07710 172976 sue@valuesliving.com

I have been living through a period of frustrated creativity. Dreaming dreams and starting to pursue them, only to find that they might be dreams that are at the right time for someone else not me. Having fruitful and productive ideas, only to have the internet go down, or life happening to a crucial member of the potential team. Doing my best to keep something afloat, only to be sabotaged by someone I couldn’t believe could be so poisonous.

I have many ideas and I am gradually learning to pursue a number of these through pressure points like the above, so that there is some sort of end result, despite that result having a different face from what I at first envisaged and not necessarily being the perfect article.

I enjoy cooking greatly, though I am not a particularly good planner in the kitchen. I’m a ‘throw it in the pot’ type of cook, meaning that I get stuck in with whatever is in the cupboard or fridge, and usually the results are quite palatable. However, I do enjoy creating a menu for The Great Occasion. I vastly over cater, but the food is generally tasty, and no one goes home hungry.

What about those bottles of fish sauce that are left over though, having only needed a splash for a specific recipe? The jars of peaches in brandy or the bag of buckwheat flour? The food colouring for a child’s birthday cake (my children are now in their 3rd and 4th decades) or the tahini? Occasionally I set to and clear my kitchen cupboards or empty the freezer. The recent discovery of a bag of flour from 2002 would not have given Mrs Beeton much confidence in my household management.

A recent success in the kitchen was the creation of a blackberry fool, from blackberries recently plucked from the hedgerows by myself and excellent chum Anne. These were efficiently frozen, and used within 3 weeks of picking… I basked in an aura of self-satisfaction, as the food was free, and the food police would not be able to charge me on the grounds of having food in the freezer for too long. Thrift, health and safety in one fell swoop.

This morning I set to thinking that perhaps my current creative dreams were rather like my food storage. I need to use productively the ingredients I have there and create something appetising – whilst the ideas are fresh. The results may not always be perfect, but there would be some results from my industry. Some ideas may be ditched, not because they had gone out of date but by informed choice. Those good things that have gone on ice, like my blackberries, had better be redeemed before they get freezer burn. Then I can either create a dish, serve it up and forget it, or perhaps note what was good and serve it up again with even better ingredients and execution.

Things go past their sell by date. I let this happen either deliberately, or accidentally, or what my mother used to call “accidentally on purpose”. I don’t know about you, but I find that procrastination and waste of any kind are so strength sapping and debilitating. Better to deliver something less than perfect and move on than to collect all those beautiful ingredients and let them spoil.