I fancy cooking, at least I used to. I still cook, occasionally with my daughter and wife. It is exactly in that order, first with Dhriti and then with Priya, in reference to the control that I have. In the case of latter, it is none.
One perfect afternoon, Dhriti and I decided to prepare Pizza, right from the start. We picked up our favorite Italian cuisine author, Giorgio Locatelli’s book, Made at Home. Perfect and apt as the book title suggests. Giorgio has the tradition of making Pizzas for his entire staff on Saturdays, a simple Margherita pizza and calls it The Saturday Pizza. It was Saturday and therefore it had to be Pizza. Few ingredients were missing, which we shopped from nearby grocery store. Yeast was the most important, which was our first purchase. Giorgio’s recipe mandated that we get the dough prepared right. The dough was to be kept at least of 8 hours in refrigerator. The following day it was to be kept out for at least 2 hours. The dough looked good, when it came out of refrigerator, we had our first step right.
Margherita pizza is one of the easiest preparations and the only one that Dhriti has most of the times. It was a new acquired taste for my 8 year old. Therefore, deciding which pizza to make was not a problem. Rolling the pizza or making the sauce was also not the problem. The problem as that we were using the oven for the first time. We, father and daughter, were making the pizza for the first time. And we were very confident, so much that we could taste our pizza before it went in. Our pizza was decorated with garnishing no less than a Christmas tree. It was our first time and we spared no effort. The smell of the first pizza of it’s kind had filled the room, leaving us wondering when would it come out. We set the time for 14 minutes at 220 degrees temperature and by 13th minute the father and daughter were on the table waiting for their magnum opus to arrive.
It looked ok from the top, a bit black, could have had lesser garnishing, but the bread was definitely thin. My first bite confirmed the suspicion. The pizza did lacked taste and was hard to chew. It’s a good pizza, I told Dhriti and also myself. I expected the words to work magic, like making dead alive. Internally, I was consoling myself, Don’t worry, Dhriti will find it good.
No Dada, it doesn’t doesn’t taste like Pizza we had.
This was real, 100% truth, undeniable reality. I wanted it to be different. I wanted Dhriti to have liked the pizza, because we had followed all the process and proportions. It was meant to be a perfect pizza. The reality was what it was, but I didn’t accept it. I wanted reality to be different, what I wanted it to be. This is not fair, a learning again.
Our inability or unwillingness to see things the way they are, maybe is the single most important cause for dissonance. Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. The root for this bias lies in our emotions. We can’t take less perfect version of ourselves, because it would make us wrong. We would rather be right than wrong, emotionally being wrong is a heavy tax to pay. And lets face it, it is the most difficult thing to say that I was wrong.
How do we get rid of our myside bias? By developing a value system of acceptance, without judgement, with emotional equanimity. By daily practice of seeing things as they really are. And by not putting our egos in everything. This will take tremendous amount of time, practice and denying social acceptance of our acts.
After our first namesake pizza, we made pizza again, under the supervision of masterchef, Priya, who knew the art of making the secret sauce, the perfect tomato, the melted mozzarella, hint of basil, served hot. Italian King Umberto 1 and his queen Margherita would be proud that we were able to restore the sanctity of queen’s name in our second attempt. By the way the Margherita Pizza truly represents the Italian flag, as described by Giorgio.
The pizza was really good, genuinely.
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