Every Good Friday I teach 3rd and 4th graders at our church along with a wonderful group of volunteers. This year I decided to make a treat for those volunteers – a recipe I had pinned from Two Peas & Their Pod, Salted Carmel Easter Popcorn. I purchased all the ingredients the night before and got up on Friday morning ready to create.
First, you will need to know that I know nothing about candy-making so the name of the treat – Salted Carmel – should have given me a clue that this recipe might not be quite as easy as it looked. Unaware of what was to come, I happily combined the popcorn and the M&M’s. That was easy. Then I combined the sugar, salt and water in a saucepan. I’m never really sure what a recipe means when it says “saucepan”. I grew up calling everything that was not a pan, a pot. I don’t know if I used the right thing or not. Anyway, I got it going and had it boiling away. Looks pretty good here, right?
Unfortunately, I tend to stick pretty closely to a recipe even when I’m not sure that it’s working out the way it’s supposed to. The recipe said to boil until the mixture was amber-colored, about 8-12 minutes. I wasn’t totally sure what amber-colored was so I figured I would give it 8 minutes. At 8 minutes I had a very dark, smoking mess in my saucepan/pot. (Sorry – I didn’t take a picture of this one!) For whatever silly reason, I went ahead and mixed it in with the popcorn and then tasted it. Burnt popcorn wasn’t really the treat I was looking for. So I threw it away, quickly, before it became hard, burnt popcorn on my new cookie pan. I had plenty of ingredients left because I had planned to make two batches, so I started over again.
This time, I did not burn the sugar mixture. However, the next step was to add heavy cream and stir until smooth, then add marshmallows and vanilla. I was still rattled over the first fiasco and added the marshmallows and vanilla first. I soon saw my mistake thought that maybe it would be okay if I just added the cream anyway. Wrong! This time I just shoved the mess into the trash.
This was the defining moment. I was ready to give up, but before I gave up, I thought about what was happening. In the past, I have been afraid to try new things because I might not get it right or I might waste expensive ingredients/supplies. You can’t imagine how many times this kind of thinking has stopped me from creating. Ridiculous, especially when I have already purchased the ingredients/supplies!
I looked around my kitchen, knowing that I already had enough ingredients to make two more batches. Right there, in my own kitchen, I decided that I was not going to give up – that I was going to break the lack-of-creativity-due-to-fear pattern now! Carefully, I mixed up another batch, being sure to check the directions over and over again, and voila! Salted Carmel Easter Popcorn!
I can’t promise that the fight is over. I can’t promise that I won’t ever hesitate because of silly perfectionist or procrastinating fears again, but the first step has been taken. Victory is so sweet (literally)!