Let me tell you a story about a soup that was a disaster but then wasn’t.
I dutifully soaked the beans overnight, thawed buttermilk from the freezer, got onions in the pot as soon as we got home. An hour later and those beans were still hard, the crispy onions were maybe just a tad bit past crispy, the thyme we subbed for mint was making our entire kitchen smell like dirt. This dinner had all the makings of an episode of deep disappointment for me.
I read these recipes beforehand, I spend money on the ingredients, I envision myself cooking them, eating them, loving them. When reality doesn’t live up to my expectations, it can throw me for a real loop and my reactions are not healthy or helpful. Like eating one bad meal or worse, throwing away one bad meal and having to resort to a Plan B that I never even considered existing, could ruin my life?
So imagine my shock when I was so chill about that soup. The beans were NOT “creamy,” the onions maybe tasted a little bit charred, that thyme oil was gross and went down the drain. And guess what? The soup was still really good!!! How?! Maybe my lax attitude willed it into deliciousness? Let’s not question these things.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this was a Lesson Learned Moment and I’m now imperceptible to cooking failure disappointment? I’d like to pretend it is, but I know it isn’t. I’ll still watch 50 videos on how to make pasta then feel like a failure if I don’t do it to perfection. I’ll still be upset if I buy an expensive cut of meat and overcook it. I’ll still be sad if my pancakes stick to the pan and I have to eat toast instead. But maybe just one less instance here and there is progress.