10 Gross Ingredients – It’s what the food thing is all about

Click here for a rocking post (The Guardian) about the things in food we’d rather not know about. Processed food, obviously. The basic message is that eating food we make ourselves, from scratch, is the best thing for us.

Just banging on that drum again.

My favourite was the chemical that’s directly derived from human hair collected from the floors of salons in China. That’s what keeps sandwich bread fresh.

The Creative Process, by an addict.

Creative ProcessThis image is one of my favourite ever Facebook pick ups.

I used to think I was rubbish at creative jobs, spending most of the time panicking and crying while working them. This image proves that other people feel like that too. Not necessarily creative geniuses, but some ordinary creatives like me. Someone else drew the diagram. I’m not alone.

It also reminds me that the Deadline can become the end product in itself. Not a good focus. It should be about creating, not making the date.

If I’m under any kind of scrutiny at all during the process, my creativity drops away. So then we’ve got panic mode with no ideas at all and a billowing deadline. Nobody is comfortable in that scenario. Creative jobs of this kind are not for me.

Deadlines don’t just affect creative activity. The Creative Process deadline hell is transferable to Real Life. Everything with a deadline attached is done in the All The Work While Crying Period.

Leaving everything to the last possible minute isn’t a strategy. It’s a mislearned way of life. It’s a two-parter, the false endlessness of the Fuck Off Period followed by panic building into a frenzied burst of activity, sometimes with weeping.

I’m kidding myself that the main rehabiliative step is recognising it. Like an alcoholic saying “I accept I’m an alcoholic, but I can’t /won’t do anything about it”. Recognition isn’t the big deal; the highest leap is to changing the behaviour.

Part of the procrastination this evening was spent making dinner. Mini cheese puddings with ham, and salad. Very tasty. No deadline and therefore no panic. Just food love.

cheese bread pudding with ham

Creative Process Image C/O GraphJam

Midnight in Manhattan

So last night, I had the pleasure of a glamorous night out at a party venue in Penrith, where 200 guests and about 70 staff pretended they were in 1920s Manhattan, with a 3-course meal, cocktails on arrival, singing and aerial act entertainment and plenty of wine. All for the price of around £30.

And no, the food was a disappointment, the wine list touted two roses but the bar stocked only the cheaper one and the acts were only on for the shortest possible time.

But whereas I can complain with the best of them, I honestly felt that it wasn’t right to do so. Where does £30 get you these days anyway?

I had the wonderful company of Himself, (recovering from a hospital visit in the morning, but still…) the pleasure of a bottle of wine to myself; two cocktails on arrival; meeting people I haven’t seen in ages (all staff – I used to work there myself) and the roast parsnips were good.

Never mind the food – large numbers are a nightmare for a kitchen, but the chef’s food is usually good; it wasn’t the staff’s fault. They didn’t deserve the complaint.

My table egged me on to complain, so I took some notes, but my boss (who is one of my best friends) said that she wasn’t going to. She would mention it to the manager who sells the night (one of her best friends) but she was so well behaved, her judgement shone out against all those miserablists who didn’t like the food and didn’t eat it either.

The point is, it’s easy to criticise, but harder to engage. You get so much more out of everything if you engage with it.