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January 21, 2010

Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Homemade Pizza (er, how not to improvise when making pizza!)

The pizza might not look that bad, but let me tell you, looks can be deceiving!

As you all well know, we've been eating from the pantry this month. We've used up lots of odds and ends, we've tried some new recipes, and we've been eating better than usual because it's inspired me to cook and bake more.

And so far, the challenge has gone on without much mishap. Until last night, that is.

I had planned to make Homemade Pizza--something I've made countless times before. I already had the dough frozen and the meat cooked up, so I thought it would be a snap to pull off.

Well, it spiraled downhill quite quickly.

First off, the dough just didn't feel right when it thawed. Something seemed "off" but I couldn't place it, and I didn't have time to re-make it so I just rolled it out and went with it.

Then, I went to get the barbecue sauce out of the refrigerator and discovered we had used it all up. Oops.

Necessity is the mother of invention, right? So I attempted to replicate barbecue sauce using ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bad idea.

I pulled the thawed browned turkey out of the bag and noticed it also seemed really tough and dry. But I threw it on the pizza anyway along with some cheese. And then I stuck it in the oven without waiting for the oven to heat up entirely--which was also a dumb mistake.

When I pulled it out of the oven ten minutes later, I was congratulating myself on my improvisations and felt so happy that the pizza looked just fine despite the issues which had arisen while making it.

We cut it and starting eating it and I quickly stopped patting myself on the back. While the pizza looked just fine, it tasted awful. The crust was doughy and yeasty, the "barbecue sauce" was icky, and the meat was anything but appetizing.

All put together, the pizza was disgusting. In fact, I'm pretty sure it is the worst pizza I've ever had in my entire life.

We did our best to try and eat a few pieces, but we finally gave up and pulled out some Tyson Any'tizers we still had lurking in the freezer. And we did something we've never done before--we threw the homemade pizza out!

Maybe that seems wasteful, but the pizza wasn't fit for anyone to eat, believe me. However, the flopped pizza was good for something--we all had a hearty laugh over how bad it tasted. And we also were very relieved to remember that the Eat From the Pantry Challenge is almost over. Almost!

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Thanks for sharing your funny story and I'm thankful that you make mistakes too! :)

OH No! I am using my new bread maker to make my first ever pizza dough and we are making homemade pizza tonight with the kids! No offense, I hope mine works out better!!!

It's ok! It happens to all of us sometimes. I made the worst ziti ever when I had married a few months when I thought I could substitute a lot of garlic powder for minced garlic. Not Good!!! My husband still won't eat ziti out of fear.

This is hysterical! I've had the same type of mishap in my life too.

I think I'm going to copy you and try to live out of the pantry for the month of February. I suppose I should check to make sure I'm not going to have to bypass any triple coupon events first, though.

Your ability to laugh at yourself is killer! Thanks, Crystal.

Oh my goodness, I did a very similar thing recently with similar results. My poor husband tried valiantly to soldier through it but I thought I was going to be sick - my problem turned out to be BBQ sauce that had gone WAY past when it should have been used and was spoiled (I didn't know BBQ sauce could spoil, but evidently it can), plus a weird crust.

I make pizza crust once a week, you would think I would not mess it up, but evidently even the easiest recipes are sometimes subject to failure. We were kind of disappointed that pizza night turned into leftover beans and rice. :)

I think we have all experienced things like this...I made sausage bread and had some meat filling leftover so I boiled up some macaroni and combined it all together and froze it. It was pretty awful-the macaroni was pretty mushy and it was anything but good. Thankfully I had made a big salad!

I am really sorry that you had a bad cooking experience, but it makes me feel better about my own bad cooking experiences, which happen almost daily. My poor family... Thanks for all you do, and thanks for sharing!!

Hey, points for creativity, right??? :)

Oh no!!! I have an AWESOME BBQ sauce recipe at my site, if you're interested. What do you do with the dough? Get it mixed up and then freeze it before baking it? I'd be so interested in this. I've frozen a baked dough, but it uses too much space, so I don't do it often at all.

Thanks for being real... and funny about it too!

We've all been there- I'm just proud of you for continuing to be resourceful and eating out of your freezer instead of ordering take-out or going to the nearest drive through!

