When I cook, I tend to make lots of tiny, sloppy mistakes. Especially when I am following a recipe, I am appalled at my inability to follow directions sometimes: I hurry up to blend things before they are supposed to be incorporated, and then I start to freak out and squirm and try to save what I’m making.
And this can be a recipe that I’ve done a million times, too. It seems that when I’m not on in the kitchen, I’m way off. And yet, I don’t really know how it happens, but things turn out mostly well. I don’t think I am flattering myself: I honestly think that in spite of myself I manage to turn out mostly delicious fare, with only a few unsalvageables here and there– the casualties of a confused and easily-confusable cook.
But today as I fished some I-wish-it-had-been-greener plantain out of my pot of cargamanto beans because even though I’ve made this dish before I went ahead and put the chopped plantain into the pot of beans and so rawrgh, I started humming the closing credits theme to Frasier. Are you familiar with it? It’s called “Tossed Salads and Scarmbled Eggs” and it bears no reference whatsoever to the, ahem, intimate practice.
Some things in life are undoable.
Some things can never be set back or uncooked or unbaked or made well again. And it goes beyond a couple of culinary mistakes here and there. Illness, accidents, irresponsibility, death– all can arrive so very quickly and can never be undone. Never go back to square one, much like tossed salads can never go back to being lettuce and carrots and tomatoes and whatever else, or scrambled eggs go back to their untouched state within the shell.
Come to think of it, most things in life are like that. So it’s lucky to sometimes have a slotted spoon of forgiveness and with a few quick swipes of the wrist, be able to somehow press undo in your life.
I’m not sure what this all means, really. Only that sometimes it’s nice to reflect on that quality of life, where sometimes you do get that grace and you can reverse what eventually is that entropic inevitability of life: the tossed salad, and the scrambled egg.