When Ranjan was driving me back home from an outing last week, we passed a permanent market where I used to shop for fresh meat, fowl vegetables etc in the good old days before all these were available closer to our home. I became nostalgic for one butcher in particular who used to get volubly welcoming every time he saw me to ensure that I did not take my custom to one of his competitors in the same shed. I casually mentioned this to Ranjan and said that it would be nice if I could come over one morning again just to buy some freshly slaughtered mutton and he promptly suggested that I do so quickly and also make one of his favourite dishes that he remembered me cooking from my pre vegan days.

I came home and found some of the ingredients missing and sent the youngsters to shop for them and they came up with something totally different. So, I took matters into my own hands and went ashopping I did and got what I wanted.

To cut a long story short, the mutton korma dahiwallah was duly cooked and was much appreciated by both Manjiree and Ranjan who polished the dish off much to my delight. I was quite pleased with myself because I did not have Ranjan to taste while the cooking was going on as I normally ask him to when I cook meat or fowl dishes. So, I just cooked the dish up without tasting at all and that it came out well was very satisfying.

What has this got to do with creativity which is the heading for this post? I remembered reading about creativity in Roman Krznaric’s The Wonderbox, and I went for the exact quotation to use in this post and finally found it in an interview that he had given. “Rather than originality, I think creativity is more about self-expression. Cooking can be creative in this sense – it’s not about inventing some amazing unknown dish, but just putting something of yourself into it, even if it’s simply adding some extra topping to a frozen pizza so it resembles a Jackson Pollock painting.” I flatter myself that the finished product looked much better than a Jackson Pollock painting.  And that it tasted better than its looks would have suggested was icing on the cake!

And a Jackson Pollock painting?

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26 Responses to Creativity.

  1. Nandu Pillai says:

    My Mum turned “pure vegetarian” at the age of 12/13 on a sudden impulse ( before that she would refuse to eat of there was no non-veg on the table ) . Fortunately for the rest of our family she learned to cook all the non-veg food we so enjoyed – all without tasting ! God Bless her soul ! I am sure Ranjan & Manjiree bless you similarly – nothing to beat home cooked fare !

  2. shackman says:

    It most definitely does look good – then again I never met a stew I didn’t like which is clear from my appearance
    shackman recently posted..Dead-End Streets

  3. nick says:

    I don’t agree that creativity is about self-expression. If I comment that the weather is nice for the time of year, that’s hardly creative. And if you add an extra topping to a pizza, that seems like originality to me – maybe not very inspired originality but originality of a sort.
    nick recently posted..Unnerving beauty

  4. Big John says:

    Your photo of the painting by ‘Jack the Dripper’ is upside-down ! … 😉

  5. Grannymar says:

    Adding my own touch to a dish, is how my mother taught me nearly sixty years ago. I think you will find it is the way most women cook!
    Grannymar recently posted..Sunday One liners ~48

  6. Steph says:

    Your dish looks scrumptious! I agree that cooking can be wonderfully creative—especially when done without a recipe (or a trusted taster). The resulting flavors reflect your choices, and ultimately gives the dish a much more personal touch than following someone else’s recipe.

    • On the few occasions that I had posted recipes, I refrained from specifying quantities of ingredients as I think that this should be left to the cook to decide on. I don’t use recipes and use my intuition for quantities.

  7. I agree, I think your dish looks better than Jackson Pollock’s painting. 🙂
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Yuck!

  8. Ursula says:

    Visually I prefer the Jackson Pollock painting. But would rather eat your dish than his canvas.

    There is little, if any, difference between ‘creativity’ and ‘originality’. By definition the two are interlinked.

    Ursula recently posted..Gondola

  9. srinivas says:

    Very enjoyable post, though certainly only quarter as much as the dish you prepared. Interesting view point on creativity there, one I find myself agreeing with… but put a Pollock painting and I’m reminded of an incident 15 years ago. Living with a flatmate, one evening I bought a bunch of leaves (not spinach) from the market to prepare as a dry curry. Now I was just being adventurous, since to this day I don’t know what I bought. Anyway after this was ready my friend and I duly partook this culinary wonder over dinner. My friend being the strong silent type, not particularly locaquacious with praise finished silently, but I could withold remark and said “This dish looks like nothing on earth, but by thunder, tastes just like the earth”. My friend with his customary economy added “without salt”. He never let me cook leafy veg again.
    srinivas recently posted..Do we need any manager at all?

  10. Cathy in NZ says:

    Creativity is just like Opportunities and they are everywhere…Choices you make whether it is a stew or a painting…by the way Jack the Dripper was fond of throwing cigarette butts into the mix – hope you don’t decide to do that next time you are in the mood for stew !
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Queenstown, South Island

    • I met a chef or rather a cook in a way side restaurant many years ago and asked him for the recipe for a dish that he had cooked for me for lunch. He was cooking while answering and had a cigarette in his mouth. The ash fell into the dish that he was cooking and I asked him if that enhanced the taste and he gave me an enigmatic smile!

  11. Creativity is often stirred into our day, much like those spices you stirred into your dish. We need to solve problems – everything from fixing a car to fixing a computer. Oh, wait – with all the diagnostic equipment in a cars,the gap mechanic and computer specialist is narrowing.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – one of these days it would be fun to sample some of your cooking. Yum!

    Thanks for the reference to The Wonderbox.

  12. Creativity is present in so much of our daily lives. From fixing a car to repairing a computer. Oh, wait! Those gap between those two tasks is narrowing, what with all the diagnostic equipment in cars.

    Whether it’s a blog post, your conversations online and in life, or your cooking, you are always “putting something of yourself” into the dish that is life.

    The Wonderbox – another book to add to my reading list. Thanks!
    Marianna Paulson recently posted..#LivingARTHfully – The Script and the Setting – Part 3

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