There are very few things that I produce that is perfect, and moreover, that I think will be perfect: putting on an event, writing, getting to point A to point B…
It’s my mindset. It’s not going to be perfect, and that’s totally okay.
I’m not saying that I strive for mediocrity Far from that. However, what I produce will be tweaked and prodded by others, taking on a new, most often better form than the original. I welcome improvements, I welcome feedback, hell, I welcome being flat out wrong (okay…”welcome” is a bit strong here…no one likes being wrong…). There are lots of self-proclaimed perfectionists in the world, and I say, awesome (that sounds tiring, but cool), I need you on my team.
I tend to avoid baking precisely because of its perfectionist properties. You need an exact amount of leveling agents or things won’t rise; sometimes you even weigh ingredients to get the right ratio for the perfect texture; you have to let things heat up to an exact temperature for chemical reactions to occur, you have to stir or mix things just so, overdo it and you’re doomed. DOOMED. Whoa, that’s a lot of pressure.
One Sunday morning I decided to make ginger scones, after partaking* on a scone at a little shop downtown. I thought, as I often do with ready-made foods that I purchase, “I can make this.”
I chose this recipe from the Epicurious blog. I wasn’t even deterred by the fact that I had to freeze butter before I could even begin to make this recipe. Luckily I distracted the starving Workout Buddy with a whole wheat waffle with lemon curd I happened to have lying around,** and words like, “the scones will be ready pretty soon.”
So, I quickly…froze some butter and went to work. I added flour, baking powder, blah blah blah, and then added the butter and processed until the flour mixture “resembles course meal.”
Let me show you something:
Now, this is far from the look of course meal. Yet, I couldn’t turn back. I wasn’t about to put the mixture back into the food processor after dumping it into my mixing bowl like I know so many people would. Trepidation and I forged on.
Despite my imperfection, I have come home from work and been like, “high five, I totally just kicked ass at that day,” or after an event that I’ve helped to organize, I’ve reflected with the team and we’ve concluded, “that was pretty much amazing.” We all agree: things went smoothly, people donated money for the first time, or increased their giving, people met one another, and importantly, everyone had a great time. Beautiful.
I’m reminded of Barack Obama’s inauguration speech earlier in January, “We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. But we must act.” I couldn’t agree more.
In the end, the Workout Buddy and I had this exchange:
Me: Do you want another scone?
*”Partake” sounds so delicate. That scone was down my gullet in about 20 seconds.
** I love the phrase, “just lying around…” and the thought of having a wheat waffle lying around… Meheh.