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How to start this story?

B said he liked mahi-mahi, so I found a baked citrus mahi-mahi recipe. I made a list of the ingredients we needed to buy in Walmart and once we got there I started picking up the pineapple and the orange then off we were to the frozen food section. Bah. No mahi mahi. But I did see flounder! And you know me. I like trying new things. So we pulled the pack out of the freezer and the next day, without doing research, and without ever trying flounder, I replaced the mahi mahi in the mahi mahi recipe with flounder!

I snapped photos every step of the way and I loved them because of the colors and contrasts. The baked veggies and fruits were oozing with sweet juices that bathed my tongue. But the flounder. It touched my tounge and, Aaaargh. Mushy, flaky, wet. It disintegrated every time I tried to hold it up on my fork. I tried it again. I felt like vomiting but down it went my esophagus. And down went my fork.

We had three more flounder fillets in the freezer and I was determined to try again. I will not give up! I will conquer this flounder!

B consulted his friend Joe, and Joe yelped, You’re not supposed to bake flounder! You’re supposed to wrap it in foil and broil it! He also passed on a recipe that involved olive oil, onions and mushrooms.

So the next day, I followed the ritual of defrosting. Marinating. I even splashed a cap of NY white wine just to add some kind of joie de vivre to this whole second process bit, but…guess what? B and I thought we had foil and, of course, we didn’t have foil. He was willing to go to Walmart and grab a pack but I suggested that we just try broiling without the foil. I did this very carefully and slowly so as not to overcook the flounder. But as soon as I pulled it out of the oven, there it was. Mushy. Flaky. I wasn’t sure if it was cooked or raw.

I let a warm piece sit on my tongue only to be polite to myself. Then I let another piece sit on my tongue and imagined a fish corpse. Then I passed on the rest to B who had it for lunch the next day.

I floundered with flounder. Please take that butcher knife and cut me into pieces!

So why am I telling this story?

Perhaps, sometimes, even if it’s hard for me to admit, I’m always striving for excellence. Excellence at work. Excellence in the kitchen. Excellence in my writing.

I have high standards with the tasks I think that I can excel in so I shoot for stars, which I know I’ll never reach. But it’s the journey isn’t it?, self talk as I frown upon my reflection on the kitchen window.

B, I’m not going to cook flounder again!

But time oh time, how time heals wounds. It has been three weeks since my flounder faux pas. I’ve forgiven myself. It’s time to move on. Time to raise my head high and strap on that apron. And try a flounder recipe next time I happen to spy upon a packet, which won’t be awhile because as far as I know, it’s not available in Mumbai.

In the meantime, here are some quotes I will meditate on to help me through my emotional flounder annihilation–

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~Elbert Hubbard

While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior. ~Henry C. Link

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything. ~Edward Phelps

If a mistake is not a stepping stone, it is a mistake. ~Eli Siegel

Making a different mistake every day is not only acceptable, it is the definition of progress. ~Robert Brault