Guest Post: Cooking as a Creative Outlet

Guest post by Katty Flores.

As a young girl(friend) to my now husband, and expecting mother of my firstborn… I had no cooking skills that went beyond making fried or scrambled eggs. Maybe a quesadilla or a sandwich- and most definitely knew how to put a cup-o-noodle in the ‘wave – if ya knowwhatta mean. Wink. I mashed boiled beans with oil and water to attempt the refried beans ordeal but the end result appeared more like play sand.

My husband is of Mexican descent so he was used to eating authentic food… oops. And yikes. I… am Central American but the only background of food knowledge I had was eating my aunt’s home cooked meals. Growing up in Miami (driving in its traffic) – my mom would come home late and tired. She paid my aunt to shop for extra groceries so she could make larger batches of food and we could eat. Clever and convenient. However, I didn’t get much training at home for this very reason. By the time the opportunity came for me to learn I wasn’t interested. Now, back to being a young, pregnant girlfriend. My mother-in-law taught me how to cook a couple of authentic dishes. My grandma taught me how to cook chicken, beef and pork- and plug in the rice cooker. To be fair.. she did show me the stove top way (aka pilaf) but she loved me enough to teach me how to simplify my life.

Years were going by (second child born) and I practiced basic, feed em’ enough to keep em’ alive methods. At this point it was a necessity.

The interest to be more intentional with cooking happened was during a desperate moment of attempting to show my husband some love and more so the reality of living in the country where we didn’t have good restaurants nearby. Not to mention, a budget.

After reading a book on marriage (eye roll) I realized I hadn’t really been trying to make my man’s tummy happy. My kids still didn’t call me an amazing chef. Today… it’s all different. PSA: Getting creative in the kitchen doesn’t mean fairy dust gets sprinkled over yer forehead through the night and you wake up a 5 star chef.

All I did was dig deep within my gut and churned up the desire to research – and to happily accept more kitchen cleanup.

I began by watching YouTube (high pitched angelic chorus) – I searched for specific video tutorials within the cuisine I was attempting to master – I followed bloggers and as the good ol’ slogan reads: I “just did it”… I began to get better. What’s interesting is… once I was following recipes I actually tweaked the amounts of spices and herbs, paired things up with different sides… and all’vasudden I was enjoying the process. I now had ideas brewing in my own mind. My family was praising my meals and I enjoyed every second of it. I found out quickly that our creative juices do kick into gear. Mexican, Asian and American cuisines alike; I’ve made some oohs and awes happen ‘round the table.

The encouragement piece here is getting creative in the kitchen or any other area really is about taking action in a creative way. Finding the resources and implementing them becomes half the
battle.


Katty Flores is a lover of cilantro, lime, salt, pepper and chili as well as fresh, homemade foods and drinks. She currently resides in North Carolina and is soulishly seeking her place in the world of writing and creating. A wife and mother, her greatest desire is to spend every moment nurturing those two roles as her greatest gifts.

What Is Life About?

(c) 2013 Jen Nipps Photo courtesy of Jen Nipps Photos
(c) 2013 Jen Nipps
Photo courtesy of Jen Nipps Photos

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

This is my favorite quote of all time.

To me, it embodies the essence of creativity. If we don’t have a hand in creating ourselves, by our likes and interests and people we spend our time with, what would we be capable of creating?

Yes, we are made by a Great Creator and he created us. But we also have free will and minds of our own that we are capable of using. We can decide our own likes and dislikes. We shape ourselves, we create ourselves, based on these.

If we are made by a Creator, if we create ourselves, why, then, would we not be creative?

This supports my theory that everyone is creative but some of us just don’t know how to tap into that innate creativity. Often, some of us regularly use our creativity and don’t ever realize that’s what we are doing! Many of us continue to claim we are not creative when that is exactly what we are doing!

How many times have you heard a master cook say they’re not creative even while in the middle of cooking (creating!) some wonderful dishes? Or a teacher claim they are not creative when in the middle of coming up with (again, creating!) lesson plans? Or even a parent in the middle of making up (yes, again, creating!) games to play with their children?!

We create every day, often many times throughout the day. We might not call it that, but that is what it is.