Rolling Pins and Learning Curves

Rolling Pins and Learning Curves

There is comfort in mastery. I love when something becomes familiar and easy, like I’ve been doing it all my life – when you can finally say, “I’ve got this. I don’t need any help.”

Using a rolling pin was one of those tasks I was pleased to master. I spent many hours in the kitchen with my mom growing up and I always (and still do) admired her skill with that wooden cylinder. It was like an extension of her arm as she smoothed out pie dough, creating a perfect round.

Our rolling pin was of the short, sturdy variety. It had two curvy handles connected by a metal rod running through middle of the base. It actually was a rolling pin. While your hands remained static on the handles, the base rolled this way and that around the metal rod. I learned to push the edges with my thumbs while holding it hovering over flour to make the surface non-stick. I learned to start from the middle and gently arch outward to create an even thickness. I learned reposition my body as well as the pin when rolling so the dough spread from every angle.

That rolling pin has been my standard for rolling pins ever since because that’s the one I learned on. It’s the one I mastered and feel comfortable handling. But, it’s my mom’s rolling pin, so when I got married and moved out, I no longer had access to my favorite rolling pin. I was forced to use a rolling pin I had gotten as a wedding gift.

This pin was long and skinny, a professional looking rolling device I’d seen chefs use on The Food Network. I was intimidated by the narrow shaft that didn’t have handles and seemed much too lengthy. It felt awkward in my hands. I dreaded making sugar cookies or pie dough because I’d have to use what I didn’t feel comfortable using.

It’s been almost two years since I received that rolling pin. I was making calzones earlier this week and caught myself wielding that rolling pin with ease. The small lumps of pizza dough became flat discs in seconds as I maneuvered the wooden cylinder like it was an extension of my arms.

After months and months of it feeling cumbersome and foreign, I had mastered that rolling pin. And I loved this new pin just as much as the one I learned on.

I haven’t been able to escape the similarities between rolling pins and the curveballs life throws our way. When God’s plan differs from my own or my circumstances change, I want to through my hands up in protest. Everything that had felt so natural quickly becomes uncomfortable and ungainly. I avoid engaging with the new and unfamiliar. I constantly compare it to the old ways I had mastered.

But, just like that rolling pin, I need to give the unexpected a chance. Even if it takes weeks, months, or years, the new will become standard, the uncomfortable will become familiar. There may be a learning curve, but I think God allows for us to take our time adjusting. And, eventually, that new rolling pin may become your favorite.

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6 thoughts on “Rolling Pins and Learning Curves

  1. Amen! I have one of each rolling pin so maybe God needs to teach me to stop buying stuff. ;) Seriously, though, when Ben and I were dating in college I visited him at his summer wildland fire job in Montana and I bought a rolling pin like your mom’s at an antique store in the little town he was living in. It’s definitely a cherished possession…though I do also have one of those skinny ones too!

    1. I have two rolling pins too :) One is that long skinny one I’m beginning to like and the other is one my Grampy made. Neither of them are like that original though!

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