LIKE TACOS, EVERY NOW AND THEN I FALL APART
.... a meditation on failure
Failure is the key to success. To risk sounding like a Silicon Valley tech-y, I'm going to start by getting ahead of what I'm about to say. Disclaimer: I fully acknowledge and recognize that this may come across as super cheesy, and may even be dismissed as meaningless jargon to be used only at the outset of a company wide meeting at a sexy start up. The truth is though, this idea is substantial, and such an important intention to continuously remind yourself of. This has been my north star, my mantra that has motivated me to trudge through, even in the face of challenges and defeat.
Now, back to this idea of failure. To achieve your goals, you have to fail and fail and fail, yet keep forging forward with your head held high. It's so easy to let the feeling of defeat and rejection knock your confidence down and entirely change your perception of yourself. When failure punches you in the gut it's only natural to feel raw and vulnerable. The challenge here is to keep going. Keep learning. Keep creating. And don't quit. Because in a way, this action alone would be the ultimate failure.
So far in my journey with The Fennel Frond and other creative pursuits, I've been pretty successful. By that, I mean that I've been able to work on projects that make my heart sing, and I've been making a living doing it. Yet at the same time, I've also failed. A lot. For the most part I've been able to keep my clients pretty happy, but I've also had to re-shoot, re-record, re-edit, re-write, to create something that I'm proud of. At this point, my goal is to shake off the dust, keep learning and doing, and get better and better as I build up a volume of work.
I've thought about this a lot after listening to Ira Glass talking about the creative process. For those of you who are interested in the subject of self doubt, creativity, failure and success, you have got to check this out. Here's the gist of it:
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
This recipe represents two things to me. One is that it's comforting. After a series of setbacks yesterday, all I wanted to eat was tacos. So... that's how this recipe came about. The second is that this is a recipe that is wholly influenced by the mission of The Fennel Frond- to create healthful, accessible recipes using every edible bit of the ingredient and recipes that celebrate the seasons offerings. When it comes down to it, I owe a lot to this blog. Creating The Fennel Frond is what inspired to pursue my passion in food and design, and I believe that this recipe epitomizes the feeling, values and spirit of TFF. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Skin Tacos with Chipotle Yogurt and Farro
- soft corn taco shells
- black beans
- 4 tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. chipotle powder
- 1 cup of farro
- 2 cups of water
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 2 cups of yogurt
- 1 tbs. chipotle powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 lime, squeezed
Preheat oven to 425. Peel the potatoes. Keep the skins. Place skins in a cast iron skillet with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 20 mins. Dice the potatoes, place on sheet pan with smoked paprika, chipotle powder, salt, pepper and olive oil and roast for 30 mins.
Place a sauce pan on high heat and let water come to a boil. Place farro in the pot, covered, and let it simmer for 25 mins.
In a pan, place olive oil, black beans over high heat and cook with salt, pepper, smoked chipotle and cumin for 10 mins.
Assemble tacos with farro, black beans, sweet potatoes, chipotle yogurt with crispy potato skins on top.