I mentioned in a recent post that something a lot of people may not know about me is that I lack confidence.  I am trying out the "fake it til you make it" method, and so far, it's working... 

 While I was still in Vancouver (and living with Josh's parents) I asked Josh's mom to teach me how to make bread.  It's not really a "notecard recipe" as much as a "hands-on" thing, which scares the crap out of me.  I watched her make it once, taking copious notes. The next time I helped her make it, and the third time I was on my own...

 I have read that confidence comes from conquering fear.  
That makes it sound so simple. 

But when you are the one with the fear, overcoming it is not so simple after all.  Most things I lack confidence about stems from a fear of failure.  I like success. I like to succeed.  Fearing failure can, at times, be debilitating.

This is where Josh and his parents have come in handy.  
They say, "So what?"
"So what if you fail? So what if you try to make bread, mess up the kitchen and it tastes awful? So what."
"Really?" I would ask Carol, standing timidly in her kitchen kneading the hell out of a ball of dough the size of Wyatt.
"Yes, really. It's fine. We'll clean the mess and try again if you fail.  But really, you can't mess it up."  And then would come the story of when she & Carl were first married and she was making bread, but ran out of flour, so she substituted flour with powdered milk. After all, it had the same consistency, and it was what she had on hand.  Needless to say, the bread did not turn out, and they both still swear that buried in the depths of that backyard is a brick of "bread" that was Carol's learning curve.

She would encourage that it would be fine no matter the end result.  And so I would knead, and I would bake and I would succeed.  And every Sunday since, I have made five loaves of bread to feed our family throughout the week, with the occasional batch of cinnamon rolls for Logan.
So while Carol & Carl were here I decided to try my hand at something else that was new. Maple bars.  I made the dough (same as the dough we made for bread) and rolled it out.

Then we dropped it in the oil, flipped it over, let it strain & tried it out.

And what do you know? It worked.  We had fresh, homemade maple bars.  I even found a recipe online for maple frosting and whipped up a batch (from scratch!) to top our donuts with.

I was so proud of myself.

I shared not only with our family, but also with our neighbors.
And everyone seemed glad I had tried it.

And just to take it one step further, I made one piece of dough really thin & made an "elephant ear" of sorts.  It was perfection.  Holy deliciousness.  If I can make an elephant ear, on my own, in my house here in Marshall, I may never need civilization again!
Another new recipe I wanted to try while Carol & Carl were here was Grandma Roman's homemade tortillas.  Josh's nephew Ethan swears by them (they are his great grandma's recipe- on his dad's side) and Carol tried to warn me that once I went homemade, I would never go back...

So we put together 6 cups of flour, 4 tablespoons of shortening, 2 teaspoons of salt & 2 cups of warm water in my bread machine and let it stir it into a perfect tortilla-dough ball.

Once it was all mixed, I made golf ball size balls, rolled them out, and heated them in a dry skillet.  Easy peasy.
Oh, and delicious, too!

With the first batch, I made homemade chicken enchiladas. I have made enchiladas here before, but the homemade tortillas took them to a different level!

And with the second batch I made (yesterday) we saved half and deep fried them to make our own tortilla chips. 

They are divine.  
I know it's silly that so much of my insecurity is in the kitchen, but out here, knowing how to cook can make a big difference in how well your family eats.  And when I was working full time, I never cooked.  Then once I was home, I was pregnant and still never cooked, and then Josh left and I really never cooked! So this has been an opportunity for me to try some things, but my fear of failure has held me back.

I am hopeful after so many successful attempts I will be prepared to try things in the future without so much hesitation.

After all,
"You gain strength, courage and confidence 
by every experience in which you really stop 
to look fear in the face." 
 -Eleanor Roosevelt


Cassie said...

Amen! I admire your willingness to try new things--bread making of all things! in the kitchen. What a great place to build on your confidence and a great way to bless your family and neighbors. Keep going after it, Shelly! You will conquer that fear, I know it! You deserve all the confidence in the world. Xx

Rox said...

Feeling insecure about cooking is not silly one bit! I'd be overwhelmed, too! But you're doing amazing! And HELLO look how cute and skinny you are! I'm beyond proud of you and I hope I can sample some of your new kitchen skills while you're home!

Barb Miller said...

This post was delish...

Jolene said...

You have done a great job that all looks so good mmm.

Stacey said...

If you have the desire to learn how to do something you have to accept failure :D

I have always wanted to be an all knowing seamstress, and I'm on my long journey. My mom always had the sewing machine out making this and that for me. She made clothes, costumes, and dresses for my dances! When I began sewing I thought I knew everything just because my mom knew how to sew. WRONG!!! I broke some needles, jammed the fabric into the machine, threaded the machine wrong and produced some less then desirable items. I lost confidence in wanting to proceed but found that my desire to sew out weighed my fear of ever sewing again!

So here I am, continuing my learning journey. Calls to my mom are ALMOST a daily occurrence with sewing questions.

Enjoy Shelly!

Krystle said...

Share the bread recipe??!! :)

Marilynn Raatz said...

Shelly!!! I could eat those chips!!! YUMMMMMY All the food looks wonderful, now I am craving an elephant ear and a maple bar!!
I am proud of you!!

Julie said...

Conrad would probably die of happiness if I ever made him an elephant ear. (That's why it'll never happen ;)
Fear of failure reminds me of the Edison quote, "I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."There's nothing like a completed project to give you a sense of accomplishment! It also lessens the annoyance when things don't work out like you planned.