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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Perfection Not Required Part II

Finding a perfect recipe for a paleta is akin to discovering a mythical creature. One simply does not exist. A paleta recipe cannot be set or adhered to exactly, they are merely suggestions, guidelines. The acidity of the fruit of the day, carefully chosen at the farmers stand or supermarket, requires varying amounts of sugar. So it's guess and add, taste, and add a bit more until the concoction has a balance of sweet and tart.

Paletas made with a single flavor are much too simple for a sophisticated palate. Concocting a piquant combination often requires standing at the refrigerator or pantry door, hoping for another fruit or spice to present itself to be added to the chosen base already waiting in the Cuisinart. It's inspiration, not instruction.

Until seven months ago, I followed a recipe for life that I drafted and refined to perfection. The elements were essential and I did not vary from the instructions. The recipe gave me purpose, it sustained me and burnished my self-worth. Like the fruit in the food processor, with a major life change, my life's recipe was pulverized. The essence was retained, but the form is quite different.

So, I add a cup of new fruit, a bit more sugar, a dash of spice and give it a whirl. I test each new venture for sweetness and authenticity. The outcome has often been tasty and exciting, but disappointment and rejection have been the occasional result. The merit is in the trial and in the error, the guesswork and inspiration. As long as I answer the call to be fruitful, the recipe will be as perfect as it can get.

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