Friday, March 28, 2008

writng and the herb garden

Today the kids are home from school. Although it is quiet in the house because they are out and about. At any moment I have to be prepared for muddy hungry kids to come rolling in the door. That gets me straight to writing in flow. Which is not what I am doing right now. Because I want to make a sidetrack into this delicious and weird salad that I made last night. I loved it so much that I wanted to eat all of it, but luckily I did not because today after my run there was still some left over and I got to eat it again. Do you want to hear what was in it? Okay I will tell you, and I will also tell you that it was inspired by my friend Jenny Breen, Cook and Teacher extraordinaire, she and my stepfather are the people who have had the most influence on my cooking life and are true artists when it comes to food. She made a salad involving potatoes, tofu, avocado, and sesame oils and I couldn't get the flavors and textures out of my head. That was in January. Over time, I have added beats, roasted, and the sweetness with the other things is fabulous. And I added raw red cabbage. The crunchiness is delicious and I just love cabbage. And I put it on spinach--kind of wilting it all in the process. But the reason this is all so thrilling is just the process of it all. Feeding it to Josh and having him say it was quite a salad not in a Minnesota kind of way but in a "this is a whole meal onto itself and I find this crazy dishes satisfying even though I was bummed when you said you were making a salad for dinner." So this whole idea of writing in flow and cooking in flow is interesting for me. The idea that getting into flow is more of an attitude and an openness as it is with all other things we do. The idea is not new to me but the feeling it is. It's an orientation to the work that I hadn't considered. Does that make any sense?

Can I easily transfer that feeling with the novel? I think I can. Between that and accepting the fear--as in vacuum cleaning--see yesterday's post. I have it made. Well and finally accepting some of the loss that letting go of half of my ideas. And that is another comparison to the way I cook. I have a million delicious herbs in my garden. But when I cook with them I have to choose the one direction. Even though I love them all. I have not found the dish where I use mint and sage together. But mint goes with basil and cilantro and parsley and strawberries. But maybe not all at the same time. Now the sage it can go with the parsley and tomatoes and mushrooms (I have not yet got mushrooms to grow in my garden but I am trying.) I have to find my thread with cooking and give up those other plants. Not for ever but just for this one meal. And I can feel sad. In fact perhaps I should feel sad, it only makes sense. Because they are all brilliant herb (read ideas) that I'm excited about. Perhaps disappointed more than sad. Now I must go. I did not intend to prattle on like this. Too much to do and so little time. Are we warmed up?

As Always,

Writing Exercise:
Make up a crazy Salad. Or have your character do it. What are her favorite foods? Now have her mix them together.