I was a little frightened when I learned I was going to make a dish because I have little experience in the kitchen, unless you count the microwave. I assumed I was going to fail from the start, so I was very apprehensive to make the dish.
My fear of failure really kicked in when I went grocery shopping for the ingredients. I had difficulty finding a can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes when I thought they would be the easiest things on the list to find. Who knew there were so many different types of tomatoes in a can? They took up almost half of one side of the aisle. There were crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, whole tomatoes, and don’t even get me started on the ones with added spices.
The sauce for the filling of the Panzerotti
I inevitably made a couple mistakes, but one stands out because I almost ruined the recipe. I bought two heads of garlic and thought each of them was a clove. When I asked my aunt about how to mince the garlic she was surprised by how much I had on the cutting board. Thankfully she pointed out that two heads of garlic weren’t the same as two cloves, which saved her house from having that unmistakable scent forever.
Me mincing the garlic
I was really nervous to fry the Panzerotti because I didn’t want to get popped with hot oil. Having a bad habit of playing it safe, I chose to go against my natural instincts and make a fried food so I could challenge myself. My problem is that I think too much about what might go wrong and then I psych myself out, so if I jump right into facing my fears it’s easier for me to conquer them because I don’t have time to overthink anything.
I was frying the Panzerotti and I hadn’t got popped by hot oil yet, which gave me a sense of relief. Then I had to flip the Panzerotti and the oil just started going crazy and popping all over the place. Being alone in the kitchen and not wanting to burn my aunt’s house down, I had to take care of the situation myself instead of giving up, like I wanted to. I learned that I don’t have to hectically flood my mind with possible problems and solutions beforehand, but instead I can stay calm and act fast in the moment.
Once I was finished making the Panzerotti my cousin was the first to try one and she really enjoyed it. I was delightfully surprised that I was successful, because I thought my lack of knowledge in the kitchen would get in my way.
My cousin trying the Panzerotti
When I had to change my first recipe I decided to go with a recipe that called for bigger portions of the Panzerotti, because I had a huge issue with the smaller ones. First of all, the finished product was mostly dough because I could barely fit any sauce or cheese in there without the dough coming apart. Then a lot of them turned out more in the shape of a bullet rather than a half circle, so this made them harder to flip when I fried them.
The final product
Once I finished closing the Panzerotti for the second recipe I knew it was going to turn out better just by the shape and the consistency of the sauce. My family and I agreed that they tasted better than the first recipe because the ratio of dough to filling was more equal.
I am happy to say that not only did I survive this experience, but I got some good food and much needed knowledge about the kitchen. I faced my fear of failure and came out on top, because my family has already requested that I make Panzerotti again.