The best baking advice is often the best life advice: Plunge ahead, do not overthink and jump off the cliff with joy (even if your eyes are squeezed shut).
Although I've created many a cake wreck and I'm grateful for Ms. Walter's trouble-shooting advice, I tend to not intellectualize baking. If I thought of everything that could go wrong, I'd never turn on the oven.
And I learned another lesson in fearless baking last week when I saw a pie-making video featuring writer Joyce Maynard. Instead of the beautiful and well behaved pie dough I expected (Joyce has been making pies for years), I was shocked to see a crust that was well, shaggy, and that frankly looked much worse than mine. But where I saw imperfection, Joyce saw "future flakiness." And she confidently put the whole thing together in a few minutes and you know it was going to be delicious.
It was 29 years ago today that DH and I jumped off the cliff with joy (and eyes squeezed shut) as we wed after knowing each other only a few months. And despite everything that *could* have gone wrong in marriage (but didn't), we're still holding hands.