It’s hard to keep failure in perspective. No matter how many times I hear that your greatest lessons come from failure, it still feels awful at the time. Top that with all the gorgeous social media pictures and I can’t help but wonder where I fit in to the baking culture. I love baking. I don’t always do it well. Lately I’m realizing that it’s a constant work in progress. Just because I plan and research and have the most pristine intentions, it doesn’t mean my end result will be presentable. I wonder how in the world recipe creators do it. How do that make something over and over until it is right or do they even do that, it seems like they are just producing perfection all the time. I’m not, ever. Despite going to bed with a heavy heart, in the morning I feel ready to try again at least in my mind if not actually baking. I think about the next thing and how to change the one I didn’t like. Still, I’m far from where I want to be. The other day I received a gift from my neighbor: a huge bag of the most lusciously red, perfectly ripe tomatoes that she grew in her organic garden. I admit, I’m not a huge tomato eater but these were irresistible. I made salsa for my daughter, a big pot of sauce, and after a few salads I still had left overs just waiting for an herbal bake shoppe trial. Here in NJ there are Italian taverns that refer to their pizza as tomato pie. This inspired me. Earlier this summer, I received another gift from my closest cousin who was visiting for some beach time. It was a giant chunk of Greek feta cheese; completely melt in your mouth pleasure. I decided with the last days of summer upon me, to combine these two generous presents with the hope to break my failure streak. I believe I did. I would love to hear if you think so, too.