CAUTION: Optimist in Kitchen

September Agenda, Page 3

3.  I am a perfectionist (in some things.)

The upside of this is that I’m very careful about things like writing.  I sometimes edit an article twenty times before I’m satisfied that it’s well polished and presentable.  When I make quilts I try to cut and sew all pieces precisely.

So far housekeeping has snuck in under the radar.  I admire women that have immaculate houses and a proper routine, like the FlyLady. (See  Her book is great: she teaches you stuff your mother should have.  I recommend it highly, if you’re still young enough to mend your ways.

Of course the downside of perfectionism is pessimism.  “Why bother?  It won’t turn out right anyway!”  My husband has reminded me many times that I’m seeing the cup half empty rather than half-full.  Too true.

But not in my cooking.  There I’m incurable optimist.

If the cup is half empty, just fill it with sweet pickle juice, stir it up and dump it in.  Whatever you’re making will taste even better.  If the bottle is half full, add whatever liquid tastes about the same or is the same colour (water, milk, pickle juice, oil-type salad dressing), give it a good shake and dump it all in.

The pessimist says, “Oh, no – we have no ketchup in the house!  I won’t be able to make meatloaf for dinner.  Now I’ll have to change my menu plans.”

The optimist says: “Oh, dear–I see I’m out of ketchup.  So what else is there?  Hmmm, maybe I could try substituting French dressing.  Throw in a little sweet pickle juice and a good shake of chili powder to give it some zip.  I’d better write down the recipe in case it turns out terrific.”

My family will tell you that I’ve always cooked with optimism.☺ Someday I may even start a cooking blog: The “If It’s Red Toss It In” Gourmette.

Our friend Andre told us about cooking up in a mining camp in northern Alberta.  Sometimes he didn’t have milk on hand for his pie dough so he used ginger ale, Sprite, or 7Up.  “Works fine,” he said.
One day he didn’t have any of those, so he used lime soda.  The pie dough was green when it went in the oven, but quite a normal golden brown when it came out.

Lilly Green –who’s much more committed to organic cooking than I ever will be– touches on the joys & risks of adding colour to your diet in her post:

We perfectionists usually develop some pet peeves as we go through life.  I was just reading an article entitled: “What do our pet peeves say about us?” Of course I couldn’t help adding my two-cents’ worth. 🙂
(His “sheep” picture is one of the neatest blog headers I’ve seen!)


4 thoughts on “CAUTION: Optimist in Kitchen

  1. This was a fun post and you gave me a few ideas. I enjoy cooking, but tend to be a pessimist. If I am out of a needed ingredient, I am at my wit’s end. I never thought to just dump something else in.

    I think I am a bit of a perfectionist at times and I really see it in my writings. I recently submitted an article for a local birding newsletter. It was fun to write, but then the editing took so long. I kept finding minor errors even after having my husband read it.


    • One of my staples is pickle juice; you can add it to so many things. Add sweet pickle juice to almost any ground beef dish including hamburgers & chili; add to BBQ sauce to make sweet & sour pork or chicken; add to baked beans; use with a bit of oil for three-bean salad.
      Use dill pickle juice together with salad dressing for potato salad, etc. Or use either pickle juice to rinse out bottles of ketchup or salad dressing.

      As to writing, sometimes there are different ways we could word a thought but real errors need to be corrected because they jump out at you once they’re in print. And often you accidentally drop a word when you decide to reword something.


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