Saturday, August 8, 2009

Everyone is imperfect

Yesterday, after my shambles of a meatball experiment, I canceled a cooking meetup I had scheduled for tonight. And I had thought making meatballs had to be easy. After all, what was it but mixing meat and some bread and other odds and ends into one round ball and then...well, that's where it fell apart. Turns out that i had no concept of how meatballs were made, whether they were fried or baked. I had no cooking thermometer that went over 220 degrees so I had no idea of whether the oil was hot enough to fry. I worried about bringing undercooked splodgy masses of meat and everyone falling ill. I made substitutions on a recipe I had never tried before. Anyway, it turned out this would not have been a big deal, as I had gotten an email from someone in the group who urged me to come along anyway as they had made plenty of food and told me

I urge you to join us regardless how your recipe turns out. We all screw up in the kitchen every now and then - it's why we experiment in the kitchen!!!Trial and error. Heck, we can all learn from each others mistakes...I bet you'd have some good info to share with us!!

That just knocked me for a loop. First, the fact that someone I didn't even know would reach out to encourage me in my cooking despondency, but also the advice. We all screw up. In the kitchen, in life, in relationships. We all screw up. Period. Even the people who drive me absolutely bonkers at work...they screw up. The people I know vaguely who lead very privileged lives with beautiful homes, who go on these mind blowing vacations that I can only dream about...they screw up. Everyone does. Some just might be better at hiding it than others. I got so caught up in my mistakes, whether at work or home or in the kitchen or wherever, that I forgot about actually learning from my mistakes. For example, like reading through a recipe thoroughly before telling the world that i'm going to make it so I know that I don't have all of the equipment. Or in this case, just accepting that yes, i could still go to this dinner, yes i should go but I won't. Because I'm tired. Because I'm four shades of crazy due to pms. Because after the last few days at work, the thought of being around people just makes me want to go hide under the bed for awhile.

I am still psyched in the end. I tried the greek meatballs recipe. But instead of meatballs, I had greek meatloaf by pureeing the onion/garlic into a soft paste and mixing that in and skipping the milk step altogether. Then i put a layer of fat free feta cheese in between meatloaf layers. Tres yummy. Trial and error works after all.

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