I've made one hundred and eighty two million thousand "variations" (versions, renditions, interpretations...) and, behold, the first batch I've been happy with was this Valentine's one. They've just always been lopsided, cracked or footless. It's just completely baffles me how some people can churn out batch after batch of gorgeous, immaculate macarons. Not to mention all the hoity toity shops with their macaron towers. Pshah. I'll admit, I've been a little jealous walking by those shops.
A couple weeks ago, I made a double batch of macs intended for a party: half lemon curd buttercream filling, and the other half was a salted caramel popcorn mac. They were beautiful, but I was convinced they were underdone, and put all of them back in the oven on a "warm" setting to stiffen up and dry out for a few minutes. I won't give you the blow-by-blow, but even after allowing them to mature, singing to them and pleading with them, they were brittle, crunchy, and just plain wrong. I had to chuck them.
Maybe it's my ego, or my stubbornness, or the crazy coming out (yeah, I'm a catch), but I just couldn't accept defeat. I folded them exactly 50 strokes, baked them at a low 280 degrees for a solid 16 minutes and gave them plenty of room in between so they wouldn't run into each other.
Me: This is getting to be an expensive hobby - I keep making these things and throwing them away. I just. Can't. Give up!
BF: *Exhasperated look* You're being a perfectionist. Your macarons are great.
Me: But they're not quite right. If I keep doing it over and over, maybe I'll get it right. Wait. Isn't that the definition of insanity, or something? Repeating the same behavior and expecting different results?
BF: As long as it keeps making you happy, you should keep doing it.
Me: So crazy is OK, if I'm happy?
For my Valentine, who's simply always encouraging.