If at First You Don’t Succeed…

“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again” was something my mother always said. This resulted in her four children never giving up until they succeeded. A good thing, I guess, except trying to do everything perfect is stressful, not to mention impossible.

This story is going somewhere, I promise! It begins with my friend, Glenda, who makes delicious hot pepper jelly and always gives us a jar for Christmas. If you’ve never had hot pepper jelly poured over cream cheese and served with Triscuits, you haven’t lived! Anyhow, we got the pepper jelly for Christmas and, as usual, it was gone by the end of January. Oh, no!

Not wanting to wait eleven months to have pepper jelly and cream cheese again, I set out to make my own pepper jelly last weekend. It isn’t difficult but making any jelly is tricky in that it doesn’t always set up. Needless to say, I ended up with six jars of runny hot pepper sauce. Bummer!

Of course, my mother’s message, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again” was rolling around in my brain so I was (note I said ‘was’) determined to keep making the pepper jelly until I had a perfect, successful batch. Then bring on the cream cheese!

But that quote was bothering me so I Googled it. My mother tricked us! The full quote is from W. C. Fields: “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. Then quit! There’s no point being a damn fool about it!”

Hmmmm…maybe I’ll just beg Glenda for another jar of that jelly!