Megan at SortaCrunchy hosts a weekly Green Resource Carnival, where bloggers share all sorts of practical tips. It's a wealth of information!
In my Take Twelve post I referred to our failed ice cream. I did everything I always do to make ice cream, but for whatever reason it didn't freeze. I almost threw out the cold-but-not-cold-enough concoction, but I hated to think about wasting all those ingredients - heavy cream and milk and sugar and chocolate. So, not knowing exactly what I would do with it, I stashed it in the refrigerator.
The next day was chilly, and Juliette was cold when she got home from school. She asked (nicely!) for some hot chocolate. I should say I'm kind of a mean mama about hot chocolate, though Juliette hasn't figured that out yet. Instead of powdered cocoa mix, I generally mix a teaspoon of Trader Joe's organic chocolate syrup into a cup of warm milk. It's not nearly as chocolately as "real" hot cocoa, but she loves it and it's considerably healthier. When I opened the fridge to grab the syrup, I saw the pitcher full of ice cream goo. Aha! I thought. I mixed some of that with some milk and warmed it up. It was so good I had to make some for Ben and me, too. We had more than we could use (well, I suppose we could have drunk all our ice cream soup right up, but that doesn't mean we should have drunk all our ice cream soup right up!), so I poured the rest in a storage container and passed it along to our neighbor.
I did the same thing with a ratatouille that failed last summer; I was loathe to toss all those farmers market veggies in the trash. So, I froze it, and later I figured out a way to resurrect it as a decent soup. It wasn't the best thing we've ever eaten, but it was a good autumn dinner with a bit of crusty bread.
The moral of the story is this: don't trash your cooking disasters immediately. Save them, and wait for your ingenuity to overcome your disappointment.