Surprisingly, to me anyhow, I have more than one workbench. I was disconsolately looking at the rain this morning and thinking about my jewellery workshop’s lack of interesting things to look at today, when I looked up at my kitchen bench and had a revelation.
I have struggled with the idea that I would get a lot better at things if I just concentrated on one thing. I tried a couple of years to only make pictures, and made almost nothing because I felt so constrained. Angry at my own restriction I would do battle with myself and eventually avoided the studio altogether.
I learned something important about myself. I like variety, I need lots of sources for inspiration and expression for my creative endeavours. Almost everything I turn my hand to is affected by my creative urge. Everything is fascinating, stimulating, and inspiring – then I get overload and need time out to breathe for a bit before I create something.
This morning it is wet and grey. A real ‘inside’ day, and the kitchen cried out for fragrant cooking smells and a warm oven. I have visitors in Christchurch who I love to feed delicious treats to, and the tins are empty. So out with the recipe books. A favourite is ‘Vegan with a Vengance’, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I have a vegan in the family and Isa’s baking recipes are wonderful. I love her style of writing too, friendly with a bit of attitude, but not preachy. She gives practical, easily doable ways to remove animal products from your recipes, and lots of yummy things to experiment with.
The kitchen is full of spicy, gingery goodness thanks to her Sparkled Ginger Cookies, and a slice from ‘The New Zealand Food Allergy Cookbook’ which is also helpful because of the ingredients that people are often allergic to include diary and eggs – and we have a gluten avoider in the family too. We are so lucky to have such easy access to recipes these days, there is little excuse to wail, ‘But what do they eat?’ when confronted with a culinary challenge!
So, this Wednesday’s Workbench is in my kitchen, and there is baking, and spring flowers on it. What do you have on your workbench this week?