My dish to pass at a recent family gathering was Rice Krispies, and although my pan was nearly licked clean, this cooking project did not start out so promising.
In my family, we have a tradition of peanut butter rice crispy treats. As such, the recipe calls for different ingredients than are stamped on the side of the cereal box. Apparently, the night I chose to make the treats was one in which my attention to detail was lacking. As a first time Rice Krispies maker, I thought instead of using corn syrup, I could use a cup of canola oil. Not so. The executive decision left me wondering why my heating sugar was becoming a clumpy mess.
A phone call, a trip to the store and a just-boiling pot of ingredients later, the concoction reached the same consistency as all other treats that came before it in the line of Fifelski family traditions, and I learned an important lesson: taking time to focus is paramount.
How much of life is just like a botched cooking experiment? How often is my attention to detail compromised by too many projects, too many thoughts swimming around in my head? Sometimes these instances go unnoticed, like backing out of the driveway every day and missing the walnut tree by chance because it grows two inches to the right of where I would otherwise stamp its trunk, ironically, with "Ford Focus." Other times, the smoke detector is there to remind me that I must have done something wrong.
Sometimes I can salvage a mistake by picking up the pieces and creating something new and unexpected. Most the time, it's better to send the sugar/canola oil to a better place–down the drain.
This week, I will make it my main focus to do just that–focus, on everything big and everything small, on reading directions more clearly, and on simply remembering to be.
Written by: Erika Fifelski was born and raised in West Michigan, and after a brief stint on the sunrise side, she's home and loving it. Erika enjoys cooking, sewing, vacuuming, and discovering new ways to live sustainably and support local businesses.