Sunday, April 15, 2012

Creativity Rules!

If you have not heard of this book or have not read it, you need to go to the library or Amazon or Barnes & Nobles or wherever you get your books and find a copy and start reading right now! Well, maybe after reading my blog.
I have had this book for I've forgotten how long. I bought it in China and while packing books to mail to the States last summer, I chose randomly from the countless books that I had not read this particular one. And I still hadn't started until recently. But I was instantly hooked when I began flipping the pages in bed one restless midnight. When I reluctantly turned off the light after 40 pages, I was almost too excited to sleep.
Okay, now you want to know why this book is so amazing, aside from the fact that it won the Pulitzer. But has the title triggered your curiosity yet? Everything about this book screams creativity at the top of its lung: the title, the story, the language. It is simply UNIQUE.
Oscar is a Dominican American guy who grew up as a fat sci-fi nerd, constantly being bullied and made fun of. But he was good at what he knew, science ficiton and video games. He even wrote sci-fi stories himself. 
Junot's writing is hilarious and true. While reading, you feel like he's talking to you, telling you the stories in person. He doesn't shy away from profanity and idioms; forget about picturesque and beautiful prose, life is all about the brutal truth! Not everything has to be Nabokov; when your subject requires an unconventional language style, you shouldn't hesitate to adopt it. It may work amazingly well.
Now you know why I study creative writing!
Obviously, creativity rules not only in literature, but also in cooking. I bet you already knew that from my previous posts that I am a novice adventurous cook who doesn't always follow instructions. And, I make up stuff. What's wrong with a little creativity in the kitchen? You won't find out whether it's good or bad until you mix what's impossible into what's possible. Because in the kitchen nothing is impossible, but your palate may disagree.
So this was my adventure the other day.
I'm not yet very good at naming new recipes, so for the moment this is called Italian veggie wrap, a little ambitious I know. I just happened to have some old soft tortilla wraps and some celery, carrots and cabbage. Oh yes, the cabbage was from the cabbage rolls I made weeks ago. A lesson learned, cabbages stay good for a very long time in the fridge. PS. measurements don't matter in this recipe, follow your heart.
Italian Veggie Wrap
cabbage, cut into 1-inch wedges
stalks of celery, chopped
carrots, chopped
Herbes en Provence seasoning
olive oil
Drizzle the cabbage wedges with olive oil and roast in the oven at 350 for 50 minute until the edges are brown. Sautee the celery and carrots in a saucepan in olive oil until a little soft. Add a can of tomato sauce, cook and season with herbes en Provence seasoing and salt and pepper. Add the cabbage into the mixture and cook till well flavored.
Meanwhile, toast the tortilla wraps in olive oil until crunchyboth sides are brown on the edges.
Wrap the veggies in the tortilal wrap and enjoy!

I bought brie cheese that day, hmm, double creamy, Trader Joe's also rules!

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