Word to the wise: In case you’re at my level of kitchen experience (which means you know enough to have tried to bake bread before, but not enough to have ever actually succeeded at it) and you suddenly feel that you’re cool enough to use the broiler (your husband googled it after all), DO NOT disregard the suggestion to leave the oven door slightly cracked. Yes, it may make your house even hotter in a September in Georgia where summer has finally decided to descend. But if you like that pan, well…
There aren’t a lot of appropriate statements to make when you look in the oven and realize that your pan has bowed upwards from two opposite sides, as though you were trying to fold it in half diagonally (you know, and you were Superman, so you’d be strong enough to do that). I won’t tell you what I said. I will tell you that there is apparently a maximum heat level that a standard, cheap-o cookie sheet can take, and we certainly exceeded it.
My point here is that if you’re chasing a dream, I hope you’re doing it your own way. I hope you’re experimenting and seeing what works for you. Along the path, you may disregard some important advice and find out later that something got messed up from that. Don’t worry. Although it sometimes looks like it from the outside, nobody’s path to following their dream is perfectly charted. There are always miscues, mistakes, and sometimes even super flexible pans that make you want to pull out your old physics textbooks from college, along the way.
Don’t let it derail you. I’m not a failure in the kitchen. And you’re not a failure at following your dream, even if you mess something up in your process of finding the right way for you. You’ll have more chances to try.
Sometimes, it’s really easy for me to look at one ruined pan and think I suck. I mean, it may sound melodramatic, but there were times in the past when that would have been enough to totally throw me off my game, lose my confidence in my ability to cook at all, eat junk food, and go to bed. Instead, I kept my cool (you know, after the obligatory expletive), lowered the broiler temp and opened the oven door to let it finish up. The fish was delicious.
So this tells me that I really am getting better about not being too hard on myself when things go wrong (a decade long struggle that I am just finally starting to win!).
What about you? When something doesn’t work out, do you fall off the path or do you keep your focus and keep going?
As a side note: Once given a chance to cool down, the pan settled back into its natural, level state (actually, before I could even get a picture for Facebook!). No pans were harmed in the making of this story. But if someone does actually understand the physics behind this, I would be interested.