Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Creative Thankfulness...

I love to bake.  Every year for Thanksgiving, I make both apple and pumpkin pies from scratch.  This year, Erin asked if she could help.  There’s something special about hands-on creativity.  I remember learning from my grandmother and this time I became the teacher. She helped take pictures as I got the dough ready.

As pretty as pumpkin pie is in colour, poured into a pie shell it looks rather plain.

A few years ago, I saw a photo spread of a Thanksgiving meal where the baker had cut maple leaves out of pie crust to place in the centre of the pie.  Of course, since Aikman means “Men of Oak”, I’ve done oak leaves and acorns on our family pie ever since.  Cutting out the shapes from pie crust is rather fun...

and the results are so magical once the pie is cooked.

Bethany helped peel all of the apples for her favourite pie.

With our pies cooling on the counter, we switched to fixing the supper meal for last night in celebration of my Dad and Barb arriving for Canadian Thanksgiving.  We made a party sushi mound known as chirashizushi.  Using shrimp, avocado, tamago,  cucumber, lobster and salmon that Nick’s mother brought back from visiting his brother in Prince Rupert, it was a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds!

Erin even got creative with the napkins...  (Hmmm! Maybe Creativity is contagious after all!)

Tonight, after a wonderful day of memories and great food, I am THANKFUL for Creativity!

INHALE:  There is something powerful about creating BEAUTY with your food before we consume it.  That’s one area where the North American culture falls sadly short of many others in the world who understand that they eyes can be nourished along with the stomach!     We need to celebrate the art and creativity that can flourish on our plates if we take just a few moments to add that extra touch.

EXHALE:  Experiment with how you lay your food on the plate.  Let your kids make their own pizza faces on english muffins, try putting as many colours of the rainbow as possible in your salad bowl, fold your napkins and add a sticker to them.  Creativity can be experienced in large and small ways.  I no longer begrudge the extra time, I savour the way it seems to recharge something deep inside me when people let out an appreciative sigh as they stare at the plate.  No one can do this every night, but the next time you have company or share a special family meal, add a little creativity in your presentation and see what happens...

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