Dabbling: creative expression to celebrate free speech

by kattiewampus

Back story: last week, my mom and I did a three-day detox-cleanse thing together that involved fruit & veggie smoothies, probiotics, and epsom salt baths. I missed eating solid food so much during this time that in the afternoons at work, I would sit at my computer, choking down my green lunch drink and staring sadly at all kinds of delicious-looking recipes on Pinterest. Especially desserts. End result: when the cleanse was over, all I wanted to do was cook and bake things.

It pretty much goes without saying that it is more fun to make food during holiday weekends – when you have time for it and there are people who will eat what you make. Granted, I live with 5 other adults right now, so there’s never really a shortage of willing samplers (I really want to make a play on my last name right now, but it would only perpetuate further mispronunciations). But my sister and brother-in-law are here for the weekend, and the more, the merrier! I’m beyond excited to see them and the kitchen is a great outlet for that excitement.

Earlier this week, I was talking with a friend about my tendency to “dabble” in things. I love exploring but I get restless and bored very easily. When I go to a museum, I tend to move through the exhibits quickly. If I try to absorb any one exhibit for too long, my brain shuts down and I end up staring at it vacantly without taking in anything. I’ve dabbled in all kinds of things, but I’ve become proficient in very few of those things. I have great enthusiasm in the beginning and enjoy planning out what I want to do and how I’m going to accomplish it, but when it comes to execution, my focus and energy often evaporate quickly. A lot of times, I will finish what I’ve started out of a sense of obligation, but usually by the time I make it to the end, the enjoyment is long gone.

Given my dabbling tendencies, it is common for me to go through phases of wanting to make food things. It is also common for me to accumulate recipes excessively, get overwhelmed and not make anything. In our conversation, my friend encouraged me to consider sticking with things, reminding me that while I may have a tendency to get restless and jump from one thing to another, I also bring a quality of loyalty, drive, and commitment when I actually stick with something for an extended period of time. He pointed out the long-term rewards that often come along with that approach: the empowering satisfaction of knowledge and experience.

In honor of my friend’s suggestion, and Independence Day, and being reunited with my sister and brother-in-law, I have resolved to MAKE ALL THE THINGS this weekend. A cooking, baking extravaganza of epic proportions (which may also describe our waistlines after this is over).

It’s been months since I felt inspired to write (further illustrating my self-description), so for the next few days I plan to temporarily turn this into a food blog. It will be like a 4th of July mini series. Maybe this is dabbling at its finest, but I already know how to cook, and I already know that I enjoy cooking, and I’m tired of just looking at recipes. I want to start creating. So, I will celebrate my freedom this weekend by indulging in creative expression through the art of cooking.

I have a fair number of recipes I’m excited to try out over the next three days. I’ll make my confession up front: most of them are either desserts or breakfast bread-type things (the kissing cousin of desserts). You may judge me – I know that secretly you’re just wishing you were here with us so you could try the cake batter truffles too.

These updates won’t be in a real time: I’m writing this on Friday, and I’m already 2/3 of the way done with this project. I made five recipes yesterday and three recipes today. I just finished piping chocolate frosting made from scratch onto cupcakes stuffed with cookie dough. My feet are killing me from spending so much time standing in the kitchen, but I don’t care because I am having so much fun!

Up next: my 4th of July creations!

Coming soon: thoughts on raw meat and washing the dishes.

To be continued!