Is anybody like me? Overzealous? Overambitious? Trying to do too many things at once? Trying to be perfect in everything? If so, I hope you can commiserate with me here.
I remember once when I took up the responsibility of leading a Christmas play for my church youth group. And surprise, surprise, my type “A” personality reared its ugly head. I got greedy, and tried to do too many things at once. Was I just satisfied with a small, simple play about the birth of Christ Jesus? No, I had to go all out to make it the most spectacular Broadway-style/ sing-along/ comedy/ parody/ drama/ tragedy/ hip-hop show.
I wrote the script. I translated the script (for the Chinese folks). I directed the script. I came up with the lyrics and the tunes and all the hip-hop dance moves. I made the costumes, the settings, the make-up. I rallied up the small youth group, assigned the roles, organized the rehearsals. I dreamed, seamed, schemed, and screamed. I thought I was Super-girl.
But unfortunately, even Super-girl isn’t super in all things. I was totally burned out and stressed up. It was hard doing everything by myself, and my drive for perfection drove me and everybody crazy. In the end, the leading actor (Joseph) refused to do the play. I told him I didn’t need him, and I ended up being Joseph (not funny!).
Anyway, long sob story short: My overzealousness and over-ambition ultimately weighed down the Christmas play, and it wasn’t as good as it could have been if I only was willing to stick to a few simple categories and focused on that. I mean, seriously, just imagine a hip-hop dancing, rapping, female Joseph who tries to be both comedic and tragic at the same time. I’m cringing. What was I thinking?
You would have thought I’d learn my lesson. Oh, no. I remade that same mistake over again in the kitchen today.
Remember the potato gnocchi I had on Monday? I decided to try making that at home. Why spend money using store-bought gnocchi when it seemed easy enough to recreate at home?
Anyway, I had grand plans. I looked up online, and was dazzled by all the different kinds of gnocchi I could make. And I decided I wanted them all. Potato? Yes. Cottage cheese? Yes. Egg? Yes. Parmesan cheese? Yes. Mozzarella cheese? Yes. Asiago cheese? Yes, yes, yes!
I even wanted to add spinach or pumpkin or beet, but decided that was a bit too overboard. I thought I was being so good resisting, but har-har.
So, I boiled the potatoes:
I mashed it up by fork.
I mixed it up with egg, cottage cheese, the three cheeses, and white whole wheat flour.
I rolled them up into long tubes.
So far, so good.
I cut them up into plump little pillows.
I indented each pillow with a fork.
Everything seemed to go so smoothly, I was getting pretty proud of myself. Gnocchi? Hah! Call me an Italian grandmother!
I even created a brilliant new pesto recipe:
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic
- dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
Directions: Grind it all up in my Vita-mix
I started cooking the gnocchi in boiling water. It seemed to sort of disintegrate in the pot…but it still held it’s shape, so I shrugged it off. It was my first time making gnocchi, so I thought maybe that was how it was supposed to be.
The problem came when I ladled the drained and cooked gnocchi onto a plate and mixed it up with the pesto. As I mixed, the gnocchi kind of flattened and turned gooey, like melted rubber. My heart fell. I knew there was something wrong with my gnocchi by then. I knew I should have stuck to a tried-and-true recipe! I think there was simply too much action going on in the gnocchi dough.
I still tried to make it look pretty, by garnishing it with torn salad greens, fresh blueberries, and fresh goat cheese:
Looks okay, I guess, but looks are deceiving.
The gnocchi was mushy and soggy. Was it inedible? No. Did it taste fine? Sort of. Was it good? No way.
The pesto sauce and tangy goat cheese saved the dish from being a complete failure. The sauce was tangy, slightly sweet, flavorful. I see a lot of potential in this.
I still ate it, but didn’t really enjoy it. Boo hoo.
I had some uncooked gnocchi dough leftover, but I dumped them. No way did I want to eat them again.
I was going to send this to Doggybloggy from Chez What? for this week’s BSI, but I don’t want this to taint his perfect list of delicious potato recipes. Sorry, Doggybloggy!
On the bright side, I finally managed to make a blueberry recipe. I’d really wanted to submit a recipe for Reeni’s BSI: blueberries, but didn’t get the opportunity. So here’s a (verrrrry) belated recipe for you, Reeni! And I have a container of this blueberry-walnut pesto left for lots more good eats in the future! (Stay tuned)
Question of the day: Have you ever tried doing too many things at once? And any gnocchi-experts out there who can pinpoint to me exactly what I did wrong (though I think I already know)?
P.S. I might give gnocchi-making another try…sometime. In the very distant future.