Sensual Creative Feast

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Nature makes you creative. This is an undisputed fact. Creativity has lost its true meaning over the centuries, when its name was dragged to high-end museums, opera houses, and city halls. Creativity is the simple act of creating. The process itself may not be that simple but it’s the simplicity that makes a creation creative. In nature, with minimal resources, one has to be in constant production. One has to create a way of living. Fires have to be made, fridges have to be improvised under the earth, and modes of entertainment must be constructed.

I very much doubt that the ‘first people’ were dropping like flies from eating the wrong kinds of plants. In fact, I believe because nature makes you shed your skin and rely on instinct and intuition, the first people knew exactly what to eat, and it was no mistake when they went under a trance of hallucinations for days. If you are accustomed to nature, you will know a fruit tree when you see one sans the fruits. The same principle applies to wild spinach, or morogo—when you find it in nature you will know exactly which is edible and which is not.

Nature trains your senses. You are fully awake and livened in nature. You use your sense of sight, before you pick up and smell, then you put in your mouth, but not without applying your sense of feel and touch: what follows is an engagement with your fifth sense of taste. All these senses would’ve been roused by the sixth one which is intuition. You don’t just pick anything in nature. You need to be as balanced as nature is to dwell in it. You must live harmoniously with the flora and fauna.

Artists have to train their senses. Artists function and create from their senses: they’re sensitive, sensible, and sensuous. They will function best in nature I tell you. Right now being in the Drakensburg for what seems timeless has immersed me in a crazy spirit of creativity. My senses are at work: the mist, the greenery, the river, the water lilies, compost, birds, butterflies, nests and age-old trees are all magic to my soul. I am a child, and I see now that we have to return to nature. [It’s gonna take some doing convincing R to move here].

Nature makes you creative. Our great-grands made musical instruments out of wood, skin, twine, seeds, pumpkin shells, and many other organic products that spoke to their sixth sense. They sought a particular sound and feeling, so they improvised and created it. They baked bread without ovens, and they had showers way before the conventional shower was conceived. They lived as creators. Creativity is not elitist or reserved for the trained palettes. Creativity is in our everyday modes of existence. We are all creators; we can make something out of nothing.

This post is inspired by a meal I made last night, pictured below. I just used what we had in the fridge, and stirred it in the one pan we have. It was a marvellous creation. I worked with what I had, used my intuition, and came at this delicious aubergine tartlets. I will definitely be making it again back in the city, even with the many other resources that we would be back to. I think it is a lovely treat for kids too, and works best when you don’t really like meat.

Food

 

You will need:

  • Aubergines
  • Mushrooms
  • Courgettes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chillies
  • Ginger
  • Feta cheese
  • Red pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Hummus to serve

I cut the aubergines in circles so they may create a nice base, then grilled them in olive oil with onions, garlic, chillies, and ginger. When soft but not mushy I laid them onto the plate, and sautéed mushrooms and courgettes. When lovely and soft I topped the aubergines with them. Then I put crumbled feta cheese on the tartlets, then for a lovely splash of colour I grilled red peppers and cherry tomatoes, and finished the toppings with them. I served with a lovely hummus and bread if you will. You may also use olive tapenade. I think it will hit the spot.

Obviously the ingredients may vary: I would toss ginger carrots on there, or even top the aubergines with round beetroot. It’s your kitchen. Create…

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Flevo Park

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I’ve just recovered my own meaning of the popular phrase “the best things in life are free”—I’m settling down from an hour bike ride through one of the most beautiful parks I have seen, at least in any city. After a day that feels wasted (sitting on the laptop, Whatsapp, CNN, SABC, waiting to hear the fate of Nelson Mandela, all cooked up in the house) I felt I should explore that park I wrote about in a recent post; the one that is adjacent to the Amstel River flowing to the East of Amsterdam.

It is a magnificent park and was a treat to the senses. When I left home I was playing Mylo Xyloto on my iPod, but when I arrived at the park, the melody and symphony of the birds begged for my attention, and I obliged. It was eternal music for the soul. There was life chirping in the air! Their beauty was unmatched, these birds of different species, from the ducks, sharing with humans the novelty of taking walks with their family in the great outdoors; to the land birds that do not really take off, their beaks simultaneously magnificent and unnerving; to our flute players in the air.

The smells were my favourite. The Netherlands is naturally a wet country, as I have mentioned, we have oceanic weather here; so the air in that park was moist and crisp, not humid, and carried with it fragrances of roots, barks, branches, and leaves that bedeck the forest-like vegetation. I could pick up on onion-like bulb smells, and also minty-towards-eucalyptus grassy smells. After 40 minutes of riding the park’s width and breadth, my nostrils unblocked and the crisp air went straight from nature to my lungs. It was a great feeling.

The freedom that comes with biking openly and uninhibitedly—watching out for a rabbit that crosses from bush to bush every now and then—is priceless. The best things in life are free because they have no price tag. They are free because they offer you release, freedom, and therapy that cannot be accumulated with any currency. I feel lighter, happier and more positive after engaging with what many may pass without a second glance—I do not take it for granted! As the Visa advert would have it, yes

Dinner at a good restaurant: R300

A good bottle of wine: R220

Tipping a great waiter: R50

An uninhibited moment of bliss: PRICELESS

There are some things money can buy, for everything else, give yourself a break and go smell the jasmine in the park! Go feed the ducks …

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