One of the techniques I’ve shied away from has been making puff pastry. Although I can be fairly tenacious, when I feel like I’ve worked diligently on something and it doesn’t turn out, I’m not willing to jump back to the task to get it right. Let me adjust that — when it comes to something that isn’t important in the grander scheme of things, that is. Making puff pastry would fit into that category. If you’re a pro at making puff pastry, then you’re most likely thinking, “What a quitter. It’s not that challenging…” and I would agree temporarily, but being the contrary person I am by nature, I’d come back with, “Yes, but when’s the last time you tore down a fence in your pajamas on the spur of a Monday morning moment while enjoying your first cup of coffee?” And then I’d go inside and start a not quite puff pastry dough, but yeasted laminated dough all the same.
I think what annoys me most about my failings as a cook is the waste. Yes, I absolutely learn something in the process of failing and know it to be an extremely important aspect of learning, but it’s the time invested when I’ve put off doing something else. It’s the waste of product if it’s not eaten, and therefore, a waste of money as well.
Sounds grand, doesn’t it? It’s really because I don’t like having my butt kicked by a recipe.
A good strategy after a colossal failure is to break down the task. Perhaps begin again with something similar, but not quite as involved. After success once, give it another go and pat yourself on the back. Bask in the glow of your accomplishment and then instead of tackling the dreaded initial failure again, try another recipe, again similar, but a bit more involved. Practice developing patience with copious amounts of deep breathing. Think about those turns and all that butter nestled between those layers. Still not quite puff pastry, but getting close.
So very close. And some chocolate never hurts in the process, right?
I’ll get there. I will. You wait.