This is the first assignment for the course „Creative Problem Solving“.
What to do: „Conceptualize, plan in advance and eat something different. Eat something different; that is, eat something completely different, not something that has been just left out of your diet; suggestions: a different culture, an entirely new creation, or a different manner or definition of eating. You should understand that this is not an assignment solely about food, but about the process of eating, literally and figuratively. Again, plan and implement your plan; report on the results.“
What I planned: I have lots of cookbooks in my kitchen from the times when there was not Internet and people had recipes either in their head, in books written by oneself or in specialized cookbooks. My idea was to close my eyes, go to the shelf, grab a book, open it and chose a recipe. All with closed eye. I gave three chances to me, so I had the possibility to find a recipe I had never tried before. Than I planned to look if the ingredients are already in my stores and maybe buy what is missed. If the recipe would result in an amount too big to eat alone I planned to take everything with me to my job and share with the kids I am working with.
What I did: I waited nearly until the last moment. Two days before the deadline I went to my shelf and first I found a recipe I already knew, repeated graping with the same effect, and only the last trial gave me a recipe I never tried before. It was a strudel. I never tried to create it because you have to roll a really really thin pastry. Also I usually make cake only for family celebration and then I chose a recipe where I am sure that it will be successful. So in the end I had found my special food, I thought. There were only some nuts to buy, but as mentioned – I had not really much time.
But soon my ingredients where prepared and waited for me on the kitchen table. I thought: „OK, it’s an experiment. And for class. And if it doesn’t work it will be still fun. But there was no time left to share with the kids. Look for someone else? And when the strudel is awful? Maybe cut 7 pieces for each day of the week and eat 1 piece each day until the next deadline? To remember?
I prepared the pastry. It had to rest half an hour in a warm pot Why? I prepared the filing, I cleaned the dishes. Then I took the pastry out of the pot. A whole strudel for one person! And no birthday and no festival. But why not? 400 gr of nuts. That’s a lot! How to eat that all?
I rolled the pastry. Thin, thinner. 50 x 70 cm. I used a ruler. Thinner. Measuring. Thinner. 50 x 70 cm. Ready. I placed the filling. I rolled the strudel. I placed it nicely on the backing sheet. Proud! It looked so good! Or not? A little bit strange it looks on the picture below. Into the oven. Half an hour. 5 Minutes powdered sugar. Ready!
While decorating I returned to what I always do. The only difference was that it was only for me. Nobody else. I never made pastry only for me before. Never. Only now. But it felt not really different. I expected something special. But it’s not. Sorry! I tasted it and it was awful! It was dry. It was hard. It became bigger and bigger in my mouth! How to swallow? I had to drink. Seven pieces! How to eat? And I can’t offer it to somebody else. Not this quality! It’s no joy. It’s a torture.
I chew. I swallow. I chew. I swallow. I drink a little bit. It doesn’t help. There are big crumbs around my teeth. It’s awful. But I eat it all. Slowly. It takes me one and a half hour for one piece and I feel completely filled. Tomorrow the same? And the day after tomorrow? And the next? And so on a whole week? There will not be much space for other food the next days. And where to keep it? So it’s not getting bad? With these sticks on top? But I will try. What an awful experiment! I want back the food I know. And were I know I like it! And I don’t know what to do now. I can’t throw food that is still eatable. Eatable? Is it really eatable?
What I learned: This moment I don’t know how the story will end. It was an interesting idea to choose a recipe with closed eyes. I also liked it to make a strudel and that I made it only for me. And it was a nice change in daily life that I decorated it like there was birthday when it was only a quite normal day. But most important for me is that I like the taste of the food I eat. That’s more important than all the surrounding circumstances. And quite often I reach that I like the taste of the food also when I am cooking for me alone and often I create new things just out of ordinary food. In this experiment of creativity I did something different than usual. I followed a strict guideline in preparation and concentrated the creativity on the surroundings. But this is not the best way to be creative with food. Interesting and satisfying taste comes first. All other factors are subordinated! I think I don’t have to change something with my food habit. Not in relation to cooking habits. And the beautiful or interesting decoration cannot help when to taste of the food is not satisfying!
If you like you can visit me and take all the strudel away! And maybe I will find out meanwhile what I can do with dry and hard and stuffing strudel…a new challenge for creativity!
And who wants to know how the story continued, take a look at this place.