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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Failure Can Be a Good Thing

I have always had a "can do" sort of attitude regarding life. Whether it's re-screening windows or putting together a new college course, I like a challenge and I love learning new things. The internet helps, of course. All those "how to" YouTube videos are a life saver.

What I imagined I would make
Thus, when I announced to my husband earlier this week that I was going to make crepes for dinner - never having made them before - I felt reasonably confident that it wouldn't be that difficult. I pictured  a stack of delicate, even, golden brown crepes. Le Cordon Bleu would hear about them and offer me a fully funded position in their program.

In some ways I was correct (hint: it wasn't the Le Cordon Bleu part). Making crepes isn't difficult per say: the batter is simple and the cooking process is quite similar to making pancakes. However, I hadn't realized that crepe making is such an art.

Halfway through the process I decided I didn't like the recipe I had chosen and combed the internet for an alternative. I switched pans. I switched from butter to oil. I switched spatulas. I played with the amount of batter I used and the temperature of the pan. I questioned my decision to not own a single non-stick pan. Needless to say, by the time I made my last crepe in the batch I had some idea what I was doing, but they weren't going to be winning any awards.

They weren't uniform in size or thickness. Some of them were too pale, some were too dark. I filled my ragtag looking crepes with sautéed spinach, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, ricotta, and fresh rosemary. The filling process did nothing to improve the look of my crepes. They tore. They refused to fold evenly. They oozed ricotta.

The reality...

They were absolutely delicious. We avoided looking at our plates, but our tastebuds sang praise for the cooking gods. This weekend I will be making a second attempt, and this time I plan to produce at least one that doesn't look like it has been run over by a bus.

We don't talk about our failures enough, especially on social media. But the best part about failure is that it gets you one step closer to success. You can learn, you can adapt, and you can call the 5 crepes you just ate "research" rather than "gluttony."

Get out there and try something new, whether it's a new recipe or a new hobby. Share your failures and your successes with others. I am quite proud of my first batch of ugly crepes. I know it's the first step towards making something that both tastes and looks beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. May I just say what a comfort to discover someone who genuinely understands what they're discussing on the internet.
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