Give Yourself a Pep Talk When Your Meal is a Flop

By on May 23, 2012

The salad didn’t turn out like I had wanted it to. At the last minute, I boiled the eggs for the delicious Spinach Salad I had planned on serving, and I did serve it, but as I started eating, I realized I had made a mistake.

Spinach salad needs to be made with cold, hard-boiled eggs, not warm ones.

The salad looked beautiful, but it just wasn’t right. It was mushy and the spinach leaves were wilting before my very eyes. (By the way, The Pioneer Woman even says it’s true: Cold eggs are the best. Check out her amazing recipe for The Best Spinach Salad.)

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But … no one complained.

There was plenty of other good food on the plate — fresh barbecued salmon, roasted peppers, hot bread from the oven, melt-in-your-mouth sweet potatoes.

There is one thing I’ve learned about hostessing.

You don’t say a word, you don’t apologize. You don’t draw attention to what you think is wrong, which others may not even notice.

  • Let it go.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself.
  • Give yourself a break.

I often give myself this pep talk when something doesn’t turn out the way I want.

I’ve learned that by acknowledging my errors (keeping them to myself), I’ve become a more merciful person when I go to someone else’s house for dinner. Less of a perfectionist. If there is something that isn’t quite right, I understand. Not a word is said, but I understand.

I have compassion, especially for a new hostess.

What’s your attitude when it comes to messing up in the kitchen? Do you let it go and press on?


Originally posted on Reluctant Entertainer.

About Sandy Coughlin

Sandy Coughlin is a wife and mom of three teenagers, and is the voice behind Reluctant Entertainer (, a hospitality blog dedicated to helping people in search of a lifestyle that says, “I can do this!”. Her book, The Reluctant Entertainer, is in bookstores or available on Amazon. You can also follow Sandy on Twitter (@SandyCoughlinRE) or follow her on Facebook page, Reluctant Entertainer.

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Give Yourself a Pep Talk When Your Meal is a Flop