Friday, December 26, 2008 | 09:18 AM ET
'Tis the season for get-togethers and all the fixings that come with entertaining family and friends. The Food Bytes bloggers thought we'd reminisce about our not-so-favourite moments on the hot seat in the kitchen during the holiday season. From an oven full of plastic to forgetting an ingredient, we've done it all.
A few years ago, with all the "kids" in my extended family all grown up, it was decided that we would assume all the cooking duties for Christmas dinner. Somehow roast beef was the first thing that popped out of my mouth.
Since I was visiting and staying at a short-term condo, I had to rely on whatever equipment the kitchen had. There was no roasting pan but I remembered a wave of new TV commercials that year for plastic ovenware.
"Perfect!" I thought.
Of course, I was dead wrong as the oven started smoking about 20 minutes into cooking time. The pan was melting onto the oven rack.
The roast was salvageable but I ended up having to cook it at my aunt's house later — and spent a good hour or two scraping melted plastic out of the original oven. (Andree Lau)
Only picture perfect
My worst holiday screw-up was alternately one of my most spectacular-looking dinner achievements. When in Texas to visit family, I enjoy cooking a lavish roast dinner for the holidays. One year, my mother-in-law vowed to buy all the groceries needed for our meal, including a large chicken since she is not particularly fond of turkey.
I lovingly prepared the bird: seasoning it well, packing a handful of herbs and lemon quarters inside the cavity and rubbing butter over and under the skin. I also took great care in basting and checking on it in the oven as I worked on the accompanying dishes. When dinner was on the table, we even took photos because the spread looked straight out of a magazine.
Though perfectly browned and looking perfect, it took just a few bites to discover that my roast chicken was nearly inedible, with an odd, rubber-like flesh that I'd never encountered before.
Turns out that the chicken my MIL had bought wasn't a young, juicy specimen, but one of those tough, old hen sold expressly at Asian supermarkets for making stock. (Jessica Wong)
Christmas dinner has always gone pretty well for me, but one Thanksgiving while entertaining my mother-in-law I forgot to put the sugar in the pumpkin pie. While this made for an interesting discovery regarding a pumpkin custard side dish, it didn't make much of a dessert. We drizzled on honey and made the best of it.
More than 20 years later, my wife still asks me if I remembered to put in the sugar. (Kevin Yarr)
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About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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