When It Pays to Panic

via Daily Prompt: Meddle

As I mentioned in an earlier post, cooking is a form of therapy for me—a way to determine my purpose in life and center myself after those overwhelming days. Most nights it isn’t a challenge to whip up a fresh batch of cookies or broil salmon with a maple-rosemary glaze for dinner. But as all those who spend time in the kitchen know, sometimes there are moments when nothing seems to be going right.

I was making flourless pancakes with a blueberry compote last week when disaster struck. Everything was going well. I zested a lemon with ease. The perfect mix of bananas, eggs, baking powder, and salt pureed in the blender. A generous splash of coconut oil went into the skillet, and it was time to pour the batter. And that’s when something went wrong.

The first pancake was flipped too soon and resembled something straight from a Dr. Seuss classic. A second clouded the small kitchen with smoke, inciting panic on my end. Hurriedly opening the first-floor windows, I prayed the smoke detector wouldn’t go off. One hour passed, then two. I eyed the pancakes sizzling in the pan with intense concentration and held my breath as they were flipped.

After three pancakes were placed on each of the five plates and generously covered in the blueberry-lemon mixture, I slumped in a chair.

Maybe cooking just isn’t for me.

But as soon as that thought crossed my mind, I reminded myself why cooking was so important to me. It provided a fresh start, a chance to “do it all over again” and discover what I love. And like all chefs, amateur or otherwise, I need to start somewhere.