Experimenting in the Kitchen for the Holidays
I have to admit that I’ve been feeling a little less than creative this holiday season so far. It’s not that I don’t want to do creative things, it’s just that I feel like all of my energy and attention is elsewhere, making it difficult for me to find time to create, even if I do have ideas.
Since I haven’t been creating much on my own lately, I’ve been turning to other resources to get inspiration and ideas. Pinterest is an obvious resource, but I also like to read other blogs and periodicals (I still buy tons of physical magazines) to get ideas for decorating and recipes.
Though I am not making all of my recipes up from scratch, I don’t just let the ideas or recipes dictate exactly what I do – I still experiment in the kitchen and make the recipes my own. I’ve talked at length in the past about why intuitive cooking is so important, and just because you start with a base recipe doesn’t mean you aren’t experimenting. In fact, that’s the best way to get started: find a base recipe that tried and true and then put your own twist on it.
Many times this comes in the form of veganizing a non-vegan recipe, but other times it is adding different flavors or add-ins to a variety of dishes. For example, for Thanksgiving this year I didn’t want to come up with my own pumpkin pie recipe, so I did some searching and found a couple of recipes that I mixed and matched. I took the crust recipe from here and the filling recipe from here. Then I tweaked the filling recipe with ideas I found here. And you know what? The pie turned out perfectly! Even though it wasn’t entirely my own creation, I was still able to make it personal – no dirty work or recipe testing required.
I did the same thing with my quinoa stuffing. I took inspiration from here and here and then came up with my own version that involved onions and butternut squash. It wasn’t really a recipe, but it was delicious nonetheless.
Also, I intend to do much of the same with Christmas. I am hosting a holiday party this weekend and lots of the goodies I’m making are cut and pasted works of food art from many different sources. I know this post has been long winded, but what I’m trying to say is that even if you don’t fancy yourself a good cook or recipe creator, it doesn’t mean you can’t think out of the box and give your food personal touches.
Don’t be afraid that something won’t work out – you can always start over or not serve it – no one has to know 🙂 Also, this is a great way to save time and energy for other fun things with family and friends for the holidays without having to worry about making shiny new recipes – that’s why Pinterest was invented, after all.