Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Variations on a theme

Crazy Holidays. I wonder, if we didn't manage to find time to post while the holidays were not in full swing then how will we ever post stuff during the month of december?

Not to mention that we already posted all the beloved standards last year...

But lets make a quick musical analogy. What do great composers do when they get bored or run into a creative block? What always brings a smile to the audience when 21st century composition is just too much effort (both to write and hear) and yet we've all heard Beethoven's 9th a few to many times to be really thrilled by it (unless Osmo Vanska is conducting, of course)? It's easy. Take a familiar tune and warp it just a little. Elaborate here, throw a disney tune mash up there, make Mozart sound like Rachmaninoff for the rest of it, and voila! The musically discerning audience is thrilled with your cleverness and their own ability to appreciate it! They leave the concert saying pridefully pompous things like "the baroque flavor in that exposition reminded me of Whitacre's Cloudburst as if set by Jean-Baptiste Lully!", and "I felt that the coda in the style of Brahms was the perfect commentary on the Schubert-style quartet, especially considering Clara!" Yes, Variations on a theme are always a crowd pleaser.

I submit to you all that baking is not so different than music. Just consider Mom the Osmo Vanska, who recreates the classics with perfection. And the rest of us could become the discerning audience, who whines unless Osmo is conducting, or we could create our own variations on the theme.

So post some ideas you have and let's see if we can work through them. Or post the whole recipe and we'll applaud wholeheartedly. I've recently begun to love lime flavored things, do you think lemon bread could become key lime bread? This summer I made quite a few trifles, and now that fresh fruit is hard to come by, I wonder if I could pull one off using brownies and coconut. Emma and I were discussing oreo truffles the other day and I realized that I could quickly alter a cookie dough recipe to create cookie dough truffles, dip them in brown chocolate, and mix them in with the oreo truffles for variety in gift giving.

This is more of a quest for creativity than it is a challenge in the kitchen. Let's see what we can come up with!