Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Magical Fruit -- A Creativity Warm-Up

In the Disney version of A Life In The Arts, Cinderella would live happily ever after spending all day every day in the studio. They never mention the paperwork. Today is another paperwork day in my realm. I have a lot to get done and the clock is ticking. I need a warm-up exercise that will help me be creative and productive. One I'm not inclined to turn into a half-day exploration because I might someday develop it into a piece of fiber art. Time to head for the cupboard to see what the magic mice might have to offer.

I found a blue placemat and a bag of red lentils. Here's what I did with them.
  1. Spill. Scoop a few handfuls of lentils onto a solid-color placemat or dish towel.
  2. Spread. Spread the lentils into a relatively even layer.
  3. Doodle. Run your fingers through the lentils, playing with pattern.
  4. Spread. Spread the lentils back into a relatively even layer.
  5. Paint. Move lentils to draw a shape and add features or highlights or shadows. Think of this as dry fingerpainting.
When you're done, those lentils can go right in the slow cooker for supper. Here's a recipe you might like to try.

Cinderella's Slow-Cooker Soup
2 cups red lentils
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 28 oz. can petite dice tomatoes
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can lite coconut milk

Rinse the lentils and add to the crock pot. Add remaining ingredients except coconut milk. Plug in the slow cooker or crock pot and go get your paperwork done. (Appliances differ, so guess on the setting and cooking time or find a slow-cooker split pea soup recipe for guidance.) Before serving, add the can of coconut milk and heat through. Optional: add a dollop of plain yogurt to each bowl of soup and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.

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