We have all done it: ruined an entire dinner; burned a piece of toast; served raw chicken to our guests. Cooking can be a daunting, frustrating, and hopeless pursuit . . . and when you are in a pickle, it's time for a little pep talk from some of the biggest cooking and non-cooking experts--people like Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, Truman Capote, Maya Angelou, and many others who, at one time or another, have also scorched their lunch. But remember, as the cookbook author Alana Chernila likes to say, "Homemade food is the opposite of perfection."