“Creativity always comes as a surprise to us; therefore we can never count on it and we dare not believe in it until it has happened. In other words, we would not consciously engage upon tasks whose success clearly requires that creativity be forthcoming. Hence, the only way in which we can bring our creative resources fully into play is by misjudging the nature of the task, by presenting it to ourselves as more routine, simple, undemanding of genuine creativity than it will turn out to be.” -Albert O. Hirschman
This rings especially true when it comes to writing, you must show up to the desk every day as part of your routine and hopefully creativity will join you. The same can be said for cooking each and every meal. Expecting your creativity to shine on the regular would just be downright irresponsible. It’s also daunting. One good way to get your creative juices flowing is to bring life back to the basics. If it worked for Thoreau, maybe it would work for me.
This past weekend we went camping in the Adirondacks with my brother and cousins. My brother picked us up in his jeep and we drove up to where there is little to no phone reception. It took me about a minute to get over that (I had already notified the office). We pitched our tents, lit a fire, bathed in a lake and basically had to bring our focus back to the self and basic needs. I have never been an early riser, but waking up to the light of the sun, and the chorus of birds and insects all busying themselves in the morning light brought a smile to my face. Being at the lake, in the woods, is one of my brother’s favorite activities. It’s nice to be around him in his element. The smile didn’t leave his face the whole weekend, which makes the trip worth it just for that.
We cooked a lot of things over the fire, but this s’more was definitely my favorite. I made one slyly after breakfast (and for dinner the night before and lunch). I only realized halfway through eating it, with chocolate all over my hands and face that everyone was looking at me.
“What?” I asked
“Show me exactly what you did to make that so I can have that exact reaction too.” -My cousin. Apparently, it looked like I heard angels singing. The s’more silently stole all the glory of the meal, but intensified the camping experience tenfold.
The combinations for s’mores are endless, but they must contain a few basics. Chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers. I relied on the classics here (because that’s what the store had), but I imagine you could elevate this s’more to new levels with 70% dark chunks of chocolate and a hint of cayenne pepper or even adding a few white chunks as well. Alas, bringing things back to their basic forms seems to spark my imagination. Walking through the woods and making time to welcome the summer, whose visit is so fleeting, really just keeps you in the moment, but also allows you time to reflect and pause, which definitely can rejuvenate any sagging spirit and give creativity a chance to bloom.
- 1 chocolate bar of your choosing
- 1 package of graham crackers
- 1 bag of marshmallows
- logs for an open flame
Place two marshmallows on a stick and roast slowly over an open flame until brownish on the outside. Meanwhile, but two chunks of chocolate on a square graham cracker. When the marshmallows are roasted, remove from stick, put on top of chocolate and using a grate, put the graham cracker slightly above the charcoals or flame to toast it and melt the chocolate and marshmallow a bit. Cover with other square graham cracker and devour.