I do enjoy pretty pictures of the delicious food. Creations that I imagine conjuring up in my kitchen and feeding to my enthusiastic family; at our perfectly set dinner table; in the spotless kitchen.
It doesn’t always work like that though.
Sometimes frequently I create imperfect food. Often my family, particularly the younger members have varying degrees of enthusiasm. Always I create mess.
And you know what, I don’t really think it matters. (Well I suppose the mess matters a little when it’s 9pm and I still need to finish the cleaning)
What matters is that I really enjoy baking and cooking, especially when I can involve Sunflower, my almost 3-year old girl. Have a look here at the fun we had creating these chocolate cakes. I try to cook nutritious food, but balance this with occasional treats. To me the imperfect finished product; the flour dropped all over the floor is less important than her delight at joining me in the kitchen and my efforts to provide a balanced diet. Sometimes we do even manage to create a delicious treat such as these amazing carrot&coconut cake pops.
Today we attempted a healthy courgette cupcake made without butter, oil or refined sugar.
- Wholemeal flour
- Ground Almonds
- Cream cheese
- Chia Seeds
- Flaked Almonds
They weren’t perfect. To be precise they were tasty but a bit squidgy. Annoyingly they didn’t peel well out of the wrapper.
But I am still going to celebrate their creation:
- Sunflower and I shared a special time together.
- She is now excited to eat courgettes.
- Mr R ate 4 of them – they must have been at least edible.
- My intentions – to create a healthy(ish) treat were good.
There are many factors that make cooking with a pre-schooler more complicated. (Just like my previous post about complicating factors when trying to exercise as a parent)
Complications when cooking with a pre-schooler:
- The mess. Oh the mess. That’s all I have to say.
- The repeated hand-washing, hand licking, hand washing cycle
- The laborious need to stir everything
- The time consumption involved in allowing a small person to spoon mixture into paper cases.
- The need to drag steps everywhere around the kitchen to satisfy curiosity at each cooking stage.
For me it’s worth overcoming these complicating factors when Sunflower takes delight in the activity. I always feel better when I know that I have done something beneficial or enjoyable for her, even if there may have been other easier, less messy, options.
I think the same applies to exercise and physical activity. As a parent there are complicating factors, but there are definite benefits to being physically active. I usually find my body appreciates it when I do make an effort.
Of course like my cupcakes, the outcome of my exertions are not perfect. Today I ran another 5k Parkrun. I am still a couple of minutes slower than my personal best.
But it doesn’t really matter if my cupcakes are squidgy; my running slower than it was. I will aim to celebrate the imperfect outcomes and try to enjoy the process whatever the complications.
So here’s to squidgy cupcakes, messy kitchens, and relaxed running! I hope you all have fun this week and celebrate your endeavours regardless of the outcome.
30 second summary: Today I made squidgy cupcakes. I am still running more slowly than pre-baby. I am going to celebrate my imperfect achievements regardless.
What do you think? Is it ok to celebrate an imperfect outcome? Is it adequate to have fun and good intentions?