Little creative risks

Little creative risks

Sometimes you find an old reliable recipe. One that you use time and time again. The other day I was talking to Lily on the phone and she was making blueberry muffins for the shelter in New Glasgow. She said you should make them too. And so I did on the phone with her. It was a recipe from a church cookbook by Jim Webber- Cook. It is a good recipe. She follows it exactly and gets perfect muffins every time.

I wanted to use a two cup measure and put the liquid in all at once. She insisted I follow the recipe about the two cups, each filled to the top. I wondered but agreed that it could make a difference. She accepted that I put some lemon rind and juice in mine, and I did not do the topping. I had a great lemon blueberry muffin. The next day I made this recipe with rhubarb and sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon on the top. They were delicious. Terry from work came for coffee with her grand baby and daughter and we loved them. I took the rest down to the studio and Mansours. My husband came home wondering if there were any left because he had given them all away and never got one. 

This is an excellent recipe. It does not need any adapting. Still, it is ok if you do. It is one of those you memorize and keep so that you can whip them up anytime. Now I cannot help but think what else could I try with this? What if I used oatmeal in the crumble on top? What if I cut up apple instead of blueberry? It could work. 

Then it got me thinking that a recipe is a lot like a rug hooking pattern. You get an idea from the drawing. You can follow it to tee and it will be lovely, or you can adapt it and change it and experiment with it. And it can still be just as lovely.

I enjoy changing things up. Lily was mocking me on the phone saying I was going to ruin this beautiful recipe. And she was partially right. I might have wrecked it. That happens sometimes when you begin experimenting. But often it does not. In fact I would guess that is how new recipes often happen. They come about because we adapt and change the ingredients. Risks were taken. Tiny risks, but risks none the less.

Most of us are used to doing this with recipes. We are not afraid. We are used to using what we have, submitting, adapting. We do it all the time.

I encourage you to try this with your rug hooking patterns. Add or remove an element, change a line, interpret your colours differently. It is just a small risk. Small risks are what creativity is all about. We grow in our art and craft because we change and adapt.

Today I am going to make the muffins again with rhubarb, but I am going to put cinnamon in the batter, a tiny sprinkle of oatmeal, butter and brown sugar on the top. Not a full crumble. Really there is barely any risk at all in that.

I think I might also sew a rug on the frame today, study my French and take my walk. I'll make coffee and I'll think of you working on your rugs and I'll wonder how you might interpret this recipe. Enjoy the day.

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  • Deanne Fitzpatrick
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