Common Mishaps in the Kitchen

I am quite sure that even the most experienced chefs make mistakes in their kitchens...where does that leave us common cooks?? We decided to list out common mishaps/mistakes that happen in most kitchens.

1) When making Idly/Dosa batter (especially when living in colder conditions) - Do not forget to add salt and keep the batter in a warm place. We usually keep it inside the oven. Some ovens come with a light, making it easier to keep the batter warm. For ovens without a light, preheat the oven at a low temperature, switch off and then keep the batter inside.

2) This one comes from personal experience...when making white sauce, always...always keep the heat on low or at the most on medium low. Anything more than that and the butter is bound to burn and you will end up with brown sauce..which is not all that appetizing.

3) One more from our own kitchen...this happened when we were baking our first batch if blueberry muffins. We added all the ingredients, including baking soda that had been in the fridge for a while. The muffins rose really well and we couldn't wait to take a bite out of the yummy looking muffins. But the first bite turned out to be our last too...the muffins had a bitter aftertaste. We were not sure why the taste was there. After some research, we realized that old baking soda gives out a pungent taste.
We immediately threw the packet out and bought a new packet (we bought baking powder instead of soda). This substitution works for most recipes. The result...perfectly well-risen muffins sans the aftertaste. From what we read, baking powder remains fresh when refrigerated.
A test for its freshness - A pinch added to hot water should bubble up. If not, remember it is time for a new packet.

4) Here is another baking tip for all the ardent bakers out there. When using chocolate chips for cakes/muffins please use the smallest ones available in the market. We tried a batch of chocolate chip muffins with big chips and they settled to the bottom of the muffins. By the time the muffins were ready, the chips had burnt and gave out a bitter taste.

5) Please please do not keep milk on the stove and go away from the kitchen. I was planning to set curd and as a preparation had kept milk to warm. Thinking that it was on low, I went to the living room and began writing the falafel recipe to be put on the blog. Suddenly, my mother in law said she could smell something burning and I ran to the kitchen to see the milk boiling over (oops...I had left it on medium heat). The burnt smell refused to go and I am currently sitting with a fragrant candle burning in my kitchen.