Last night I tried two new recipes for supper. I think I may have gotten a bit over-confident. I’ve always been one to say that I didn’t mind trying and failing because there’s always lessons in failure. In my mind, the greatest failure is to never try or to give-up. Right? That is what I believe? I think. OK, well, maybe its easier to say that when I’m not so close to a failure. It’s easy to say when you’ve not failed recently or are one of those few people who seem to be great at everything they do!
Two years ago because of my son’s food allergies (you can read about here), I started cooking more along the lines of “whole foods”. OK, we still use pre-packaged pasta and pasta sauce but I’m doing no meals-in-a-box and cook most of our meals from “scratch”. When I first started doing this I had several failures but recently I’ve gotten quite good with my cooking and baking. I’ve been confident in my ability to turn-out good and nutritious food for my family. My expectation was that my dinner last night would go smoothly.
Here was the menu with the new recipes bolded: Baked Chicken, Razorback Potatoes, Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots. I was so excited about this menu. I couldn’t wait for everyone to get home so we could eat which is probably why the sense of failure hit me so hard.
The Baked Chicken turned out amazingly! The skin was crispy and the chicken was moist. This I will be repeating due to its awesomeness. If you want that recipe, it will be posted (eventually) in the blog linked above.
As soon as my family got home, I ushered them into the already set table with the food laid out like Christmas Dinner. My daughter and son were super excited about dinner and everyone quickly sat down. The food handed out. My husband tried the potato first. His first and only real comment (without being asked) was “The potatoes aren’t cooked”. I was hurt and at first denied it. Truth was, they were undercooked.
The potatoes will be repeated. As I mentioned above I don’t fail often and really HATE failing! I’m no good at it. And the flavor was good, I really just needed to cook it longer. I learned from this two valuable lessons, 1) cook the potatoes longer 2) Failure often comes when we least expect it.
Here I was confident and feeling good about my success in the kitchen. And then I failed. I most definitely wasn’t expecting to fail at such a simple task of baking a potato. After all, I’d accomplished allergy-free baking, how could I actually fail at a potato? Its simple truth that failure comes when we least expect it. And failure is good, it grounds and humbles us. I now have a new focus. Its to succeed but to be mindful of overconfidence.
Embrace failure as it not only teaches us a lesson to prevent it in the future but it helps humble us. Have you failed at something recently? What lessons did you learn? Was it humbling?