“The bread looks stodgy.”
“The pate a choux dough looks runny.”
“You forgot the baking powder.”
Yup, even a skilled chef has bad days.
If you’re new here, let me first introduce myself. My name is Terra; I’m a self-taught cook/baker/chef. I’m also a gardener, cat, and bunny mom, and I laugh way too loudly.
In 2010, I launched my food blog, Cafe Terra Blog.
In 2014, I published my first romance book that included recipes made by the characters.
Since 2010, I’ve tried new recipes, tested new recipes, and made mistake after mistake with each recipe.
This is why we now have a blog called “Learn from Terra’s Mistakes.”
Also, since 2010, there have been a handful of recipes I’ve thought about making but avoided at all costs.
Truth time: The recipes scared me.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. It was not the recipes that scared me; it was me. I didn’t think I could ever make the recipe, or I knew I would make a complete mess of the final product.
Spoiler alert: I did make a complete mess—several times.
Welcome to “Learn from Terra’s Mistakes!”
Over the last several weeks, I have made a handful of mistakes in the kitchen. The funniest mistake was when I discovered I forgot to add baking powder to the banana bread recipe.
My husband said, “How did you forget it?”
And that’s the million-dollar question.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why the banana bread looked so stodgy. When I made the decision to make it again, I found the answer to the million-dollar question.
The moment I grabbed the baking powder container, it hit me. (It was a brand-new container that had never been opened.)
The discovery of that mistake was easy compared to some of my other failed recipes.
One of the recipes I tried in 2020 failed, and so I gave up trying for three years.
Another recipe, I tried twice, struggled with it, and so gave up trying it for ten years.
If you’ve tried a recipe and failed, you’re in the perfect space.
If you’ve tried making a recipe over and over and continued to fail, you’re in the right space.
If a recipe intimidates you, you’re in the right space.
This blog was created for you.
Mixing up new ingredients in the kitchen brings me so much joy, but they also make me frustrated.
Something I finally understood after all these years creating, don’t let the fear or frustration win.
Just keep trying because it could be as simple as adding baking powder to the recipe.
But there are moments when it’s not so easy.
Recently, I bought four Paul Hollywood cookbooks (he’s the judge on The Great British Bake-Off). He had a recipe for sourdough starter, which brought back so many memories.
Back in 2020, talk about being frustrated; I literally gave up on my starter.
You’re probably saying, “Why didn’t you keep trying?”
I can answer that question today–I was trying to listen to way too many voices telling me how to work with the starter. I watched several YouTube videos and read tons of blogs.
The starter was okay for a couple of days, but I think I killed it. Too many voices making me doubt the next step, and I messed with the starter way too much.
What I’m saying is I get why you abandon recipes, and it’s okay.
Learn from Terra’s Mistakes is a companion blog to Cafe Terra Blog.
All the recipes on Cafe Terra Blog have been tested and made several times.
What’s missing are the hours and hours of frustration and so many ingredients thrown away.
If you’re like me, you get tired of seeing everything look perfect. I can guarantee anything, and everything is far from perfect.
When I was learning gardening last year, every reel on Instagram looked so beautiful. No bugs, no issues with weeds, no issues with things not growing. In each reel, they showed row after row of growth.
Here’s the problem with those perfect reels…
…they made me doubt my own garden. I mean, seriously, I got one bug in my cucumber, and I flipped out. I even contemplated shutting the whole garden down.
This is why I want to say I’m not perfect, and I make so many mistakes.
I also make delicious, unique, and really fun recipes.
Just recently, I made marzipan for the first time and then made a cherry almond marzipan cake. That cake was probably one of the best recipes I’ve created (and that’s not something I say often).
So let’s celebrate all the recipes we make, let’s even make those recipes that intimidate us, and most of all, let’s enjoy every last bite TOGETHER.