Spring has sprung. The weather has been lovely; it’s the start of holidays and weddings and birthdays; and so far, I’ve been feeling zero percent creative.
A lot of this lack of creativity stems from a deeper thing I encounter on a daily basis: lots of anxiety. I don’t think I’ve talked about it here, but for pretty much forever, I deal with high emotional anxiety. It comes in different forms depending on the situation. With relation to cooking and feeling creative, it’s something like this:
Ideal: I come home after work, read through cookbooks, brainstorm a recipe/new blogpost, free write, recipe write, make something amazing by the end of the week.
Reality: I come home after work. I’m tired. I said yes to a friend who’s been asking to hang out. My room is messy. I read a cookbook but feel like I’m not good enough to make anything in it. I watch Netflix. I feel bad for watching Netflix. I lie in bed scrolling Instagram for beautifully made desserts, and then I stress out over the next day/week/weekend.
This cycle repeats itself week after week and it’s been driving me nuts. It makes me feel like I learned nothing in Paris last year. Or that my years of working in pastry have been forgotten. Or that I can’t write like I used to. Or that I’ll never fulfill my long-term vision of what I want to do and be in the food world. Or I’ll never get better at anything I love doing.
So with all that, I’ve felt stagnant. I made this caramel whipped cream berry tart a couple times last week in an attempt to circumvent this feeling and get something, anything, created. It’s not a perfect tart. The caramel oozes if not reduced enough; the berries aren’t always sweet enough (the season just started), and the crust shrunk a bit. But it’s something. And I WILL say, it’s delicious, especially with a hint of orange blossom in the whipped cream to give it an unexpected boost of spring. I hope that I’ll find a similar boost for myself, and in the meanwhile, I’ll be working (hopefully) on some new recipes and writing to bring here soon. In the meantime, enjoy this caramel whipped cream berry tart.