I am the last one to get in line when a new product or idea shows up, and if by chance I follow through and try that latest new thing, I leave quite a memorable mark.
The last time I tried a new recipe on my guests, I thought I’d killed them all. I had made a Chocolate Chip Caramel Pie. Every time I checked it, it was still soft in the middle. So, I let it bake some more. And some more. The filling finally set and I served it fresh and warm from the oven.
When my guests took their first bite, they fell silent. They all stared at me with blinking, pleading eyes. They reddened. The toffee filling had cemented their jaws together. I thought about calling 911. After some sign language and desperate prayer, they began to smack their lips and breathe again. We had a good laugh, but I have been a little wary since then about the combination of new recipes and dinner guests.
Another time I tried something new was when my sister-in-law suggested we jump off the cliffs in Lynn Canyon. Being a prairie girl, this was indeed something new–and much safer than trying new recipes. However, I made quite a splash and nearly a splat. It was quite memorable when someone called 911 from the suspension bridge and the paramedic rappelled down the cliff to rescue me.
I’ve learned that maybe I should restrict new things to safer sports like pens, words, and paper. But even on paper, trying something new can be scary. I was afraid I would make a big splat. My friend challenged me to write a piece in the fantasy category for a writing contest.
I told her, “I can’t! I won’t! I’ve never done it before!”
She said, “Try it.”
I did and loved it!
That gave me the courage to try other genres and other markets too. I even submitted to a cooking magazine and got published.
That reminds me, I have a new recipe to try. Don’t worry. I won’t invite you for dinner. Instead, I will write a story about it, a mystery. It’s coming to me now–a whodunit! Did they die by lockjaw or by cliff jumping? No, in the end, it was the worst way of all to die. It is a long, slow death. And a very lonely one too. Nobody even knows the time of death because people who never try new things, who never take a risk, tend to shrivel up quietly and pass away, leaving nary a splash nor a splat in their wake.
If Pam Mytroen could spend all day in her kitchen baking pies, brownies, and making turkey dinner for friends, she would. But Murray Pura once told her to write first and then bake—advice that she is trying to stick with these days, except, of course, when her grandchildren stop in for milk and cookies.