Failure IS an option.

Last night, I paid a visit to my best friends, JB and Lindsey Bougher. Lindsey is one of the subscribers to my blog. We had missed an opportunity to get together around my birthday, so she set out to cook a fun dinner to celebrate.

Her goal was to make three dishes. Prep time proved to be so long on one of them that she opted for just two. The asian-inspired salad was chock full of great veggies like baby corn and bok choy and topped with a delicious homemade dressing. The homemade potstickers were the real winner, though. I must have eaten fourteen of them; I lost count! The dipping sauce seemed slightly thicker than the traditional sauce found in restaurants, but the flavor was spot on across the dish. They might have been the best potstickers I’ve ever had.

As the first batch was cooking, Lindsey became a bit distraught at their appearance. They didn’t seem to have the correct traditional shape and she feared they would be unappetizing. She said something to the effect that she never learns the lesson of not trying new things when entertaining friends. I insisted that was the best time to try new things, because unlike spouses, friends will give kinder yet honest critiques of the food. Of course, the first batch tasted incredible, so her fears were unrealized.

Presentation is almost as important an ingredient in successful dishes as flavor and aroma. At least, that’s what the cooking shows would have us believe. I think that makes us afraid to try making for ourselves some dishes because we don’t think we can achieve the same level of success across the board as the famous chefs and cooks do. Sure, it’s fun to “nail it” and have a recipe turn out just the way you expect. I also think it’s fun to eat a disaster and laugh about the experience later. So, take risks, change ingredients, use the wrong pan or the wrong utensil. Sometimes, catastrophic failures are just stunning successes in disguise. Enjoy!

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