Friday, April 11, 2014

Inspired by Lunch

Grilled tuna-spinach wrap w/ a side of garden salad
The temptation to write has been there since the day I published my last post. And I did... write, that is... although something completely unrelated to my passion for food. Encouraged by my mother, I began working on a fantasy novel, but the process stopped dead in its tracks almost as soon as it began. Burdened by imposed complexity, each sentence took up to an hour to construct, rapidly stripping its author of her motivation to persevere. 

Faced with a creative writer's block, I shifted my attention to a yellow pocket-sized paperback with a rather strange title. The book was among five, three of them Russian classics, found in a care package from my mother- the gift from an avid reader who since an early age gobbled up novel after novel, never to sate her hunger for quiet entertainment in proud solitude. Included in the package was also Russian dark chocolate. Besides strong black coffee, it often complemented her passion for reading and, I theorized, was meant to aid in my own literary endeavours. 

Everything about the book was simple. Written in my native tongue, it contained a street novel cluttered with simple characters and their unwise actions. Curious at first, I was soon defeated by her majesty boredom. The simplicity of the writing style and the heroine's exaggerated naïveté were hard to beat, becoming increasingly more predictable as the reading went on. I craved more eloquence than I was offered, and yet by all accounts, the author proved successful among the general public, and I had a lot to learn from her. 

While gifted chocolate, a special Sochi Olympics 2014 bar among others, melted in my husband's mouth at an unprecedented speed, I mastered both books by the aforementioned writer and decided to transform my fairy tale into a more relatable story set in modern times. But within a few short days I stopped writing, unable to decide on the plot. Admittedly, constructing a story line has never been one of my fortés and must therefore be mastered through practice. 

Apart from becoming acquainted with a tiny sample of modern Russian fiction, the last few weeks were marked by several extravagant meals either created in the comfort of our own home or savoured at one of the Okanagan's many boutique restaurants. Inspired by the visual presentation and the harmony of flavours, I thought of blogging more than once, but as the time passed and the memories of elegant dining experiences faded, I felt less inclined to invest the time and effort necessary to yield a worthy post. 

Until one day, I made lunch. A rather uncomplicated meal, prepared and photographed in a hurried fashion, consisted of nothing but a grilled tuna-spinach wrap and fresh garden salad. Yet something about it- its sheer simplicity or the fact that it coincided with Marcus' afternoon nap- ignited a creative spark, reminding me of the enduring nature of my passion for food and urging to resume blogging after 51 days of inactivity. The meal provided more than essential nutrients my body needed to restore energy after intense, although satisfying, time with my son at the local recreation centre. For a few minutes, I was PRESENT savouring the rainbow of flavours and nourishing my body temple...