A Rookie Mistake in the Kitchen – Hash Browns Anyone?

I actually think that I am not a half-bad chef. I know what I like to eat (I’ve had plenty of experience with that!), and even though I’ve never taken any formal cooking lessons, I watched my mother and grandmother prepare plenty of meals as a child. I can read and follow directions, usually, so cookbooks and foodie websites are my friends.

I am not usually afraid to experiment in the kitchen. However, the adventurous spirit in the kitchen comes with a willingness to occasionally fail.

Today, I failed, for the most part anyway.

After prepping a pot roast for tonight’s dinner, I had some leftover potatoes. Since I was about to make breakfast, and had just eyed the grater in my kitchen drawer, I decided I would throw together some restaurant-style hash browns. How hard could it be? A little onion, shredded potatoes, salt & pepper sautéed in a well-oiled pan. I had everything I needed.

This morning, I should have consulted my recipe book though. Shortly after I threw my freshly shredded potatoes in the pan, I knew something was wrong. They were not cooking well, but were getting pretty mushy. The stubborn mule in me, would not give up. I diligently watched over them, turning up the heat, and stirring them around, trying to cook the starchy moisture out of them.

Hash browns gone terribly wrong
Hash browns gone terribly wrong

After about 25 minutes, I was left with this.

I learned later (when I actually looked at the recipe book), that  omitted a key step in the process: rinsing and drying the shredded potatoes. Rookie mistake, indeed!

I thought about throwing away the plate of brown mushy potatoes, but I set it on the breakfast table as a joke. Surprisingly, my husband (a notoriously picky eater) and my son (who would try nearly anything) loved them! My son kept going back for more. By the end of breakfast, the entire plate of potatoes was nearly gone!

Go figure.

My son asked me if I would make them again. I told him I would, but that next time I’d try to make them even better.  His response: “Mom, you’re the best cook ever!” If he only knew.

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