‘If we don’t get lost, we’ll never find a new route.’ -Joan Littlewood
Mistakes are a little like getting lost, they enable us to find new routes. Don’t dwell on them, admit them (most importantly to yourself) and move on. Life is largely guesswork anyway, for all of us; make brave choices and take risks, don’t always play it safe. If we always did the same that everyone else had done before, we’d never break new ground.
Some things that were invented by mistake: cornflakes, microwaves, post-it notes, slinkies, crisps, fireworks and Playdough. Not necessarily what the inventors were aiming for, but made them all millionaires anyways. I bear this in mind.
Mistakes are all a part of our learning curve. Brief example: my cooking. Why? I don’t follow recipes. Not sure why. I don’t like them, I expect it’s because because I’m not very good at being told what to do by other people. I have stumbled across some delicious recipes this way, and most things I cook are my own inventions (based on other people’s ideas.) And sometimes it’s a catastrophe! It’s all trial and error. Like three bean and lentil stew! I’d heard ages ago a cup of coffee in a stew can add a kick. So I put in a whole cup of freeze dried coffee. (It was supposed to be a cup of coffee already made: with water.) WHOOPS. It was disgusting. So I tried adding sugar to counteract the bitterness. Also gross. Then I tried peanut butter. No good. I tried cinnamon, salt and various herbs. In the end I had to throw it away, it was too horrible for words. Now, some time on, I make a mean lentil stew. No jokes. I will NEVER add an entire cup of freeze dried coffee to anything ever again.
I wrote a poem about it actually (most of it in my head whilst cooking , some of it added after.) I’m not a poet, but thought I’d share it with you all the same.
Three Bean and Lentil Rap
A little while ago, embarking on a health regime:
An elated celebration of the pulse and dried out bean
I approached the hob with linseed, feeling lithe, alive and keen.
1. I soon learned…
Making lentil casserole: an emotional palaver
And on my hands I soonly had a bitter lentil lava;
My tasty vegan dish destroyed, by adding too much java
(Among other things)
2. You see…
The coffee made it bitter, but the sugar made it sweet
I got quite close to quitting and just turning off the heat
But I would not be the victim of a three-bean mean defeat.
Cinnamon and ginger (diced) did nothing for the flavour
And whilst adding peanut butter, my temper dared to waver
I considered salt and pepper as a final hour Saviour
Lentil stew exits, via the compost bin.
So although the recipes are there, hard work already done,
For me it is the finding that’s terrifically fun
With every bitter lentil dish, and every pan that burned,
I’m empty, but grown plenty, for the lessons I have learned.
(*Soonly is not a word. They won’t like it if you use it in school. It worked just fine for me here though.)