What do you think the word means?
1. mistake 2. small dumpling 3. Starbucks drink 4. computer glitch
For those of you who may have heard the radio news story this weekend, malfatti means "mistake" but it is also a small Italian dumpling. The Depot restaurant was the originator of malfatti back in 1920. Italian immigrants had fled the earthquake ravaged San Francisco in 1906 and had settled in the Napa Valley region of California. One of transplanters opened a local restaurant serving homemade Italian cuisine. As the story goes, this local restaurant ran out of ravioli when serving a large group. The only thing remaining was extra filling- spinach and ravioli- which the resourceful cook made into little dumplings to serve with her meat sauce. It was a hit from the beginning. The cook called them, malfatti which means mistake or poorly made.
I love these types of stories.
Stories like these remind me that mistakes happen. No one knows why the Depot ran out of food- someone didn't know that a visiting sports team was coming to dinner; reservations weren't made or were but got misplaced; food ordering didn't happen? Sometimes things do not go according to plan. Whether it is someone's fault or not, these things happen. We cannot control everything in our life.
Stories like these remind me that sometimes the correction of the mistake creates an idea, item or recipe that is even better than the original. In googling "malfatti" there are a plethora of websites that have the recipe. The little mistake has become a standard in cooking. This is not the first time something wonderful was created out of a potential "disaster": penicillin, post-it notes, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, x-ray machine, implantable pacemaker, microwave oven, ink-jet printer.
Stories like these remind me that whenever there is a change- to a schedule, to resources or to plans- we need to go with it. We cannot just complain and gripe about the loss or the actual mistake. We need to look for resourceful ways to keep going and improve the situation. If anything try to reuse, reassess or redeem the situation.
What about you? Have you ever had a mistake that turned into something great? What did that teach you?
Are you currently going through a situation that doesn't appear to have a good ending? How can you turn it from something that is called a mistake or poorly made into something that is inventive and new?
What is the "malfatti" in your life?