Creative Practicing

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Creative Practicing by Mind Map: Creative Practicing

1. Garden and Harvest Pictures

1.1. Raised Beds

1.1.1. Herb Bed and Cabbage/Squash Bed Harvest Example Harvest Example

2. Shakshouka

2.1. Garden Ingredients

2.1.1. tomato

2.1.2. onion

2.1.3. herbs

2.1.4. turnips

2.2. Reflection

2.2.1. I am not very flexible when it comes to breakfast dishes. This was something I have never eaten before. The recipe I had called for potatoes, but I had turnips from the garden on hand. I have never cooked with them before up to this point. I was anxious about how it would taste, but I did some extra reading on substitutions of the same type, and I went for it. I loved this dish so much that I've made it twice since then. I planted more turnips in the garden for a fall crop as well.

3. Shrimp Pasta

3.1. Garden Ingredients

3.1.1. asparagus

3.1.2. garlic

3.1.3. tomato

3.1.4. dried red pepper

3.1.5. basil

3.2. Reflection

3.2.1. I almost always use an alfredo sauce with shrimp, but I told myself I needed to try something different, and that this would be less sodium. The recipe called for sun-dried tomatoes, which I have never bought before or used in cooking, so that would normally deter me from making the recipe at all. I had tomatoes already, so I got on Pinterest and found an oven version of sun-dried tomatoes to make them myself, which was also a new experience. I made those first, and then used those in this recipe. I felt like it needed more vegetables, so I added some asparagus.

3.3. Oven-drying tomatoes

4. Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream

4.1. Garden Ingredients

4.1.1. black raspberries

4.1.2. red raspberries

4.2. Reflection

4.2.1. I make strawberry ice cream every year, as I harvest several of pounds of strawberries. I strictly follow the recipe for my ice cream machine, so it was difficult for me to deviate. I also don't like to mix the two types of raspberries together. I did both of these things for this recipe. I told myself that raspberries are just berries, so I can substitute and mix them without freaking out. I decided since I was already deviating that adding some chocolate syrup to swirl in might taste good too. I love that I have something more to do with the berries than just eat them plain.

5. Description & Rationale

5.1. I chose to expand on my cooking creativity, in particular cooking with more of a variety of garden herbs and vegetables. I usually grow a large garden each year, and use the produce in my cooking while it is in season. I also can or freeze a lot of it. I dry the herbs as well. This year we expanded our garden from five raised beds to eight beds, so I took the opportunity to plant vegetables that I rarely buy or never use in cooking to experiment. While I very much enjoy cooking, I often stick to the same type of recipes that I am very familiar with. This type of creative practicing got me out of my comfort zone.

6. Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri

6.1. Garden Ingredients

6.1.1. garlic

6.1.2. rosemary

6.1.3. sage

6.1.4. coriander

6.1.5. mint

6.1.6. parsley

6.1.7. oregano

6.1.8. dried red pepper

6.2. Reflection

6.2.1. This recipe had a few new elements to it for me. I have never cooked lamb chops before, so I was worried I was going to mess up an expensive cut of meat. I usually do not run the grill myself, so I was constantly checking it, which made the cooking time longer than it needed to be. Making the chimichurri was very difficult for me, because in my mind mint is used for the smell, not for eating. I grow it all around the house for the smell. I do not even touch ice creams or chocolates with mint, so the block for me here was difficult to get past. I gritted my teeth and did it, but I made my family try it first before I would. It pleasantly surprised me.

6.3. Marinating Lamb

6.3.1. Grilling Lamb Chimichurri Mix

7. Green Bean Salad

7.1. Garden Ingredients

7.1.1. green beans

7.1.2. tomatoes

7.2. Reflection

7.2.1. I only like fresh green beans, and I always make the same version of them in a skillet with mushrooms. This recipe wanted me to cook them in boiling water and then put them on ice to cool them. I thought I would be all right with this, but I started second-guessing myself when my husband asked me why on earth I was boiling them and reminded me of how much I hate squishy green beans. I was already cooking them though, so it was too late to do something else. My husband ate his words and also ate all the leftovers.

8. Roasted Turnips, Carrots, and Potatoes

8.1. Garden Ingredients

8.1.1. carrots

8.1.2. turnips

8.1.3. herb mix

8.2. Reflection

8.2.1. I like roasted potatoes and carrots with olive oil and herbs from my garden. Since I liked the other recipe that I used turnips in, I decided to mix some turnips into my regular recipe. I did not have any issues or blocks doing so, because I had success with the other recipe already.

9. Ranch Pasta Salad with Peas

9.1. Garden Ingedients

9.1.1. Peas

9.2. Reflection

9.2.1. I love sugar snap peas, but I've never had the space to grow very many. I've only ever had enough to snack on from my garden. I had a ton this year, so I needed to find new things to do with them. I like pasta salad in general, though I usually make mine with Italian dressing. This did not present any real blocks for me, as I usually switch up the produce in my personal recipe, adjusting for what vegetables I have available.

10. Example 7

10.1. Garden Ingredients

10.1.1. cabbage

10.1.2. garlic

10.1.3. onion

10.1.4. tomato

10.1.5. Herb mix

10.2. Reflection

10.2.1. Cabbage is a vegetable I do not usually grow. When I buy it, I use it to make coleslaw. I grew cabbage for the first time this year, and quite a bit of it. I had some trouble getting past the fact that this recipe was going to cook cabbage, as I am not a fan of cooked cabbage. I got this recipe from my Polish friend's grandmother, and she assured me I would love it, even if I have never liked cooked cabbage before. My friend told me she does not like cooked cabbage either, but she loves these cabbage rolls, so I decided to still give it a try. This is my family's new favorite dish.

11. Overall Reflections

11.1. I feel like I accomplished a lot with this creative practicing. Making meals from scratch and using my garden to its full potential are both important to me, so making a concentrated effort to find new ways to do so has been very beneficial. I feel more comfortable doing this in the future.

11.2. If I was going to change something about the way I completed this project, it would be to focus more on different types of cuisine, not just whatever I could come up with. I am interested in trying out more dishes from other parts of the world, and this project inadvertently led me to some things I might not have otherwise considered.

11.3. I think I would like to explore both the gardening and cooking aspects more as I did with this project. I also think that making a concentrated effort to branch out would be beneficial for me in other areas, such as the activities I use to practice language skills in the classroom. Overall I really enjoyed working on it, and I think these skills can be applicable to almost anything.