Poor thing! Reminds me of a lasagna I once made. Only I didn't realize that I had pulled frozen sloppy joes out of the freezer instead of italian meat sauce. It was horrible. Italian spices do NOT go with sloppy joe spices. Period. I'm still a little queasy thinking about it.

Thanks for sharing. I made a taco pizza in the past that was so dry my hubby had to take a drink with every bite. HAHA! We've tried homemade BBQ sauce in the past, too...never found a good recipe.
1 failure in 3 weeks...pretty good. :) Keep up the good work!

This made me laugh!

My husband and I did the same thing the first year we were married - only with a casserole. We had a recipe for a new casserole containing several of our very favorite foods. Guaranteed to be good, right? It was HORRID. We threw it out and went out to eat since we didn't have much in the house. I felt terrible about throwing out all that food (the recipe served 6!).

I've had that happen at least once a year for the last 12 years now! I keep telling myself I'm grateful it's not more often than that...

I guess, live and learn, and hopefully get better with age, huh?
He he. :)

I know that this sounds weird, but the one of the best pizzas that I have ever had included diced baked potatoes. We had it first in Rome and have replicated it many times using a Yukon baked potatoe. You could probably use canned white potatoes if you want to keep in the spirit of "pantry" items, but I cannot guaranty the taste.

I once made a BBQ chicken pizza, that uh - ended up in the trash!!

thanks for letting us laugh with you, glad you had a quick backup :)

Kuddos for you for trying - and thanks for preventing us from making the same mistake!!!

Some of my best memories are kitchen disasters!

I have also tried to make "homemade" BBQ sauce before...and we just couldn't take it. :) I'll take $1 store brand ANY DAY over that thing I concocted. :)

I did something like that turned out that the pizza dough had been in the freezer a bit too long, and when that happens, the yeast starts to die. That crust was HORRIBLE. I think we threw it out too. lol

I love your homemade pizza recipe. I haven't tried freezing the dough, before. Do you think that was just a fluke or do you think it doesn't work well in the freezer? I am due in 5 weeks, and I was hoping to make a bunch of batches of it to freeze.

It is soooo great to know that I am not the only one to make funny mistakes in the kitchen.(Remember my Thanksgiving Turkey Mishap!!!!) lol................

Sorry your pizza didn't work out. I have actually made several things over the years that were really that bad that we just threw it out and several that were edible but barely. All because I wanted to experiment or because I had to experiment because I didn't know I was out of something (or somethings!) and had already started making it.

Good for you to keep trudging through! Glad you had the backup food. That's when pizza night turns into peanut butter and jelly night!

I'm so sorry! BUT, I greatly appreciate your candor and the laugh you gave me... :-) You were right, too, it did look good anyway!

It happens to all of us. I once (when we were newly married and I didn't have much cooking experience) made navy bean soup.

First I used a 5 pound bag of beans which would have made enough for my husband's entire office. Then I boiled my hamhocks --which look waaaay too much like human knuckles--and by the time my soup was "done" I had about 5 gallons of bean jell-o flavored with greasy bones that looked like human knuckles in the pot. Not only did we throw out the whole pot-even though we couldn't afford to eat out then-but we both felt like maybe we should bury it in the backyard and read some scripture over it as well.

At the time I was in tears over it, now it makes both of us laugh. In fact if I ever want to go out to eat, all I have to do is threaten 'bean soup' and my husband RUNS for the car keys.

Also, I just wanted to thank you Crystal for being such an inspiration to us! Thanks to your help and support we will be debt free in 3 months (or less!) We have paid off over $45K in just under two years. You have changed our lives and are such a blessing to us!

Oh No! lol thanks for sharing.

I make bbq sauce for the pizza sauce and it works great. It is so yummy. The recipe is simple, too. It is:

approx. 1 c ketchup, 1 c salsa (or another c ketchup), 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire, 2-3 heaping tbsp unpacked brown sugar and 1-1 1/2 tbsp mustard (did you leave that out before?:)). If you'd like, this can simmer on the stovetop for a bit or it can go straight on your pizza as is. This covers 2 12-or-so-inch pizzas. It is soooo easy and my family love, love, loves it!

You win lose some! At least you can laugh about it. :)

I have a feature on my blog called Friday Follies featuring this very kind of frugal mess-up - and I know I've made more than a few of them, too! LIke when I bought Rome apples on sale, thinking they'd be good for school lunches - oh, they were horrible for eating out of hand! But they did make good applesauce.

