We've all heard the saying "mistakes happen," and damn, do they ever. They are frustrating mishaps in what we often envision to be a good idea or solid move. When I recently turned 26, I wrote up a list of "lessons from 25." In those lessons, I included lesson #9 that read, "Making mistakes sucks, but owning up to them will free your mind."
We've all been there—overthinking the scenario from start to finish, and wondering how to bounce back from the slight embarrassment an incident may have caused. That lesson #9 was inspired by a wedding I attended this year in which your girl here had far too much fun (if you're picking up what I'm putting down). Hint hint: I was at a vineyard and I love wine, but wine didn't love me that night on the ride home.
For five days after that wedding, I lost sleep over how to respond. What the heck do I tell this bride and how do I make it better?
My mind was far from free after that event until I finally sent an overdue apology. It stung to own up to that embarrassing moment, but it set me free. I couldn't go back and change the action, but responding was my only way to let it go.
Mistakes will always challenge you with a response, whether it's at a friend's wedding or in the comfort of your kitchen trying to perfect a vegan pumpkin bread. This pumpkin bread hassled me with six, yes SIX tries, to get it just right. It was the wrong flour, then not enough flour, then the wrong sugar, then the right flour but not enough of it. Candidly, it was one fat mistake in a loaf pan time and time again.
But I responded. Took some walks. Went for a few runs. Journaled about it. Stepped away from the pile of mistake molded to the edges of a loaf pan in its audacious pudding-like consistency. I came back to it with a fresh perspective.
On try No.6, we got it just right. The flavor, the texture, the consistency—it was ALL there. Finally.
Full transparency, the satisfaction to bounce back from five mistakes in a row was fulfilling. I'm ultra competitive so every bake that came out poorly was a smack to my culinary ego that fueled my fire to keep pressing on.
It wasn't easy to chuck five loaves of poorly risen bread in the trash, but I refuse to settle for a half-assed bread. You won't find that on this blog.
May this bread serve as a reminder that mistakes will continue to find us, whether we want them to or not. The wedding mishaps. The Corporate America hiccups. The family dramas. We cannot hide from them, but we can learn to respond when it matters most.
As always, may the inspiration found here find light in your kitchen.
2 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour
1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup pumpkin purée
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
How to make it happen:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl, combine all wet ingredients (water, pumpkin, maple syrup, and coconut oil). Add coconut sugar. Whisk until evenly mixed.
Whisk in the cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg. Then, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until evenly combined.
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour batter into loaf pan and lightly slam on the countertop a few times to release air bubbles.
Bake at 350ºF for about 1 hour, or until inserting and extracting a clean toothpick from the center of the bread.
Cool for about 20 mins before serving. Store in the fridge for optimal freshness.
Enjoy warm or my favorite, chilled!