Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Things do that, you know. Break. You can call it planned obsolescence. You can call it a bad emulsion. Or you can just fix it and go on with the important things.

The praline paste was broken, and was going to get thrown away. Like half a bucket's worth. I snagged it from an untimely demise and brought it home to fix it. Fix it, I did, now I have exquisite praline paste. Of course, I burned out the motor on my immersion blender doing it. Broken. So I ordered a new one. It arrived today. Fixed.

It made me think about broken things. Broken things are important in a way that whole things are not. Whole things are lovely and accomplished and get crossed off the to do list. They fall away like something memorized by rote. Broken things frustrate, challenge, teach. They become the whys and hows.

"Why is the stupid a/c broken the first week of 90 degree weather? How am I going to temper chocolate when tempered chocolate is just melting from being in here?"

It is a shame that we are such a disposable culture. Sometimes, yes, a broken thing needs to be discarded. Corporations, among others, plan it that way. But the worst possible method of teaching, to me, is the "start over" method. That may be what is required, but figuring out what went wrong first, exploring how to fix it, or why it cannot be fixed, that is where confidence begins.

It isn't just about doing it over and over again. It is about understanding what it is you are doing in the first place.

But you'll still have to throw away all that ice cream if your walk-in freezer dies over the weekend.

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