It seems that everyone — from individuals to brands — want to be identified as ‘creative.’ Of course we also want to be smart and analytical, organized and efficient. But these are all things that bolster the creative; make him/her/it do the creative stuff more effectively and intelligently. These skills are secondary; they are learned. But the creative is innate. It cannot be learned and therefore is that much more elusive.
The problem with everyone wanting to be creative is something I’ve been kind of struggling with these days: where do you draw the line? Not to name names, but recently I’ve noticed a trend — a surge of companies essentially copying what the other is doing. Every one of them has a creative story to tell, a unique voice, a perspective you and I should care about. But the proliferation of sharing platforms makes it easy to leverage others’ creativity and call it your own. Of course there is Pinterest, but there’s also Etsy, which not only provides a platform for small makers to share their unique goods, but also a place where these ideas can be repackaged, and even effectively stolen. Ideas that others can profit from.
We are a generation of intelligent consumers. We are savvy spenders. We are research-minded. We have been raised on the Internet, the discount code, the ‘customer is always right’ mentality. We buy and we buy and we return and exchange and we try on and send back and we are catered to in each and every way.
So is the new creative a collector of ideas? A puzzle builder? A refiner? A copywriter? A doer? A learner? Are we more or less creative because we can so easily share and watch ideas grow?
While I absolutely look down upon people who simply take others’ ideas and call them their own, I think there is a real value to taking an idea and massaging it to be your own. In the world of cooking, creativity is a hotly debated topic. Food 52 has a great article about how to write an original recipe, and we bloggers tend to follow a common etiquette whereby we link back to our inspirations and give due credit where credit is due.
Does this mean that a recipe adaptation is not creative? Or that curation can’t be placed in the ‘creative’ bucket? I say, absolutely not. We are lucky to have as many sources of inspiration as we do — beautiful magazines, websites, restaurants, the ability to travel.
This recipe, which I adapted from the gorgeous vegetarian blog Green Kitchen Stories, is my new obsession. You see, I grew up on buckwheat groats, a staple in Russian cooking. But would I have ever guessed that they could be eaten raw? Nowadays, not only do I finely grind them in the spice grinder to make Neko’s morning cereal, but I have discovered I can soak them overnight, alongside some walnuts, grind them in a food processor with some juice, spices and vanilla extract, and have myself a nutritious breakfast that can be taken to go.
Raw Buckwheat and Walnut Porridge
adapted from Green Kitchen stories
1 cup of raw or toasted buckwheat groats
1 cup of raw walnuts
1 appled, juiced
1/2 – 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, to taste
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
berries & honey, for topping
1. Add the buckwheat groats and nuts to two separate bowls and cover with water. Let soak overnight.
2. The next morning, drain the buckwheat groats and nuts. Add to a food processor along with the apple juice, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Puree until smooth.
3. Transfer to glass jars. To serve, top with berries and drizzle with honey, to taste. Porridge will stay in the fridge for several days.
Musical Pairings: Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You + Raw Buckwheat and Walnut Porridge
More on the Turntable.