Anyone who knows me knows that I am a pretty cautious person. Although I am known for listening to my heart even when it makes no logical sense, it’s a rare occasion indeed when I do something risky just for fun. I am a careful driver, I have no desire to go skydiving, and I have an irrational fear of sharks. It takes awhile for me to loosen up when dancing around people, and I still struggle with singing in front of a crowd.
But in the kitchen, I am a risk taker.
I’m sure that my childhood friend, Maggie, remembers when we decided to make Hamburger Helper without the hamburger. We must have also added about a cup of salt because it was disgusting. My brother still won’t let me live down the fact that I once made chocolate chip cookies for a friend’s parents, and wanted them to be special – so I added maple syrup and burnt them. To clarify, Yes, I did still give them the cookies. None of my roommates were home last semester when the overflowing cake attacked our oven, and you bet I cleaned it up before they got home, but I still remember how excited I was as I placed my creation into the oven – and how terrified I was when I saw how large it had become.
Clearly, I love to experiment in the kitchen – and I’ve had just as many failures as I have had successes (although my failures are decreasing, and my successes are increasing the more experienced I become).
Recently, I was having a friend over for dinner and randomly decided that I would make something I had never made before – with no recipe. I just kinda made stuff up – hoping that it wouldn’t turn into a salty hamburger helper relapse.
Did I mention that it was a baked spaghetti squash casserole covered in cheese? As you can imagine, that means I couldn’t try it before placing it on the table. I just had to cross my fingers under the table and watch as he bit in…
and then I saw it
that OH-DANG-THIS-IS-GOOD-I-MISS-MY-MOM’s-COOKING look.
A flood of euphoria rushed over me. I had played a risky game and won, and as I took a bite, I looked back with gratitude on all the ruined experiments that had led to this success…
and looked forward to the next game.