I just finished “Comfort me with Apples,” by Ruth Reichl, and it has given me a new motto.
The setting is Barcelona; the circumstance is that Reichl has just suffered through losing a baby she and her husband had adopted, and to for reasons not made clear, she has chosen to accompany five noted American chefs who have been invited to cook for “every winemaker and chef in the region…the Julia Child of Spain…” These chefs suffer a small tragedy of their own; while cooking for this august grouping, they produce a bad meal.
There are extenuating circumstances, of course. These chefs get a tiny, under-equipped kitchen and ingredients from the local market don’t live up to expectations. However, they get a great deal of satisfaction that under bad circumstances, they work hard, and together, and get the meal out. As one of the chefs, Lydia, says “We fought for it…We did our best. Sometimes that is all you can do. And then you move on.”
Reichl repeats this a couple of times in the chapter, and I will repeat it for you (often):
“Sometimes, even your best is not good enough. And in those times you have to give it everything you’ve got. And then move on.”