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December 11, 2010 / Rohit

Never Apologize

This story was narrated to us by one of our professors. It’s written by Julia Child, one of America’s finest cooks.

“”In spite of my good notices, I remained a long way from being a maître de cuisine.  This was made plain the day I invited my friend Winnie for lunch, and managed to serve her the most vile eggs Florentine one could imagine outside of England. … We at the lunch with painful politeness and avoided discussing its taste.  I made sure not to apologize for it.  This was a rule of mine

I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make.  When one’s hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as “Oh, I don’t know how to cook…,” or “Poor little me…,” or “This may taste awful…,” it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not.  Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one’s shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, “Yes, you’re right, this really _is_ an awful meal!”  Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed — _eh bien, tant pis!_

Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is.  And if the food is truly vile, … then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile — and learn from her mistakes.

The same holds for anything you create. An interesting lesson.

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