Thursday, April 01, 2010

Journey/Destination; Process/Product

Yesterday, in an astounding outbreak of shakiness, I laid waste to half a dozen eggs, as well as two terracotta plant pots. I might not have felt quite so hangdog about this if I had been making scrambled eggs, say, or baking a cake. But I was making a meatloaf which required one little egg yolk.

As the family cook of over 25 years, my egg-cracking experience is substantial. Prodigious, even. And I regularly separate out the whites from the yolk by the crack and semi-sieve method. To wit: crack the egg in half, then pour the yolk back and forth, allowing the white to escape during transfer. On occasion, a yolk has been known to stray into the garbage mid-pour. A yolk. One.

But yesterday's fiasco was yolk after yolk, sliding out onto the floor, the garbage, the sink. At one point, there were four bright yellow and highly abstract splotches artfully displayed on my kitchen floor, like preschool finger painting projects. Yikes. I was determined, persevered, and ultimately was successful, but at the cost of 8 eggs in all.

Was the meatloaf worth eight eggs? I doubt it. I use the Joy of Cooking recipe, apparently to little good effect, as said meatloaf does not quite measure up to the Holy Grail aka my mother-in-law's meatloaf. And, though I like a good meatloaf, I'm not sure any meatloaf is intended to be worth the expenditure of eight eggs.

For me, it is usually difficult to perform a cost/benefit analysis. It seems a bit like questioning the value of the journey. I am certain that my meatloaf was not yummy enough to actually be valued eight eggs worthy. But the exercise of cracking and slipping and failing and smiling and doubting and wondering and finishing? It was interesting. And I like interesting.

There is certainly always something interesting going on in the T-G household. Usually, something has veered from the norm. Sometimes mundanely so, other times in spectacular fashion. Does my preference for interesting translate into an explanation for why I seem to lead such a messy life?


Or am I simply messy by nature? Careless or shaky, failing or not quite adequate, moving without grace from muddle to mistake.


I'm writing this from church, where I sit beneath the bell balcony. The sanctuary is bathed in twilight colors, the windows quietly glorious. Usually I'm upstairs, ringing, but not so much right now. :-)

In an hour, my friends--the ringers--have made good progress, from muddle to adequate to music. But I enjoyed the journey of the hour--listening to them laugh, screw-up, go quiet, take apart, laugh some more--far more than the final musical destination. How convenient for me, since my life tends to be process and journey, rather than product and destination.

Maybe I'm not alone in that. :-)