and then crowd around to be told by our teacher what to do next.
As the class gathered, one girl, who I often thought of as a tough don’t you mess with me, sort of girl, came and whispered in my shell like ear and said ‘You’ve put salt on your currants’
Now, my first thoughts were ‘How does she know that’. I didn’t know whether to be angry that she’d pinched my fruit, or pleased that she’d told me. I decided to go down the ‘pleased she told me’ route, so I said ‘Thanks for telling me’. At least she didn’t shout it out in the class about my mistake, in fact from that moment on I began to like the girl and she once complemented me on my school singing voice and wondered if I was in the choir at the time, which I wasn’t, I was far too shy.
Back to the salt/sugar incident. I immediately went back and washed all the currants to get the salt off and replaced it with sugar. As I remember, the scones turned out fine in the end and from that day on I have always been able to tell the difference between Salt and Sugar, without having to taste it.
Mistake Number 2
Along with my 3 best school mates in the same cookery Class our lesson for the day was how to boil an egg. In this day and age you’d be forgiven for thinking how difficult is that. But for most of the class it was.
Boil an egg for 6 mins and then make Sandwiches. Simple, what could go wrong.
We timed our eggs from the moment it went into the cold water, not from the moment it started to boil. Result, almost raw eggs. The only person out of the whole class who was able to make any sort of Egg sandwiches on that day, was one of my best mates, who managed to boil hers enough to make it work.
Two lessons well learnt there, never to be forgotten, forever engrained in my memory. I continue to have the odd baking/cooking mistake, we all do, it’s part of the learning process. The biggest mistake is not learning from them.
Those 3 best school mates are still my best school mates and we regularly have a reunion. Talking over the fun we had at school. Especially the School flat that everyone had to spend a week in cooking and cleaning, but that’s for another post.