When Everything Goes Wrong

Making of espresso coffee on a home presso cof...

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Last weekend I brewed some espresso (Do you “brew” espresso?  Clearly I’ve never been a barista.) in the morning and put it in the fridge to cool so we could enjoy iced coffee in the hotter afternoon.  A few hours later Husband decided to walk to the grocery store a few blocks away and pick up something he wanted to have with supper, so while he and Little Miss did that I set about making dinner.

In the process of getting dinner ready I rediscovered the espresso I’d made that morning, and in an instant I was inspired.  “I’m going to make dessert!”  I hurriedly pulled out all of my recipe cards and cook books and flipped through them, hoping that if I found something that looked good and I needed an ingredient I could call Husband and have him grab it while at the store.

Surprisingly, the recipe I settled on was one for which I actually had all ingredients, so I set about putting together this delicious chocolate cake recipe.

I had grand hopes and dreams for this cake.  It would be long and narrow.  It would be layered – with at least six small layers with rich homemade frosting in-between.  It would have a squiggly design in the frosting on the top, and sliced almonds pressed into the frosting on the sides.  And it would be amazing with iced espresso and movie night with Husband.

To make a long story short, several hours later there was a square pile of collapsed chocolate mush on the table, resembling more of a section of unmaintained backroad highway than the gorgeous bourtique bakery-worthy piece of heaven I had intended to create.  To add insult to injury the frosting tasted more like chocolate butter than delicious creamy icing.

I was disappointed, but Husband tried it, insisted it was delicious, and proceeded to enjoy it with his iced coffee while we watched a movie together on the couch.

Enter Tuesday night.

Determined to prove myself domestic to the man who grew up with a fabulous cook for a mother who had dinner on the table even when she wasn’t there, I insisted on making supper.  “Thai Rice” the recipe said, and my handwriting smiled from next to the title: “Delicious!”  It was a simple enough recipe, but it called for premade vegetable broth, which we didn’t have (we’re vegetarian, so we don’t have chicken or beef stock in the house, either).  Instead of running to the store, I grabbed some powdered fake “chicken” broth and added it to some water.

This wouldn’t be a problem except that I incorrectly assumed I knew the proper amount of powder to add per cup of water.  Incorrectly being key in this sentence.

Long story short the dinner was waaaaaay salty and overseasoned and I couldn’t eat more than a few bites.  Husband, who hates to waste food (do all men do this, or just the ones in my life?), ate most of his bowl, and then we tossed the rest.  No sense in saving leftovers no one will touch until they’re walking on their own accord out of the fridge.

It was at this point that I let myself wallow.  “I suck at cooking!” I muttered to myself as I slammed cupboard doors and glared at the stove.

The next thing I knew, my legs were trapped in the biggest spontaneous bear hug they’ve ever received.  I looked down and Little Miss had her arms wrapped around my knees.  I bent down and kissed her on the cheek and thanked her for the hug.  She gave me a kiss back and then pranced on back to her toys in the other room.  I’ll admit it right here: I cried.

Kids pick up on things more than we expect – I hear that all the time, but…I never expected that!  When I shared this story with a friend, she said something I absolutely love:

“When i feel like i can’t do anything right, I mentally step outside my body and look at my daughter and my husband. Those are two things i did perfectly right, no matter what else happens in my life.”

Yeah…she’s right.

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