OK. So I’m not necessarily the sharpest knife in the drawer. My students will tell you that one of my greatest shortcomings is an unfortunate tendency to overlook the obvious. (We’re not going to talk about the absurd typos I made on yesterday’s exam. Everyone can manage a matching test with only partial definitions, right? Of course.)

Undertaking a large cooking project late at night is not a good idea, even if it’s one that you’ve made a zillion times before. But that’s just what I did last night.

Sautéing the onions and pepper – I managed this step without incident. (Woo!)

Another bad cooking habit that I indulge in frequently is reckless substitutions of ingredients when I don’t have the originals at the house.

Now the problem with this little vice is that it’s a habit I repeat all the time. Why? Because I’ve had other cooking experiments where I substituted ingredients on a whim and was wowed by the results.

But there’s a catch to substitutions, y’know. Replacing one item, or maybe two, a tweak of seasoning – that’s no problem. But when you’re short half the ingredients and insist on making the recipe anyway….


….we’ll just say that I’ve got a couple pounds of unusual burrito filling on my hands, shall we?

My “freezer burrito”‘ recipe is one of my favorites. It makes a ton, and – as the name indicates – keeps very well in the freezer for months, whether you make them as completed burritos or freeze the mix “as is”.
But the catch is you need all the ingredients – or at least most of them. Which I didn’t.
The irony? I had stopped by the grocery store on the way home, with the express intent of purchasing all the missing ingredients.
Obviously I missed a few items.
Yes, those are English peas in the burrito filling.
And diced carrots. And garbanzo beans.

Here’s more or less the way my thinking ran last night as I went through my cupboard and fridge looking for what I needed:  No diced tomatoes. I have peeled tomatoes. That will work, right? No meat at the house, or veggie ground round – bah. Who needs meatish things? We’ll add more beans. No garlic in the recipe. I like garlic. We’ll add a couple cloves….o look! No hash browns in the freezer, either. Extra rice, then. And mixed vegetables. That will fill the deficit nicely…

You get the idea.

So now I have a couple pounds of English-pea-garbanzo-peeled-tomato-garlicky burrito filling that probably won’t win me any cooking contests any time soon. But it will all get eaten, as I’ve learned to eat and appreciate my own experiments over the years.

Well….except for that experiment making falafel…..I think I had to throw out the cooking pot with the disaster that time….

Anyone else have a cooking experiment (good or ill) to share? 
Let me know in the comments!