Probability and Murphy’s Law

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Ok I have to confess I am not infallible. I strive for perfection but alas at this point in my life I still have much to learn and I make many mistakes. (just ask my family) When you spend the amount of time in a kitchen as I do, combined with the shear volume of variables, it is a statistical reality that at some point I will make mistake and something will not be done to perfection. That it is probability. Murphy’s law on the other hand is a completely different matter entirely. Murphy’s law is dependent on the fact that I will make a mistake and that when that mistake happens it will be at the least appropriate time. Take for example the dinner party I hosted the other evening. I had planned the perfect comfort food meal. I was trying to create something special for good friends who had never been to my house to eat. I went to the butcher, braised the prime rib in wine for four hours, and hand made gnocchi. All of this was in anticipation of that special moment when it touched my lips. As I laboured, that was all I could think about. Statistically the variables for failure were huge, but alas it was not probability but Murphy. As I prepared the gnocchi, without realizing it, I made my fatal (at least to my pride) mistake. I did not add enough flour to my dough. I unfortunately did not realize this until after I cooked them when they turned into a frankenstein version of mashed potatoes. Not gnocchi! So at some point I need to thank Murphy for showing me that I am not even close to perfect, but until that day happens I will continue to curse him.

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