The Secret Pickle Club is off to a good start – lovely selections going out into the world, along with various Kimchi, froot butters and jams, rainbow eggs, and country Sourdough Boules, Braeds (a sweeter braided bread with a pretzely salted crust), Bagels, and the newest addition to the bread family – Sandwich Rolls (I voted for Rollson Rolls, after his last name but got nixed-ha!). I’ve been making some Roasted Winter Squash and Thyme Gnocchi on the sly, along with our now Classic Gnudi in preparation for next month’s pasta week. And we’ve been trying to dial in a special sweet surprise for you that is not yet behaving.
And that’s the thing – along with all of our lovely successes, there are bound to be some failures. FAIL! It happens – sometimes it happens with the things we make all the time; there is little control with living food. The temperatures don’t hit quite right and the bread doesn’t proof as nicely as it should, or it doesn’t absorb the right amount of water during baking and has a bit of a blow-out, or the bagels don’t rise as much (or sometimes too much! – FAIL!). Last week we tried another local milk option that we had better access to, but it didn’t make the same fat Ricotta curds that we like – FAIL! We cooked a batch of Cranberry Froot Butter but didn’t feel it had the butteriness we prefer/instead getting more of a skin to it – FAIL! Apple Jelly just would not set – FAIL! And we just can’t manage to get the Whey Caramel to make harder candy caramels; we’ve done a few batches, set them up to cool only to have them either separate or never get hard enough despite the temperature we’re cooking them to and the organic sugar we add (and Josh used to work in confectionary, we have a pretty solid idea of what we are doing…)- FAIL!
This doesn’t just stay in the kitchen either. We thought it would be savvy to put the chicken litter and food in Large plastic garbage bins out by the coop so that they would be dry and protected and where we need them but squirrels decided to chew through the thick plastic lids to get into them – FAIL! And that damn birthday fish tank present with its killing of many fish, and now overrun with algae despite the filter, the moss balls, (and soon snails and maybe a new filter), the algae brush, and the Betta that we have in there has had ‘swim bladder’ twice now (we should have got the child a Karaoke machine, or a skateboard, or just about anything else) – FAIL!
All of this just to say that sometimes these scenarios look so lovely from the outside (and they are) and it seems that we live some dreamy life of peaceful cottage food-making/growing/sharing (and we do) but they also have their trials and their, shall we say ‘idiosyncrasies’. All of our mistakes show us new ways of doing things and teach us better ways to make decisions. Most of these ‘failures’ also allow us to take a deep breath and have a good laugh, or a step back to reassess and notice where best our energies are put forth.
We, at Rock Bottom, hope that your setbacks are as rewarding. Happy New Year!