Me and My Spectacular Failures

I just finished a book about creativity called Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. She says that we should create no matter if we mess up or the result isn’t perfect. She says waiting to be perfect is the enemy of creativity.

And then it hit me. What I really dislike about almost every food blog or cooking show is the wall time wall supply of perfection.

I cook every day when I am home. That’s a lot of successes. And yet, when something doesn’t go right I REALLY feel bad. My confidence goes to the cellar. How ridiculous.

The one cook who I adore beyond example is Julia Child. She failed lots of times. On camera. Oh my. How she failed and just kept swinging. And nobody calls her a failure.

So I think I need to embrace my failures and share them with you. I might not do it every single week, but why not expose my crazy flops? I think we can all get a laugh and a boost out of revealing the flops for whatever reason they flopped.

My latest new dessert recipe was for a coconut cream pie. I was enchanted by the crust made out of coconut and the thin layer of chocolate between the crust and the custard. It was a Thai recipe and flavored the custard with not only coconut milk and coconut but with something called pandan leaf. This exotic leaf was nowhere to be found so I found basil listed as a substitute. It had toasted coconut and almonds with chocolate sprinkle on top.

It looked beautiful in the recipe picture. It looked beautiful on my kitchen counter. But oh NO, NO, NO. It tasted so bad. I can’t even. Matthew dutifully ate one piece and made no comment. Ugh, did it taste bad.

I don’t know why I didn’t just omit the basil. I mean, it said optional for crying out loud. Sometimes I am just too much for myself.

I didn’t do well on the crust either. It was too chewy. No. Run away from that disaster. It was a waste of a lot of ingredients, I am sad to say. But I did not feel bad about dumping it all in the trash.

Well next time I will obey “optional”. I will also not try to be clever by half again either; stick with the classic. Everything doesn’t want to be exotic or “improved.” Stick to my reliable pastry crust and custard with just coconut, thank you. Sigh.

Well my pile of recipes to try is shorter by one, but I am going to try another one soon, stand by. Because I’m not a failure. I’m not a terrible cook. I just made a bad choice here. There, I feel better.

btw – I am obsessed with Elizabeth Gilbert. She is living a creative and bucket list-able life. Her latest book is quite motivating. I recommend it highly if you’re a creative thinker/liver. It makes me want to be my best self and laugh the whole time I’m doing it!


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