Inspiration strikes in mysterious ways – many things wouldn’t exist without it. For me, when it comes to cooking, inspiration is doubly important because sometimes, frankly, I have no idea what to do. Many nights, inspiration is non-existent at 5pm when I get home from work and I’m tired and hungry. Picking Leith up at school, getting hats and mittens and boots on and getting him home is a trial in itself. At these times that bag of digestive cookies really looks quite a lot like dinner…maybe with an orange juice chaser for a vegetable/fruit course.
Some days before I leave work, I mentally tick off what is in the fridge or cupboards and wonder what to make for dinner. Sometimes I’ll venture over to the ‘net and type in one of the major ingredients that I think might be eager to be eaten, in an attempt to figure out something that is easy, quick and oh-so-tasty. Of course the food has to be Leith-friendly as well as me-friendly and sometimes that leaves dinner looking rather slim.
On the odd day inspiration strikes gold and I head home with a bounce in my step and a smile on my face, thinking – nay, knowing – that a delicious dinner is only a small amount of work and a very short time away (and doesn’t involve frozen fish sticks or peanut butter). Those days Leith somehow knows to wait patiently for dinner and he will be rewarded with something great. On those days something comes over me and I usually end up with a great dinner as well as cookies or a quick pie or cake whipped up for dessert, because I’m just that on top of my game. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Other days inspiration doesn’t strike… in fact it’s nowhere to be found. Inspiration some days walks out the door, down the hall and goes far, far away, probably to inspire someone in France or Italy. Maybe I need to move…maybe I’d be a better cook if inspiration could find me easier. Perhaps I should put a sign on my door: Inspiration, please strike here. Something to think about.
This week, inspiration struck right here; so close it almost knocked me over. A co-worker was wondering what to do with the tofu in her fridge that her kids kept turning their noses up at. We came up with a recipe that would satisfy her boys, herself and her husbands’ demands, and as I thought more and more about it, I realized I wanted the very same thing for dinner myself. I went home from work, a bounce in my step and a smile on my face. That evening I made a really delicious Asian-inspired Noodle Salad.