Things don’t always go according to plan, especially when you arrange a dinner party but don’t know how to cook. To celebrate her birthday, Bridget invited her closest friends to her apartment for a menu of veloute of celery, char-grilled tuna on veloute of cherry tomatoes coulis with confit of garlic and fondant potatoes, and confit of oranges with Grand Marnier creme anglaise.
I mean, how hard could it be?
No surprise, the meal — most literally — goes to pot, and her fancy menu ends up being little more than a serving of blue soup, omelets, and orange marmalade. Even then, she only gets that much on the table because Mark Darcy stopped by unexpectedly and helped her flip an omelet or two.
A true friend, Mark Darcy said, “If you ask me, there isn’t enough blue food.”
Caught up in her desire to impress everyone, Bridget lost sight of what mattered most, spending time with those she loved. At the end of the day, whatever she cooked, real friends wouldn’t care how it turned out.
What better time to put Bridget’s recipes to the test than on Thanksgiving Day? We kept it simple. Instead of running from house to house to visit family, we held the festivities at our place. Not everyone is willing to travel out to our neck of the woods, but that’s okay. You can still connect with people from a distance.
There are actual things called telephones out there that allow you to hear someone’s actual voice! Who knew?
I have two kids, so veloute of celery or char-grilled tuna was not going to cut it on our menu. Not unless I wanted to pry their mouths open with pliers and shove it in. That sort of takes away from the holiday spirit.
Confit of oranges though, that had some potential, minus the Grand Manier, of course. After all, kids love a sweet dessert (and so do I)! We tried to cook some up (cooking together is one of our holiday traditions), and got, you guessed it, what equated to a super tasty marmalade.
Thank goodness, “they’ve come to see you and not the orange parfait in sugar cages.”
At least Bridget and I tried, and that is more than most people can say.
You have to be willing to take risks in life, and that means expecting a failure (or a hundred) along the way. Oftentimes your failures add up to the best, if not the most memorable, moments of your life.
It is all how you look at it. You can look back at a mistake with good humor. You can even find the hidden gems and learn from your mistakes. There’s no need to wallow in the screw ups.
Do you think Bridget’s friends would remember if she cooked them the perfect dinner? Maybe, maybe not. Odds are they would forget what was on the menu. Perfection is not nearly as memorable as character. THIS dinner, however, was ripe with character. Her friends will look back fondly on the blue soup, a moment of togetherness that brought them to giggles as they tried to imbibe a nearly inedible concoction.
Your imperfections are what make you stand out in the crowd.
I am not recommending you add a blue string to your soup or that you burn your tuna to smithereens. I am only saying not to worry so much when things turn out less than perfect. Imperfection adds color and meaning to life. Embrace it, maybe adding a dollop of orange marmalade for good measure.