I forget who it was that once told me that pastries can smell fear, but I wish I could remember who it was so I could tell them how right they are. Or maybe I would just punch them. If pastries can smell fear, Macarons must be the super-sniffers of the pastry world. They can also detect a mis-placed sense of accomplishment; you think you've finally learned the secrets to consistently producing non-hollow, perfectly chewy and tasty macarons, and then BAM, the next second you're knocking over your pastry bag immediately after filling it. Now you're staring at almost half of your hard work stuck to your kitchen floor. MWHAHAhahahaha, the macaron batter mocks as you try to remember when you last mopped the floor and if you should scrape it up off the floor and use it anyway. SUCKER, it cries, as you quickly decide that is a bad idea and throw it into the trash.
At that moment when you're between cursing and crying and you're sure if “Bad Baking Day” had an entry in the dictionary, a photo of your mistake would feature prominently, you message a good friend “I think I'm having a bad self-esteem week. Or maybe life.” (This can happen sometimes when you ruin your macarons, a boy you were starting to like decided after a few dates he didn't feel the same, and yet another job you interviewed for chose someone else all in the same week.) But then that friend replies, “You're the best baker I know. If your confections were perfect all the time, you'd be insufferable.” Question aside as to whether she actually knows any professional bakers with which to compare my home-baking operation, she immediately made me laugh and lighten up. So that last fledgling love-interest didn't work out, at least I was able to quickly line up three new first dates, and so I didn't get that job, but my interviewing skills gained valuable experience. Thank goodness for friends who also masquerade as the Silver Linings Fairy! Now if only I could bake up a perfect batch of raspberry macaron shells with raspberry chocolate ganache, I would repay her kindness in confectionary currency.