May 17, 1994
THE RUSSIANS have a saying, "The first pancake is a ball." By this is meant, it was explained to me, that you start out trying to do one thing and your first effort is always something else. Pancakes are supposed to be round and flat, not spherical. Now, you can go two ways from here: you can throw away the first pancake because it's not what you had in mind or you can get interested in the thing that you didn't expect. Things you don't expect are always bad, at first. When you're a little kid and you go over to someone's house, everything in it is wrong. It's not different-it's wrong. They eat the wrong things and they watch the wrong TV programs and they go to bed at the wrong time. In a way, we never get over this. We throw away everything that doesn't fit into what we already had in mind, and we never learn anything. We just make the same mistake again and again. Finally, something pulls the rug out from under us and we have to look at things differently whether we like it or not, and we try to go back and do them the same way but we can't and now it's time to grow or die.
Title quotation attributed to cookbook author Julia Childe.
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