Okay. Right. Here goes. *Deep breath in* I feel that it is time to spill the beans on one of my not-so endearing traits. I am a perfectionist. And not just any bog-standard perfectionist. I am on the extreme end of the spectrum. The end that leads to slightly lunatic break downs when things don’t turn out, well for lack of a better word, perfectly. Strangely, it was something I used to be proud of. Until I realised how much it was controlling my life. But hey, this post isn’t meant to be a miserable one – just a warning to anyone who is guilty of the trait themselves, don’t let it consume you. It’s not fun.
Now that I am learning to control urges such as studying frenetically from the point of getting out of bed in the morning to getting back in in the evening (sad, I know), it is actually quite funny to look back on seemingly ‘disastrous’ situations and my reactions to them. Particularly those that took place in the kitchen.
What brought this post about was the catastrophe that took place last night. I was ever so excited to try out a recipe for Nepalese momos after developing a slight addiction for them at Oxford. At times, the stall at Wednesday produce markets had a line that extended out of the markets themselves. That was how good they were. Anyway, back on track, I spent close to two hours preparing the dipping sauce, the dough and the filling. Everything was running smoothly. Until it came to forming the momos. The pastry was too sticky, regardless of how much flour I added. When I stacked the circles of rolled pastry up, they all stuck to each other. They also stuck to each other whilst steaming. I was tired. I was hungry. I was frustrated – why were they not perfect?! Add these components together and we have one girl covered in flour with big fat tears rolling down her face. Not a pretty sight. On seeing my disheveled state, the rest of the household disappeared fairly quickly! In the end I was able to salvage enough to form, an if not respectable, but adequate meal for three. The rest of the dough and filling was shoved unceremoniously back in the fridge, to be dealt with at a later date. So the momos did not turn out as planned, particularly in the looks department (a mangled mess if you were wondering), but they tasted fine. Better than fine actually. It just goes to show that there is no point sobbing over spilt milk.
I mean, a girl does just have to shed a tear at times, however most seemingly catastrophic situations can be fixed. Take the time when the oven decided to choke just after I had put the cheesecake for Dad’s birthday in. It worked just fine all morning but decided that after I had laboriously made the crust and whipped the filling by hand for what seemed like hours it would breathe it’s last breath. Cue tears and foot stamping. Yes, I actually did stamp my foot.
Disasters do happen in the kitchen, and perhaps more frequently than I would like. Sometimes they are situations out of our control (such as the oven incident) and it is important to keep that in perspective. We all make mistakes, some rather more embarrassing than others (plain flour in scones is not a good idea), and more often than not we learn from them (read the recipe).
So what am I getting to? I am not going to document everything I cook, however I do plan to include some of the not so perfect results. Just to prove that we are all human, no one is invincible in the kitchen, and that whilst it might not be funny at the time, it is often hilarious to look back on. And if a dish doesn’t quite look how it was meant to, pretend that you intended for it to be that way. No one will be the wiser! After all cooking is meant to be enjoyable, not stressful.