Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Perfection Trap

Perfection is a favourite blogging topic and unfortunately it is all too true and too easily to fall into! Sometimes we're waiting for the perfect time to do something, or the perfect amount of skills or money, the perfect person, the perfect job...the list can go on!

The trouble with the perfection trap is that one spends too much time and energy on making something perfect instead of enjoying the experience. Perfection is a great way to not get things finished either :p Recently I found myself caught up in the perfection trap while painting some mirrors. I bought a bunch of wood mirrors to paint and couldn't decide if I should make one yellow and orange or yellow and brown. The solution was to make both colours!

The orange one gave me a lot of trouble, almost from the start. I bought a shade that I thought would be heavy enough, but it wasn't. It didn't cover the light pencil lines and barely covered the yellow base. I tried adding red to bulk it up. The mixture looked great when wet, but dull when dry. I painted the same areas over and over and then I started to fret about some areas that were starting to look too thick. Ugh!! I was getting frustrated because it wasn't turning out perfect enough. The brown one was much more trouble free, so when the time came to seal it, the orange one was sealed too, warts and all. That way I couldn't work on it anymore!

Bird mirrors

But one has to be kind to themselves. Few people would notice the orange mirror's flaws. And it is a handmade item, not made by a machine. Flaws are inherent, no? And I bet whoever takes the mirror home won't notice at all. The contrast of the colours and the delightful theme outshines the tiny imperfections. The bird silhouette itself is from an imperfect photo of a sparrow I took in Banff in 2009. He was catching flies and moving too fast. I guess that's another reason not to dismiss imperfection so readily :-)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cherry Crunch

I turned on the stove today for the first time in months - it seems most dinners this summer came from the deli or we ate out, which I did not mind at all. It was nice to actually make something and almost complete another goal on my Mission 101 list. The goal is to make five recipes from the Home Christian Cookbook, a tome of 1960s vintage Mennonite recipes. So far I have made Company Casserole, apple cumble, another casserole which I can't quite remember and now cherry crunch, which is actually a little different from the apple crumble. It was good because I was able to "pantry shop" instead of having to buy more ingredients and it was a quick way to use up a bag of frozen berries real fast!

1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp of salt
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup soft butter
3 cups cherries

Mix all but fruit till crumbly. Put 1/2 of the mixture in a greased pan. Pour thickened or ready mix fruit over crumbs. Spread remainder of crumb mixture over top of fruit. Bake 30 minutes at 350. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. (Blueberry, apple or other fruits may be used). Attributed to Mrs. Kenneth Nightengale, Copeland, Kansas.

I took three pictures of the delicious dessert, and couldn't decide which to use, so be sure to check the other two out on Flickr.