We have a rule in our house for dinner time. No one gets a different dinner unless Mommy thinks its gross too. Thank goodness its only happened a few times.

Along the lines of not-so-great homemade pizza stories...DH and I had a theory that all Pillsbury refrigerated dough is basically the same. We had an abundance of crescent roll dough, and decided to try to using it as pizza crust. Turns out all Pillsbury dough is NOT the same. Crescent roll dough turns into really soggy pizza crust.

Im always scared to experiment in the kitchen. I was not raised with home cooking and am still learning the basics. My husband is the one who experiments in the kitchen and I'm always pleasently surprised as I'm the most pickiest eaters around! Thanks for the great story!

We had a flop earlier this week. I had planned to make meatloaf and the meat didn't smell quite right. It wasn't obviously bad, but when in doubt...throw it out. So we improvised with baked potatoes with bacon, sour cream, butter and cheese and a side of corn on the cob. Starchy! I have found that the creativity has to be employed as we near the bottom of our pantry.

Thanks for the laugh, Crystal! Thank goodness I'm not the only one who's had a meal end up in the garbage can...

Bummer. Once I made an allbran crust pizza (one of my favs) and we accidentally spilled leftover grease that was sitting on the oven top onto the pizza. What made it worse was I was pregnant and really hungry. Yuck.

Hugs to ya! I've loved reading your pantry challenge! You are super woman! Thanks for sharing the not so good meal too! has a great bbq sauce recipe. It has become a family favorite.

At least you didn't make it in multiples in a once a month cooking spree. A friend and I made a recipe we had never tried times four. Even the dog wouldn't touch it.

This was very funny! I've only made homemade pizza once. And since Papa John's will be at our apt complex today, we're having pizza, not from the pantry but still frugal at only $6!

That is too funny! Thanks, Crystal, for sharing the successes AND the failures!!

While cleaning out the freezer yesterday I ran into some old soup I had made. NO ONE like it! I thought about it and realized it was almost a year old. Eew! Out it went! It has been a long time since I threw food out too!

On the success side, I used up every bit of extra food I had in the freezer to make soup: chili, extra potatoes, all the vegetable purees I had made during my Jessica Seinfeld "sneak veggies into your cooking" stage, etc. It turned into the best minestrone! Everyone liked it! But the ingredients are our secret! Shh!

I'm really impressed that this was the 1st meal you ever had to throw out. You must be an excellent cook :-)

We love a wide variety of foods and I'm constantly trying new recipes.

We accept tossing the occasional dish as just part of the routine. Many new recipes aren't that good and not worth making a 2nd time, but some are truly gross!!

Last night we threw out an Italian Cream Cheese Chicken dish. It had red peppers, everyone's favorite...but it was inedible. I think we wasted $8 of food. :-( Live and learn.

I'm thinking you really don't need to apologize for throwing out that horrible of a pizza. Although I can think of one worse. Hungarian pizza is absolutely awful with ketchup instead of pizza sauce and no cheese. YUCK!!

Hi Crystal! Your honesty is hilarious and refreshing. =) NO ONE IS PERFECT! People try to put on a front and the truth is we can't control everything all the time. Thanks for sharing your many different life experiences. We ALL have our ups and downs. The best part is you were able to laugh it off and keep moving forward. Kudos to you Crystal!

Thanks for sharing! This made me laugh so hard, although I am sure it wasn't quite as funny when it actually happened. Some of the comments made me laugh out loud too, looks like it happens to all of us.

My husband always says he waits for me to say something like "Umm, it's not my favorite" before he will comment. Otherwise, if I don't say anything, he will just buck up and eat it.

Here's to another day in the kitchen..

Always good to have a funny reminder that we're not superwoman and we all need grace-- even if it's just over bad pizza or burnt cornbread (my oops...) Glad you guys had a good laugh over it... it made me smile and reminds me of all my mishaps

Always good to know that I'm not in the boat alone!

And you made a it wasn't a complete loss!!!

At least it looked good!

This reminds me of a time I made sweet-n-sour chicken for my husband. I called for the chicken pieces to soak in a bisquick mixture, then cook them in oil. I dumped EVERYTHING into the pot (chicken, bisquick and vegetables). My husband lovingly called it pancake chicken. IT. WAS. GROSS.

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