Why should we all use our creative power…? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money. ~Brenda Ueland
Some people ooze creativity, but I would contend after my 33 years on this earth that we are all born with a creative spirit. Maybe it’s not easily visible in some people, but instead of singing or dancing perhaps it’s creative problem solving skills. Or, I’ve met engineers who are closet painters or sculptors. And I’ve learned from teaching cooking that once people have the tools of how to create a meal, they are creative and inventive beyond what they thought possible.
I identify as a creative: I was a writer and played classical piano and French horn throughout my childhood, then ended up majoring in music and journalism in college. Since I chose a career in the business world (I’m part owner of a technical writing firm), I’ve had to determine how to balance an intense creative passion with a demanding career. How’s that for a challenge? I’d imagine many of you reading this have had similar experiences. Cooking became that creative outlet for me, and along with that this blog.
Many times, the stress of running two businesses while trying to be a loving boss / wife / daughter / friend / sister / aunt / niece / etc. has left me on less than a full tank. A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to be approached by a dear friend to try out a book called The Artist’s Way that focuses on creative renewal. One of the challenges in the book was to take an “artist’s date” each week, where you do something to indulge your inner artist. For me, it was playing a Chopin waltz I hadn’t touched in years. It felt so good, I cried (ha!). Creative healing central, here. If any of you readers are creatives or wanting to tap into more creative potential, I’d highly recommend the book.
And now, the food. To me, a simple recipe that highlights interesting flavors with minimal effort is #1 in creativity in my book (at least, in the home cooking realm!). A dear friend made this for a picnic and I couldn’t get over the simple beauty of vibrant, ripe fruit against the minty sweetness of a light drizzle of syrup. Our variation with this local fruit from our farmer’s market was beyond stellar. Like eating the best kind of candy possible. And if you struggle with work / life balance as I do, it’s also a super simple dessert for a summer evening. Whip up a bit of the syrup (which mainly involves hands off wait time) and store it in the refrigerator for the next occasion.
We’d love to hear in the comments below if any of you have thoughts on creativity, creative renewal, work / life balance, etc. Hope your summer is going well!
- Large handful of mint stems
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- Remove the leaves from the mint and reserve for a garnish. Roughly cut the mint stems so they fit in a medium saucepan. In the saucepan, add 1 cup water and 2 cups sugar Bring to a simmer and simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
- Remove from the heat and cool for about 1 hour while the mint seeps. When cool, strain into an airtight container. (Makes 1½ cups syrup; store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.)
- ½ pint blackberries
- ½ pint raspberries
- 2 peaches
- Mint leaves
- Mint syrup (above)
- Slice the peaches. Place the berries and peaches on a plate and drizzle syrup over fruit. Garnish with mint leaves.