I make mistakes in life. This happens.
I tend to beat myself up about a mistake. I dwell on it. If, perchance, I get distracted and forget about the mistake, it will lurk in the outer edges of my mind. Mistakes have all the time in the world to make their presence felt. A mistake is patient in that way. The mistake gathers itself on its haunches as I fall asleep, then pounces, fangs bared. I wake up, heart pounding, and consider my mistake.
Why do screw-ups always seem worse at two o'clock in the morning? If I had the answer to that, perhaps I could corner the market on sleep aids.
Here's something that never fails to surprise me: the person from whom you least expect compassion is often the most gracious about your mistake. And for that, I am thankful.
Viewing my errors of the week in the best light possible, they are not so bad. They just make me look stupid for a short period, which I can live with.
Maybe Oscar Wilde had it right: "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes." Or maybe Elbert Hubbard was even more right: "The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
Time to move on--and learn from my experiences.
Here is a goof-proof dessert for the error-prone.
Swirled Summer Berry Souffle
Adapted from Anabel Langbein's recipe featured in Food and Wine
2 cups raspberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/2 tablespoon water
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 tablespoons salted pistachios, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium saucepan, combine the raspberries with the granulated sugar, water, vanilla and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring often. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold very soft peaks. Gradually beat in the superfine sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, and continue beating until glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes longer. Gently swirl in 3/4 cup of the berry mixture, leaving streaks in the beaten whites.
Spoon the remaining berry mixture into two 1-cup ramekins. Top with the soufflé mixture, mounding it slightly. Sprinkle with the pistachios. Bake the soufflés for 6 minutes, or until golden on top (or, if you're like me, deep brown on the tips with a caramely crunch).