I didn’t coin the word, sadly. But I love ‘procrasticooking’. I actually saw it as a status update on Facebook and thought, wow, yes that summarises several hours of my week in one nice little word. I’m thinking there are many others out there too, who make elaborate dinners from Gourmet Traveller rather than the vacuuming, attempt a MasterChef style croquembouche tower rather than study for an upcoming exam or turn into Jamie Oliver, pumping out masses of pucker tucker when what you should really be doing is making an appointment to see your dentist.
To get all technical on you for a moment, to procrastinate is to delay or postpone action, to put off doing something. For me procrastination has a sort of wilful-yet-hopeful attitude to it. So when I procrastinate I very earnestly and industriously do something else, all the while kind of hoping that while I watch Game of Thrones or go for a walk my assignment might just actually write itself.
Cooking and/or baking is definitely one of my favourite activities to avoid doing something else. Hence my joy at discovering this new term. I’ve since learned that Urban Dictionary actually has an entry for ‘Procrastibaking’, Procrasticooking’s sweeter doughier cousin. There’s also a blog called ‘Procrastibaking’ and a Facebook page dedicated to it. Obviously I haven’t been doing enough procrastinating to know this!
When I was at Uni I used to procrasticook during the SWOT VAC week. Thinking ahead I’d reason that, when in the midst of complex and intense study, I’d hardly be breaking to make myself dinner. Yet I still had to eat. My brain required better fuel than bananas and three packets of Tim Tams a day. So at the start of the study week I’d make all these dinners, eat some and freeze the rest. It worked pretty well, but I did lose a day of study to my procrasticooking…and I still ate the Tim Tams.
Procrasticooking can be a very creative activity. See, sometimes I’m desperate to avoid something so I go into the kitchen and think, ‘yes, I’ll make a cake, that will solve everything, right?’ However, making something on the spur of the moment probably means I haven’t got all the necessary ingredients. In the past this has led to me inventing alternatives. I’ve made custard when I had no milk (mixing cream with water by shaking it together in the tub works perfectly), cupcakes with no butter (use vegetable oil or sour cream) and a random salad of canned things (canned corn, canned beans, canned chickpeas, plus some garlic and herbs), which was surprisingly good.
Cooking and baking are certainly not the only things I do when procrastinating. I’m procrastiblogging right now, since I’m blogging from bed and avoiding getting out of it. I procrasticlean a lot. Never is my desk so tidy as when I’m under pressure at work. Sometimes I even procrastiexercise, despite my normal lazy attitude to going to the gym. Then there’s the whole going online and procrasti-planning-holidays-I-can’t-yet-afford thing. But procrasticooking perhaps has an edge on these other forms of procrastination in that at the end of your procrastination you have created something. Something solid, measurable and hopefully delicious. You can stand back and look at your giant stack of blueberry pancakes and think yes, it was worth losing that hour of time I should have spent sending emails to do this, because look what I made, look at its glorious pancake-iness, I am a goddess of the kitchen, hear me roar….Ah hem, anyway, you get the idea. You get a product at the end of your procrastination, something to hold on to while you pump out the last of your essay at 11:52pm before the midnight deadline.
So procrasticooking can be a good thing. But like any procrastination, it can be a bad thing if it gets to the stage that you actually fail to do the things you need to do. Delay is ok, complete failure might not be so healthy. In that vein, I’m now going to get out of bed, do my dishes and then get ready to get on a flight (to Sydney) for the weekend. I hope you all have many procrasticooking adventures this weekend!
PS – in a spate of procrastination a few nights ago I’ve redone the look of my blog. Hopefully it is easier to navigate and just, well, prettier. Love to hear what readers think!
PPS – I’ve also included pics of a few yummy things I’ve been eating in North Melbourne lately. These are partly for you and partly to motivate me to get out of bed and make breakfast! Or just go to Di Bella…