9.13.2011

On Tart. And Failure.

On a not so distant Sunday, I did something I have never done before. I concocted a meal, off the cuff, with only the ingredients I had on hand. And nothing (I repeat nothing) came from a box.

The week before I had learned pie crust. I had used Rulman's Ratio for 3-2-1 crust : 3 parts flour. 2 parts fat. 1 part water. And I made pie.

On this particular day I wanted something savory but I also wanted to stick with something I knew. So I made pie crust. 3 parts flour. 2 parts fat. 1 part water.

I formed it into a tart. And then I filled it. With thick cut bacon, fried to a crisp, carmelized onions, roasted garlic, green pepper, banana pepper and sliced tomato. I loaded the top with freshly grated parmesan and put it in the oven. 350* sounded good. And then I waited.


And then I started to worry.

I worried because I had halved the dough recipe and it hadn't rolled out very well and I wasn't sure if it was going to hold together. I worried because the cheese was probably going to bake too fast (why hadn't I considered that before??). I worried because it *kind* of resembled a pizza but didn't have sauce - was it supposed to have sauce?!


Brent kept asking me what it was and I kept saying 'I don't know' and 'I hope you aren't too hungry' and 'It very well might suck'.


You see, I do not consider myself a perfectionist. But I tend to panic and give up quickly on things I'm not immediately good at or don't have the patience to learn. I was ready to pull that tart out of the oven, dump it in the trash and promptly order a pizza (which I know for a fact is supposed to have sauce).

I am now realizing how limiting this mindset is for my life. It is holding me back, paralyzed in exactly the place I am, wanting desperately to know what else is available to me and what I am capable of without having to take the first few painful steps to get there. It is preventing me from going through the process, which is really where all the learning takes place. It is keeping me from possibly ever making the world's most perfect savory tart, pulled warm from the oven to accolades from my husband.

I remind myself that It is ok to fail. Sometimes it is even necessary. This phrase needs to be on a loop reel in my head.

Obviously I have slightly loftier goals than making the most perfect tart. These are the things that occupy my mind when I have a spare moment. When I'm alone in my car. When I wake up in the middle of the night. They are beginning to consume me. And I know it's the fear of failure that is blocking their progress. That and a mortgage that unfortunately has not yet learned how to pay itself to allow me ample time to pursue whatever I wish. In the end I think they are going to win out though. In a way, just by writing this, they already have. How many times did Edison fail? 1000? If I reach 999 I'll start to worry.

Oh and in case you're wondering about the tart, it turned out fine. When in doubt, add more cheese.

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