Yesterday, I spent the day cooking and enjoying some time in the kitchen. I am a foodie. I make no bones about enjoying food. But by enjoying food, I’ve learned that my life with food is also linked to my writing. Sometimes, when you’re chopping veggies or fruits, focusing only on dicing them properly– you hear your characters whispering. Sometimes, a difficult plot point gets resolved while I’m dealing with a complicated dish because focusing on the steps of the dish force my subconscious to go point by point on my story, showing me where it went wrong. Afterwards, it opens up my mind to what’s to come later on in my writing. We had breakfast for supper last night. Home fries, bacon, eggs, gluten free waffles, and strawberry lime syrup instead of maple syrup. I made the syrup from fresh strawberries and limes. It turned out so good that I still have a smile on my face. It’s a recipe that originally came from my mom’s dad. He used to use strawberries or any mixed berries that were in season. But as I got older, I discovered I loved limes and preferred adding their juice over lemon juice. Their taste seems to really balance the sweetness with a tang that just blends so well together. I also realized I can use the syrup to make slushies. *rubs hands together* Yes, sometimes, being a foodie and a writer is a good thing!
Give yourself over to cooking or another hobby you love that requires you to think but not think. As you do, you’ll notice that the writer aspect of you will begin the process of creativity. Science has shown that these kinds of actions give your mind a chance to become more creative and to work out difficulties you might be encountering while writing.
Strawberry Lime Syrup
2 containers of strawberries (I usually buy those plastic containers that look slightly bigger than pints) — dehulled, cut into small pieces
2 limes– zested and juiced
2 cups of sugar (you can use Splenda, Stevia or a blend of sugar and sugar substitute if needed– it’s what I did.)
1-1/2 cups water
3 tbsp of strawberry jam
In a large saucepan, toss in the strawberries and sugar. Let sit, covered, for 30 minutes. This will mascerate the strawberries, drawing out the moisture as well as softening the flesh as well. Once it comes time, stir the mixture as you turn on the heat to medium. Add in the water, zest, and half the lime juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring every few minutes. When the mixture comes to a boil, it’s time to use an immersion blender if you have it to blend it further– this will break the pieces better. If not, carefully remove a portion of the mixture into a blender or food processor, blending until smooth. Then add back into pan. Keep stirring mixture every couple of minutes, allowing the mixture to reduce down. Add in remaining lime juice and strawberry jam. Mix thoroughly and cook another 5-10 minutes. When you stir and you can see a clear path when you push through the syrup, then you know you are near the correct consistency. You’ll also notice that it coats the back of the spoon as well. Turn off heat, remove pan to one side, letting the syrup cool slightly. Use warm or cold.
This syrup is fantastic on waffles, pancakes, and biscuits as well. You can also use it in a blender with ice cubes, small amount of juice or alcohol, and add in the syrup. Blend until the ice becomes slushie. Serve in glasses. Fantastic drink on a hot, humid day.