Ok, so maybe he is not exactly my sous chef in the literal sense, but so much of what he has said and written inspires me in my life and in my cooking. For example, one of the things he said that most people have heard is “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” I have had my insanity experiences with food. I remember eating this broccoli and cheese casserole my mother had made once. It looked so good and you know everyone says you eat with your eyes first. And so I am looking at this casserole and it looked so good and so I put a significant serving on my plate and expected it to taste as good as it looked. It didn’t. And then I thought ok, it really can’t taste as bad as I thought that it tasted. It did. It took me taking a few more bites of it, for some reason expecting that the next bite would somehow taste better or different before I realized that this whole process was insane. The other thing that probably kept me eating was the look on my mother’s face as she kept telling me how glad she was that I was enjoying her creation. “I made it just for you. I am so glad you liked it.” Then of course, you know she had to pack it up and send me home with the leftovers. The funny thing is I still have the recipe, no, I have never made it, and the odds are I never will. But I will treasure the recipe and the love my mother poured into it.
I think it was my mother’s willingness to create in the kitchen that continues to inspire me today. That and the words of Albert Einstein, my sous chef, who said “Imagination is more important then knowledge.” Ok, so it is important, especially in baking that I understand the basics. Like how you can take something simple like a sugar cookie and then you can get creative and let your imagination flow. This weekend, I made 12 dozen blonde brownies. It was funny that none of my friends even knew what a blonde brownie was. One of them started teasing me because a few weeks before I had made orange brownies and I had been talking to him about making marble brownies with your traditional brownie kind of recipe and a cream cheese swirl and then our creativity began to flow. So this might be my year of creating brownies because my imagination kind of took off.
I started thinking hmm, what if instead of putting chocolate chips inside my blonde brownies, I put m & m’s or gummi worms or white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips or toffee chips inside of either of my basic brownie recipes.
Then I really started going crazy – maybe it was from watching cupcake wars right before going to bed the other night. But if I could do an orange brownie, why could I not do another fruit flavored brownie like a banana brownie or a coconut brownie or a lemon brownie. But then I started thinking about the breads that I have made that people have loved and today while I was napping, I had dreams of a sweet potato bread brownie with a maple cream frosting or a zucchini brownie.
Brownies could take over the day. We could have breakfast brownies like an oatmeal raisin brownie. Or a French toast flavored brownie.
I was almost going to suggest a sausage, eggs, and cheese brownie, but I think that is even a bit too unique and adventurous for me.
But I love the idea of using my imagination as a source of inspiration to guide me as I create. If I cannot dream it, then I cannot achieve it. And while I might have some ideas for brownies that do not need to be made more then once, I am no longer insane. My imagination is going to allow me to do more then I could have ever envisioned with the basic knowledge of a brownie.
Anybody want to join me in creating the most imaginative brownies J
Hmm – I wonder what a lox and cream cheese brownie might taste like. The savory brownie. Thanks Albert for bringing a few pounds of imagination to the kitchen today J