Sometimes when brands come to me with sponsored post ideas I have to go through that agonising 'it's not a very good fit, but look at the money they want to pay me' before I have to turn it down. However, when the guys at Higgidy got in touch asking me if I wanted to write a post about how perfect has it's place when it comes to food, but sometimes things are better if they're a bit rustic (or in their words, 'higgidy' to help promote the super pretty new packaging on all of their pies, quiches and sausage rolls over British Pie Week, I though it would be a great opportunity to share a bit more of a personal post, because letting myself know it is okay not to be perfect all of the time is something I struggle with pretty much on an everyday basis.
Let's start with food (and this delicious Sweet Potato & Spicy Tomato Little Pie I had for lunch today!) Sometimes I wonder why I even write a food blog, because while I'm happy producing food that looks homemade like these pies (as it should!), the whole styling thing? I know I'm not the best at it, not as good as all of the people I'm constantly re-pinning on Pinterest. And then don't get me started on the food photography; I'm a portrait photographer, not a food photographer, and I don't think I've posted anything this year so far where I've been 100% happy with the photos. While I loved the process of writing my book, I absolutely hated the photography and styling part, and if I'm lucky enough to be asked to write another one, I really, really hope I don't have to photograph it as I never want to do it again.
I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get over my perfectionist tendencies when it comes to documenting the food I make, but I think I've made strides over the past few weeks in letting myself know it's okay for all of the food I eat not to be what I see as 'perfect' (read: 100% made from scratch), because really life is too short. As a student I had the time living away from home to cook every meal from scratch, but now I'm working full time and long hours, I'm learning to compromise and I think I'm a bit happier for it. Okay, so I do still cook myself a quick, half hour meal most nights after work from scratch, and I do have a lot of my Freeze Ahead Red Lentil Ragu stashed in the freezer, but the world did not end when I used jarred sauce (okay, one where I'd obsessively read the ingredients for any trace of additives) to make an Aubergine Mariana so I was not sitting down to eat at 8pm. These pies are great, just how I'd have made them homemade anyway, and instantly there when I get home late and just want something to eat in front of an episode of Scandal.
The first two weeks in my new job have also been giving me cause to sometimes stop, and remind myself that not everyone is perfect and the best at something all of the time, because we're all human, and that's okay. I took the job on because I wanted a new challenge, but there are elements of my old job in there that by now I can do standing on my head. But I'm in a new office, with a new system and a new way of doing things, and it's taking me time to learn to change my habits. But I did not account for this, and I found myself getting cross and frustrated with myself because I was not getting through my work as quickly as I used to be able to, because I was still learning. It took a colleague pointing this out to me, and lunch with an old friend to chill out a bit before I left myself accept I'm only just at the end of week two.
So the reason for this slightly more personal post (other than to tell you about the pies, which look very pretty in my fridge, will be coming to work with me for lunch next week, and that you can get your hands on at all major supermarkets) is to let you know it is okay not to be perfect, because I had to be reminded. It's the weekend, we don't have to be back at work until Monday morning. If you think you've been too hard on yourself take a moment to step back and clear your head. I promise it will help.