The Lasagna Bomb

I was telling a friend today that, even though I’ve been cooking for my family for almost 35 years, every now and then I still lay an egg. My latest bomb was about six months ago when we had company over for dinner and I overcooked the chicken and vegetables so we had to chisel everything out of the pan. Yikes!

My most memorable disaster, however, came shortly after my husband and I were married and I was just learning how to cook. We laugh about it now – but it wasn’t funny then. I was trying out a recipe for lasagna from my trusty Fanny Farmer cookbook. The instructions in the recipe noted that about a tablespoon of sugar could be added to the sauce to take the acidity out of the tomatoes, so I tried it. I thought it helped the taste of the sauce…so I added some more sugar. Then I added a little more…and a little more. You get the idea. I think I added close to a cup of sugar before it was all done!

I spent so much time on the lasagna, layering it and getting it just right, and I was hoping to impress my husband with my new-found culinary skills. He took one bite of the lasagna and gagged. He tried to be kind but it was awful. We had to throw the whole pan out.

I learned a great lesson that day. I was not ready for improvisation of recipes. I needed to follow the directions closely before I started playing fast and loose—especially with recipes I had never tried before. Now, if I have a bomb in the kitchen, it is usually because of overcooking something after becoming distracted or forgetting to set a timer. Generally, it is not because I’ve been tinkering with a recipe. I experiment with almost every recipe I get now, but through the years I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.

That brings me back to the lasagna recipe. I’ve fiddled around with this a little, but I think you will enjoy the changes. (Find the recipe link below.) We like a lot of layers in our lasagna while the original recipe only had three. Having more layers makes the lasagna stick together better so it doesn’t just plop and fall apart on the plate. I’ve tried lots of lasagna recipes throughout the years (without sugar!), but this one with Ro-Tel tomatoes and diced chilies and Italian sausage give it just enough zip to be a really enjoyable dining experience. I call it “My Favorite Lasagna.” Once you try this recipe, it is bound to be your favorite, too!

Don’t get discouraged if you have a “Lasagna Bomb” once in a while.

It happens to all of us— especially as you take more risks by trying new recipes. But to avoid those flops while you’re learning to cook, consider asking your relatives and friends for their favorite recipes. Be specific. Ask for meatloaf or spaghetti recipes (not just meat recipes), chocolate desserts or corn casseroles, and then start making them. Make them each two or three times—then start experimenting if you have a mind to. And don’t be disheartened if something doesn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped. Just keep trying.

Providing food for your family is a valuable thing in God’s eyes. As Biblical Women, we sometimes have to remind ourselves of this Scripture: “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal 6:9). Let’s not grow weary trying to provide healthy, nourishing meals for our families. In due season, we will reap a harvest of better abilities and quality meals to offer our families if we don’t become dispirited when we have a “Lasagna Bomb.”

What’s your “Lasagna Bomb?” Add a comment to share your favorite recipe-gone-wrong story!

Check out My Favorite Lasagna at: http://cantstayoutofthekitchen.com/2012/07/01/my-favorite-lasagna/