As a recovering perfectionist, I understand the feeling of being dissatisfied with the smallest (and most trivial) of imperfections, allowing the sentiment to overwhelm the whole. But now, I am a proud imperfectionist. Why?
Because no two toasties made with handmade components can be perfectly triangular. Don't tell me that you don't love the gnarly, cheesy bits stuck to the outside of the toastie as much as the next muppet! And nor will fruit cordial made by hand be sans fruity bits floating about in your drink. Honestly, they're such sweet, chewy morsels. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I can't pretend that I didn't worry a little when I started testing for the shop, when everything was turning out asymmetrical or not quite in line. We've all been groomed by the giants to only buy the most perfect-looking fruit and veg, or for all of our eggs to be identical in size and colour.
So rather than trim the organic sourdough to fit into the perfect triangles of the toastie maker, I have been squishing them in as is. I have toasted up those babies, letting the non-plastic cheese ooze out of the sides, smacking my lips in delight over the number of crunchy bits.
I've also been practising the this-toastie-is-too-hot-and-I-am-trying-not-to-burn-the-roof-of-my-mouth dance (not to be mistaken with the I've-just-walked-into-a-spiderweb-and-HELP-ME-I-am-sure-there-is-a-deadly-spider-scurrying-down-the-back-of-my-shirt dance, which has a few more hysterical karate chop moves). Alarming mouth breathing theatrics (in a poor attempt to cool the food down) and furious hand flapping near the mouth moves are optional.
I understand that this isn't for everybody (wonky food, not the mad dance moves). But I do hope you can come along on this ride with me, learning to appreciate food for what it is, learning to eat locally, and learning to love our imperfections.
Here are some pics from the test kitchen: maple hazel granola (so good with tart yoghurt and fresh fruit), lamb, paprika and almond sausage rolls (who needs tomato sauce?) and empanadillas (just trust that the Spaniards can deliver - in this case, puff pastry with tomato, tuna and green capsicum).
PS Have you noticed our brand spankin' logo? I am chuffed. Kassandra Hunt from Boheem was an absolute pleasure to work with. And her work speaks for itself.