when things go to 💩
*First published via email on Friday, March 1, 2019. Click here to subscribe.
Last night, my dad made me laugh like I haven't laughed in a while.
So I've been playing around with macarons (making them I mean) for the last two months. The first batch I ever made, for Melo's birthday, came out peeerrrfect. (I used this video and this recipe for coffee flavored macarons.) My family loved them, and I was pretty friggin' proud of myself. I decided, "Hey, macarons aren't that hard!"
I've made about 6 more batches after that.
All six looked like little dookies 💩 and were horrible. Like for real. I haven't been able to recreate my first batch. What. the. hell. Apparently, macarons really are super finicky.
So I've been on a mission to figure out what is going wrong.
One time, I poked through the yolk and lazily tried to continue with the batter. The egg whites did not whip up correctly. What came out of the oven were little 💩s. Alright, lesson learned - make scrambled eggs and start over.
With 3 of the batches, the batter didn't dry out correctly. I was trying to make matcha macarons. We got 3 batches of different shaped green 💩s.
The 5th time, I realized I didn't do my math correctly. I was trying to make smaller batches than what's shown in the video I linked to above, but I'm a terrible multitasker. I can't even have music on when I bake or I fuck something up royally. And I think I had a podcast on. So instead of doing the math for a smaller portion of ground coffee, I dumped all 2 tablespoons in there. So we got a batch of brown 💩s.
Now this 6th and most recent time (yesterday), I was trying to show my mom while making them because she wanted to bring some for friends that she and Dad are visiting this weekend. Ugggghhh - whyyyyyy. So I made the original big batch hoping that they would turn out like the first time I made them (perfect, lol). So I used 3 eggs...which called for ONE cup of almond flour. Buutttttt for whatever reason...I ended up dumping THREE cups of almond flour in there. UGH.
At the dinner table last night, Mom and I mentioned our failed macarons, and Dad straight up BELLY LAUGHED. He was laughing SO HARD. And if you ever see my dad laugh or hear him laugh, you can't help but laugh too.
Mom was a little offended for me so she's like, "Why are you laughing?! Stop laughing!"
Dad barely sputtered out, "Wasn't (gasp) that the same (gasp) mistake (gasp) last time (gasp) with the math???? HAHHAHAHHAHAA!!!!"
Omg the whole table was crying from laughing so hard. Dad raised us to be really good at math (he's an electrical engineer), so he always finds it hilarious when we make simple math mistakes in real life.
I love my dad. And weird as it sounds, I think I was meant to make one great batch and 6 horrible ones and keep forcing my family to taste them. Each time, they've been nothing but supportive and hopeful. "It'll be better next time. Don't give up!"
And I was also meant to see my dad laugh so hard at my 6th awful batch he was doubled over with his face practically in his dinner plate because I was reminded that THAT is how we can respond to our mistakes instead of calling ourselves failures.
With baking, I noticed that I'm much more inclined to "try again." To brush off something gross I made and just try again. With all other things in life...not so much.
And I'm asking myself, "Why not?" For example, instead of telling ourselves how horrible we are for making the same mistake AGAIN, why don't we just laugh about it? How can we find the humor in the situation?
Besides, making repeated mistakes is required sometimes for us to "learn our lesson."
I know this a very lighthearted email about something as trivial as baking macarons, and I know that in real life, the mistakes we make can feel a lot heavier. But in the end, I truly think it's our perception that makes it feel heavy. A question we can ask ourselves is, "How can this feel lighter?"
So, now that I've made a similar proportion mistake, I think I'm going to sit down, do the math, and write it down on my own piece of paper (instead of looking at the recipe on my phone). Hopefully, 7th time's the charm. But I'll keep ya posted on that. 😂
Have a beautiful Friday, and I hope this made you chuckle a bit.
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