My friend frivolous.

Nestled within many of the cracks and crevices of my past lies the need to be perfect. Not necessarily the kind of perfection designed to seek external approval, although we’ve all fought those battles every now and again. Haven’t we? Maybe. However, the most common battles of my past have involved wasted time or resources.

Before, when I brought home a pretty new sweater, I needed it to fit just right. I felt failure when it didn’t because I would then have to make the time to return it or feel the waste involved with not. Another example, I would feel uptight when a new kitchen gadget ultimately wasted space and then required the time for a drop-off to Goodwill. My perfectionism also trickled over into money. For example: Halloween costumes. I used to get stressed out while putting together a costume because of the money and time (double whammy) I was spending on something that would quickly be rendered useless.

Lucky for me, my costume issue finally raised the red flag. You see, I love-love-love dressing up for Halloween. I find consistent joy in the picking, creating and wearing of an idea. My love of the process allowed me to watch the perfection induced irritation from afar. And with that, I realized that my overall balance depends upon a certain percentage of my life being frivolous. The frivolous is actually a necessary part of my joy, and when I realized that, I could accept it and have more fun! If you fight this battle too, start your percentage low. Maybe 5%, and keep increasing until you find your own happy tipping point. Mine’s around 15% and still increasing!

This morning, I was running late. I needed to get to the Farmers’ Market before the pickings got slim, and I needed John to photograph my Almond Butter before I headed out. To speed things along, I skipped a step. A step I can now tell you with absolute confidence is most definitely necessary. In the recipe below, you’ll find that after I roast the nuts, I recommend them to cool for 10 minutes before proceeding. Definitely do this. You see, I didn’t, and when the hot nuts went into the food processor, the heat from the processor continued to cook the nuts, resulting in burnt almond butter. It wasn’t pretty. The processor literally smoked. John was taking pictures of the smoke (because smoke makes pretty pictures), while I encouraged “ohh! that’s a great one!” until we realized… oops!

So, the almond butter in the above picture is actually the store-bought version my mom (who’s in town!) kindly ran down to buy for me, while I cleaned up my burnt almond disaster. So, today’s almond butter falls under the category of frivolous. But if I hadn’t burnt my almond butter, I’d never be able to stress the absolute need to cool your nuts. I am happy to report that I can now find freedom and knowledge in failure. Well, 80% of the time.

By the way, I also allot 20% of life to slip-ups.

Click HERE for the Dehydrated Almond Butter recipe…

xo – Organic Spark


  • Amanda

    Ha! I screw up half the time!!

    Great pic!

    God bless-

    November 28, 2010
  • Chandelle

    Almond butter is one of the things I was most excited to make when I got my Blendtec — store-bought is SO expensive compared to almonds themselves. But I haven't had success making it; it's always so dry. I believe it's also a problem of trying to make it "raw," since nuts break down easier when they're roasted. I'll have to try it this way, roasted and with coconut oil. Thanks for the ideas!

    November 28, 2010
  • Molly Chester

    AManda – Now that you mention it… 50/50 might be more accurate!

    Chandelle – We love it, too! Hope the oils help the dryness. I think you will find that it will. Good luck!

    November 28, 2010

    Excellent advice Molly. Thanks for sharing your mistakes so we can learn from them. We live on Trader Joe's nut butters over here. I do need to make my own!

    November 28, 2010
  • Maria

    My favorite nut butter! Yum!

    November 28, 2010
  • Kristen

    Seems too simple! Who knew? Thanks for the tips!

    November 29, 2010
  • Sharon Lovejoy

    Good to know. I use our invaluable (well, it did have a value and nearly bankrupted us) Vita-Mix and I have put things in still warm, but it processes them so quickly that I haven't had the burning problem. I'll remember to cool these now.

    Thanks again,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

    P.S. Have you read the book The School of Essential Ingredients? I think you would love it. It is awesome for food lovers.

    November 30, 2010
  • Molly

    Kristen – It is simple! I was surprised, too!

    Sharon – Thank you so much for the cookbook recommendation dear! I look forward to checking it out.

    November 30, 2010
  • Sandra

    How fun to see you and your photographer in action!

    December 1, 2010

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