Friday, April 09, 2010

Have we talked about perfection?

So - I've been called a perfectionist. And I always denied it. I don't do ANYTHING perfectly. I am always struggling to "get things right".

About six months ago I noticed it was taking me an inordinate amount of time to make up the guest bed. Why? Because I wanted to make sure the top sheet was perfectly even on both sides. And straight at the top and bottom - and the patterns lined up. I had a moment of revelation - where I realized most people don't put that level of effort into bed making. That's when I first realized that maybe being a perfectionist doesn't mean doing things perfectly. It means spending a lot of (maybe unnecessary) time trying to do things perfectly. 

I think that's why I'm so slow at lots of things. (Besides the fact I love the nitty-gritty details. They give me comfort somehow. Maybe because it leads to fewer surprises. Hopefully) Because I spend all this time trying to clean things - REALLY, REALLY, clean. Like all the little grooves and hidden corners. And ironing. It takes me FOREVER to iron. Because I want all the seams PERFECTLY flat - and sharp and straight ... I think you see where this is going.

I was reminded of this on Wednesday because I wore a top and pair of pants that should have been ironed. I told myself that "as you wear them a little, the wrinkles will fall out." HAHAHAHA. So this morning I picked out a linen top to wear. That needed ironing. It's not a complicated top. Just a little swing-blouse. With one back pleat. A snap. Just 2 minutes to iron, right? Obviously we all know the answer.

I guess the first step in changing is recognizing ... and the second is writing about it. I suspect there are more steps ... but I think I'm going to just dwell on steps 1 & 2. (lol)

I missed putting this up on Wednesday, but clearly there WAS a Food Wednesday this week. And banna pudding was the topic. I'd read about banana pudding in southern books. But I don't ever recall eating any as a kid. I remember one of the early issues of Cooking Light had a banana pudding on it's cover. 


I was living in Phoenix. It LOOKED good - the photograph was amazing. But I had no desire to make the dessert. It just sounded ... sweet and gooey. My neighbor saw the magazine and went into a swoon. (She must have had southern roots). She borrowed the magazine - and then brought a bowl of the dessert over for the boys and I. They, being connoisseurs of sweet and gooey, gobbled it down. In nothing flat. I took a bite and thought - "OMG - the sugar - it's going to kill me!"

Wednesday's N &O had an article about banana pudding and its origins. I thought it was interesting. But I still don't love it. I've even eaten "the best ever" according to many sources, made by Dr. Whiney's dad. I sampled it. Meh. I think ... if I were going to do it ... I'd use pound cake (not so sweet) and custard (also not sweet, unlike pudding). I like the idea of meringue on top. Airy and light.  A slight crunch. I dunno. What do YOU think about banana pudding? 

I also think it's a perfectionists nightmare. Trying to get all those Nella Waffers JUST SO in the dish. (shudder)

***Edited to add - one of my southern friends sent this "reply" to me when I mentioned the topic of nanner pudding .... I think it's hilarious - so I'm going to share:

You keep being a perfectionist making the bed and DON'T try your hand at improving banana pudding!  You AIN'T Suthern!  My mouth is watering from the picture you sent.  

That is the one thing Smithfield's BBQ hasn't figured out- banana pudding needs bananas.  Not just banana flavored pudding.  

Custard? What the hell is custard?  (I know what it is, really.)  Did any of these fine magazines ever mention banana custard?  NO!!!!!  No one cares if the Nella Wafers look like Martha Stewart, just make sure they are in there.  Some people make it in a rectangular pan thing and just cover the bottom and sides with them.  It doesn't have to be pretty.  (I am still drooling.  I love that stuff.)  Banana pudding is obviously NOT "good for you" because I am passionate about it.  


Seriously, you should have your butt kicked for even suggesting such a silly thing to people who have lived the majority of their life in 27607.  


That's like saying "I'll use ketchup instead of picante sauce because I don't like the chunks." 

I have never had Dr. Whiney's Dad's banana pudding, but I have had some good stuff.  It isn't rocket science.  P can make it and it is delicious.  Our former Associate Minister made better banana pudding, which I made sure to tell P, but that is another story.  

Hell, the restaurant that caters the National Guard lunches on drill weekends bring in a banana pudding that I manage to eat 2 helpings of and it is good.  (Old NC BBQ, I think.)  

POUND CAKE?  "We're out of milk so I will just dissolve a white crayon in water, no one will notice."

At the risk of sounding snobbish, I am Southern and there are things that we Southerners just don't want to see messed with.  It is bad enough that the Yankees have come down here and tell us how to do everything.  We don't mind dying young eating things like fried foods and sweet and gooey desserts.  I wouldn't go to Arizona and say "gee, this salsa would be better with pickles instead of these hot peppers, they are just too spicey." 

How was this for a reply from someone who doesn't cook unless there is an element of danger involved?  (Grill)  Sorry you asked?  ; )


Anonymous said...

I love banana pudding; but, nothing beats the wonderful light,creamy, yet flavorful, custard, like that made at Linda's here in town. Homemade almost everyday of the week !!! It's lighter than pudding, has less eggs and butter than
pound cake - think calories, calories, calories !!!! tp

This from someone who doesn't cook !

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mit


Anonymous said...

Time for a new entry, maybe ? tp