Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Did I Do That?

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).

Serves: 2


Dave said...

Relax and forgive yourself. Wite-out wasn't invented just for fun you know.


StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Isn't it funny how we tend to be so much less forgiving of ourselves than of others? I am the same way too. However, I'd forgive anything for a bite of that beautiful souffle! It looks wonderful!

Kelly said...

I don't care what mistake occured in your world..as long as I could scarf that up..its all good...

Kitchen Flavours said...

It looks yum. Nice blog. Gr8 pics.

Grace said...

please tell me that you were channeling steve urkel with that title and i'm not the only one who heard his voice in her head as she read it...
meanwhile, don't be so hard on yourself! live and learn (and then get luvs). great quotes, and great souffle. :)

apparently, i watch too much tv.

Sarah said...

Dave: So true! Thanks :)

Stickygooey: I think that it's human nature; we all look at what we do more critically than what others do. At least we get the benefit of forgiveness from other people for our goof ups! Thank you for the compliment!

Kelly: It IS all good! And very easy to make!

Kitchen flavours: Thank you, and welcome!

Grace: Yes!!! I wondered if anyone would pick up on that! I miss the quality TV of the 1990's :) Thank you :)

Krysta said...

as long as you don't make the mistake over and over again, it's all good.

if it makes you feel better, i get all upset when i make a mistake on my blog and i catch it three days later or i worry about some dumb mistake from years ago that everyone has forgotten about.

Foodycat said...

Oh yum! A goof-proof souffle? What an amazing thing! And I am amazed by the beauty of those pistachios. Is the skin really so violet?

bb said...

Wow...nice forgiving comments, which is good, I guess. is it too shallow that all I want to know is WHAT was the mistake? Maybe I've been reading too many US magazines. Damn that schadenfreude...although I would be the last one to throw stones!
Very nicely written post, and that recipe looks like the perfect antidote for almost anything...thanks for sharing!!

Sarah said...

Krysta: True, we should learn from our mistakes; I feel better so long as I don't go down the same road twice!

Foodycat: Thanks! These pistachios are salted, which I think brings out the violet outer skin in this photo.

Bb: The mistakes that you read about in most US magazines are much, much more glamorous than my goof-ups! I wish that I could claim that I screwed up by blowing $75,000 in a single month on Juicy couture for my chihuahua, but unfortunately my screw-ups this week are unglamorous and work-related, which makes them totally pedestrian by comparison :) However, I'm cheered by the thought of how many executives, politicians and celebrities screw up in such public ways; at least my failures are relatively unimportant (and free of highly-paid call girls, billions of dollars, and/or weeks in rehab)!