De problem? Is scone


© Laura Eades 2013 all rights reserved

scone sgone crumbs

© Laura Eades 2013 all rights reserved

Scones, cake… whatever. It’s for sharing. But I discover to my detriment that my motives are mwthgn… sorry, got my mouth full

Scones – really?

I know. I know: it has finally come to this. I’m  a 36-year-old hausfrau blogging about scones. Oh shit. What happened to my feminism? But this isn’t what it looks like. It’s not another scone recipe – Mary Berry’s is quite good enough. It’s damn good. Too good. I wouldn’t dream of trying to better it.

I might as well rename them, Excuses. I’m baking a round of excuses. I love cooking, and I’m a miser with money, but for some reason, I find being generous through food easier. But I use seeing people, and giving treat food, as an excuse to indulge.

Right. I have literally just taken a tray of scones out of the oven and am just going to pause to honour the one I’m about to eat:

– – – UMNUMNUMNUM– – –

It was excellent. Buttery. Sweet. Salty. Great with a cup of tea. Raisins chewy where baked, soft where under the surface. Needless to say, I wanted another immediately (and had one).

And later on, when I take them to the picnic party they’re baked for, I’m expecting to eat another one. With cream and jam. Maybe with butter and jam. But will I actually eat two of them then? Surreptitiously, while pretending to share them? Because I can’t speak German and might find it hard to just socialise?

I’m beginning to feel a little uneasy as the excuses I’m covering up get shown for what they are.

Feeding the world – generosity?

There’s a weird logic to cooking for people. I’m giving it away, yet giving it away is psychologically quite difficult, in fact. I feel that if they are going to have it, I have to have had my own share, so I’m not left wanting. I’m reminded of when I tell my daughter to share and have to give another toy in order to passify the part of her that wants something for herself. When I say “look, you’ve got the train. So Levi can play with the digger”, I free her up to share her other toy. So I feel I deserve my share, THEN I can give away the rest (which isn’t much of gift, since I’ve had all I want from it!).

I’m effectively masking a binge as an act of generosity.

The same applies when I have people over to dinner. I like hosting and often put in hours of enjoyable cooking (obviously, tasting as I go!). Then, since hosting always requires rather a lot of concentration (has everyone got a drink? a fork?), I never feel like I actually ate the meal we made mindfully enough. Not never, but rarely. But I don’t mind, because I’m already looking forward to the leftovers. I’m excited by the abundance and about tasting it again – for breakfast tomorrow, probably!

I’m going to apply my imagination to think up solutions right now.

Scones (or any other treat you plan to take when visiting someone else)

  • You want to take someone to someone’s house. Take something else! Take exotic fruit, a game, a gift, flowers, some fine tea. Buy something – you might care less about it if you hadn’t invested in the making of it.
  • Bake something else. Stop the Scone Cycle!!! (Actually, I’m not really a baker, which is why the discovery of scones is such a revelation. Wow! Something I can manage!)
  • I would suggest taking something to another person’s house that I don’t actually like. But I actually like everything.
  • Ask my husband to take care of what we take. Let it surprise me.
  • Tried and tested: This works: plan the baking to coincide with a meal, and make the tasting of the scones actually the meal. For example, on Saturday we took some to a friend’s house (she’d just had a baby so I really didn’t want her to have to think about food at all), so my daughter and I baked them early in the morning and I ate one for breakfast.
  • I’m going to try this this afternoon. I’ve tasted the scones straight from the oven. They were great. Later, I’m going to set myself the challenge to give every single one away. I already enjoyed them. I know what they taste like. I’m going to try to learn to enjoy the generosity of really giving them.

Hosting dinner

  • Is there anything you can do to make serving stress-free so that you have the mental space to eat mindfully and enjoy what you’ve cooked? Is there a meal you can make in advance?
  • Can you cook the perfect amount for everyone with hardly any leftovers?
  • Can you throw away the leftovers or persuade your guests to take it with you?
  • Can you avoid cooking something wickedly indulgent that smashes your diet to hell?

>>>Update. How did the scone giveaway go? 

Great. I gave em. Ate a cheese straw. Parents were nice. Played with kids. Used a jam I don’t love. Remember, every Urge you get one step ahead of it a freaking victory to be notched up at the end of the day!

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Do you show love mainly through food? Through gifts? Do you share things as an excuse? Do you have ways of getting a step ahead of yourself? Love to hear your workarounds. Click on the pale grey dot with a plus sign on it under the blogpost to open up the comment thread below.

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