the bitter(sweet)ness of failure

Last night, I failed. I had been lustfully examining a recipe for Bronzed Sea Bass with Lemon Shallot Butter, and last night was the finally the night to attempt it. I had purchased a new ovensafe pan for the occasion, done a preliminary grocery run for my fish (I chose salmon...there is no sea bass in this city, I'm fairly certain), and a second grocery run for the shallots and lemon that my usual grocery spot didn't have. The recipe seemed incredibly simple, and the fish came out beautifully. But the sauce? Oh, the sauce. I killed the sauce. I demolished the sauce. I salted the sauce's bones and burned it, so no sauce would ever grow in its place.

This was my first real kitchen failure. I'd made things I wasn't wild about before, but it was usually a bad recipe selection. I'd made things that didn't turn out just how I wanted, but were fine anyway. This was the first time I failed so utterly that what I'd made was completely inedible.

It was disappointing. Perhaps a tad humbling. But...hey. It happened. And these things do happen. This doesn't seem super relevant to fashion until I ask you to think back...did you ever plan the perfect outfit, only to put it on and see how horrible it looked? Did you buy something that you just don't like anymore, so now it haunts you every time you open up the closet? Did you feel rockin' in the morning, only to catch your reflection later in the day and go What was I thinking??

Happens to me all the time. But what can you do? Shake it off, let it go, move on, make it work. My salmon was delicious, and I ended up having it with a perfectly lovely bearnaise sauce (...from a mix). Sometimes things don't work out the way you planned, and that's okay. Sometimes they're better! And sometimes they're not...those times, you just have to take a deep breath and keep on trucking. I definitely pouted over the pathetic charred remains of my sauce for a few minutes, poking at it with my whisk. How had my kitchen skills failed me thus? (I'm suspecting it was the electric stove which failed me thus, fyi, though that's no excuse since I've been cooking with one my entire life.) But standing there and being upset only accomplished one thing: me not having any sauce for my waiting delicious salmon. When things go wrong like that, it makes sense to take a moment to be upset, but there's no use dwelling on something that you're too late to fix.

And didn't it turn out marvelously in the end?

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