Both my parents, for whatever reason, are intensely intrigued with Black Forest Cakes. They don’t know exactly what it is, but they have the impression that it’s really sophisticated. My mom commented to me how she sees all sorts of things “reduced to clear” from Safeway, but never the Black Forest Cake. And I scoff thinking about the fake whipped cream and the questionable maraschino “cherries” and the probably-too-dry cake layers. I mean, not that I think my baking is all that, but it’s pretty easy to beat supermarket cakes in the flavor department. And the moistness department. So one day, I will bake a black forest cake to end all black forest cakes just for my parents, but before that, here’s a spin-off…
Birthdays are celebratory for sure, but it doesn’t feel the same as when you were a little kid. You wouldn’t have thought about your parents growing old. Wouldn’t have considered that they aren’t as invincible as they appear to be. Wouldn’t have yet noticed the grey hairs springing up on their heads overnight.
But I have yet to see the day where my mom isn’t able to find something I lost. And my dad is still a superhero in every way possible.
Sometimes, I wonder if I would like baking as much as I do if it became my full-time job. If my living depended on my ability to be the most innovative recipe developer, most thorough recipe tester, most creative food stylist, most skillful food photographer, most patient photo editor… I don’t know. Or if I were to be a pastry chef, going to pastry school, being challenged while working under great chefs around the world, trying to be the most innovative, accepting nothing short of perfection…
It’s so easy to idealize something you’ve never experienced.
So I’ve started reading for interest again (finally) and my current read is, “How to Be Happy without Being Perfect”. What attracted me was the “How to Be Happy” part of the title, and not so much the “without Being Perfect”. As it turns out, the book smallly focuses on how perfectionism negatively affects different aspects of our lives. The author, Dr. Domar, gives her advice on how to retrain our brains.
This sounds ridiculous if you know me, but I didn’t remember(?)/realize(?) I was a perfectionist… I’m serious, it was a revelation reading that book. In elementary school I had been called a perfectionist a few times, but never in high school, so I was never conscious of the fact that I was one for a very long time.