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Hi and welcome to Love and Bistros! A place to write about baking, travel, and living healthy. I have a major sweet tooth but I attempt to stay healthy in between desserts!
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The “Perfect” Crouton

This morning I awoke with a frog in my throat and sinuses blocked. Allergies have struck me yet again and the pink roses I bought for myself are only aggravating the matter – ironic, isn’t it? As the day got started and a little white Reactine pill swallowed I realised that today was Princess’ last day of Preschool until September – oh Lord, the picnic! The Preschool she goes to often puts together little “parties” and there’s a sign-up sheet for parents to bring in different finger foods; I usually go for sweets, but since I got to the sheet a little late I had to bring a veggie platter. No biggie, grocery stores pre-make those, right?

After unsuccessfully calling around to all the grocery stores in the immediate vicinity, I came to the realisation that I’d have to make my own veggie spread. Sometimes I wish I were Super Woman, and sometimes it actually happens: within 30 minutes I had purchased veggies and dip, cut and washed them, placed them in seperate plastic containers – and had even managed to put Princess’ hair in two little pigtails on the top of her head. I almost forgot the teachers’ cards, but got them in the nick of time and we set off on our way – a little late, but we made it!

The whole rush of the morning made me question myself: when did I stop caring so much? I wasn’t always this scatterbrained. I was the type of person to buy the perfect birthday card 6 months in advance, make sure the teachers received perfect gifts, ensured all was prepped and on time. And now? Now, I’m not so sure why, but these things don’t matter as much as they used to. I think it’s kind of sad, to lose touch with all these perfectionista-tendencies. But then I think perhaps it’s not sad at all.

It makes me stop and think of what’s important to me now – does it matter if I’m five minutes late being somewhere? I don’t mind, as long as when I get there I make the most of my time when I get there. I’ve realised that perfection isn’t the attempt of doing something in its’ exact instruction, it is really something that happens naturally – you can’t control everything, and even the most beautiful people in the world have flaws. Moments of perfection happen when you allow yourself to lose a bit of control and truly relish in the moments of calm or crazy, with the ones that matter most to you.

I used to think that perfection would bring happiness, isn’t that what the old adage ‘Cleanliness equals Godliness’ refers to, really? But having a house perfectly clean, stressing over the ‘perfect brunch’, running to a grocery store seven more times because you desperately ‘need’ a certain dressing to make something properly? All this perfection turns into negative energy, and I think I started to resent doing things for my loved ones because of all the effort it took on my part.

The less I worry about how perfect something is, the more perfect it actually feels.

And sometimes it means making croutons from scratch for my family. Something so simple, the joy of using up pieces of Italian bread, the aroma of garlic and butter filling up my kitchen, and the taste of your own homemade croutons taste a million times better than the dried up pieces of bread you can get at the store. Even if you mess them up, they are delicious. And there’s nothing more satisfying to bite into a crunchy homemade crouton. Nothing. That is true perfection.

Croutons

Ingredients

  • crusty bread (French, Italian, etc)
  • butter or cooking oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove or garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped fresh herbs (parley, thyme)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 218°C / 425°F.

2 Cut the bread into cubes.

3 Place butter or oil into a frying pan on medium heat, allowing to melt. Add garlic, salt and pepper.

4 Add the cubes of bread, stirring to ensure an even coating.

5 Transfer the pan into the oven or place bread cubes onto a baking dish and place in oven for 10 minutes or until browned as desired. Fold in fresh herbs if you wish! And add to your favourite salad or just eat them on their own…. you do that too right?

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  • "The less I worry about how perfect something is, the more perfect it actually feels. "

    I so agree with this. Amazing. When you stop pushing yourself so much, you'll be happier in doing things you have to do. I really believe in that.

    ps. yummm croutons. you make salad look so tempting!
  • I just came by, because the link I had to this blog kept bringing me back to your work website. Glad I found it on twitter, nice to see your Gastown pics... we have a pic of the clock from our visit to Vancouver. Now I have to get the new link to this... but croutons sound delicious.
  • I'm bookmarking this post because A) the croutons look absolutely delicious and are making me crave a salad at midnight; and B) your words about perfection are so true and could not have come at a better time. I hope you enjoy an imperfect but amazing weekend :)
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