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  • Kristan Higgins

Cooking disasters I have known

Updated: May 2, 2022


One of my favorite scenes in WAITING ON YOU is when Colleen cooks dinner for her first love. She wants to impress him, of course, and she thinks—as I do—that if you can read, you can cook. Also, she doesn’t want to give her twin brother, who is a chef, the satisfaction of acknowledging that what he does takes talent. The result of Colleen’s culinary endeavor is…well, let’s say it’s not exactly what she had in mind.

Which brings us to my own cooking disasters, and the cooking disasters of some of my loved ones.


Roast Chicken: You’re supposed to thaw the chicken. (Where is that in the instructions, huh?) Also, they hide a little package of internal organs inside the chicken. Who knew? My smoke detector, that’s who.

Pot Roast, Mother-in-Law’s recipe: I don’t know if this was deliberate or not, but I’ve never had food poisoning before or since. Was it perhaps a warning to me that I’d better produce some grandchildren, or otherwise I was just taking up space? Maybe.


Beef stew, Mom’s recipe: Braise some poor quality beef. Add half a can of Budweiser. Drink the other half. Toss in some carrots. Serve to children. Go out to dinner with husband.

Pancakes, McIrish’s Version. Let’s just say that one of the few things I make better than McIrish are pancakes, and this is intolerable to the lad. So he decided to one-up me in the pancake division. Except he used powdered sugar instead of flour. Ha! Take that, McIrish! I’m still the winner!

Jelly Roll, Auntie’s recipe: You know how you roll the cake in a dishcloth? You’re supposed to take the dishcloth out before you put it in the oven. Live and learn.


Don’t forget that a portion of preorders and first-week sales of WAITING ON YOU will benefit Fisher House Foundation, which provides a home away from home for military families while a loved one is in the hospital. AND…my publisher will match my donation. How wonderful is that?


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