Finding inspiration through food

Pick up a few fresh ingredients and let them lead you...

23 FEBRUARY 2016,
Ramenweb
Ramenweb

When the weather is grey, and energy low, it can be a struggle to find inspiration to come for anything ranging from creating something artistic, to doing daily chores. Not only can it be difficult to find something that inspires you, but also it can be difficult to muster the desire to be inspired.

I am someone that needs to create something everyday; otherwise, I feel the day was wasted. And there are days when all I have is the desire to create and nothing else. I do not know how, what, when, or with what. It can be quite disparaging to stare at the blank page, the cursor flickering on and off as if, it too is waiting for you to finally do something.

After my usual descent down into what I perceive to be a bottomless pit of un-imagination, walking back and forth, staring disdainfully out the window, laying on the ground wondering where my talent has gone, and if I will ever get it back; I usually resurface this pit and scavenge my usual initial sources of inspiration. One of them is food.

It begins with looking in my pantry or fridge in search of some key ingredient. In this case it was Ramen noodles. Already the idea of Ramen brings a certain state of mind. I am reminded of the cultural traits of Japan, its softness, discipline, beauty, elegance, tradition. I then move on the other important players, the bacon, ginger, and garlic. Each fragrance adds to the image already forming in my mind. As the fat from the bacon drips and sizzles in the pot, leaving a glossy brown layer, I smell comfort, closeness, familiarity. This embody into a character, or an opening scene of a story, or maybe a verse in a poem.

Then as I add the garlic and ginger the images changes again, each adding its singularity to the mix. There are tones of freshness, and strength each complimenting the other and creating a scent anew. My kitchen begins to host the sounds of cooking as I let the ingredients mingle for a few minutes, only to then shortly after add more to the mix; White Miso paste, and chicken broth add to the complexity. I swirl the mixture until it all becomes one, cover it and let it simmer for thirty minutes.

With the ticking of the timer filling the room, and echoing down the hallway, my mind is free to wander, grabbing at these words and thoughts that formed while I chopped, peeled, sauteed, and simmered. And once the timer warns me what my nose already can sense, I not only have I found my inspiration, but also have created something, a delicious meal that satisfies both mind and body.

Inspiration can hit at any moment, and without warning. But there are other times that the beloved muse needs to be coaxed out. There are no proper tools to bring upon inspiration, as it can be found anywhere. So next time that you want to create something but do not know exactly what, pick up a few fresh ingredients and let them lead you.