Inspiration. Is it an ephemeral, elusive bit of magic? Something people lie in wait for, sometimes living life only from one flash of brilliance to the next…the time in between inconsequential and forgotten. Or is it something that is ever present? Slyly camouflaged all around us…just waiting for us to notice?
I’d like to think it is that latter. That inspiration truly exists among us and can be found in the everyday. That it is precisely in the everyday where brilliance thrives. That it is inspiration that lies in wait for us, and not the other way around.
It doesn’t take much to inspire me or make me smile in wonder. The scent of a mangoes ripening on my dining room table. The way bread dough comes together. Butter melting. The slight tickle of really long earrings brushing against my bare shoulder. What happens to vegetables when you roast them. Nice stationary. My baby’s giggle. My friends.
And all of you. Those of you that always leave your comments here even when I’ve been terribly delinquent. Those of you that are silent but keep dropping in. You who leave helpful hints and answer my sometimes amateurish questions. You who cheer me on. You who I have met. You who I have yet to meet.
Another place where I find endless inspiration is other blogs. Food bloggers’ passion, and the delicious results of that passion, never fails to inspire me. This beautiful pudding is one such example.
Quinoa Pudding with Mango and Pineapple
(adapted from Cannelle at Vanille)
- 3 – 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup dark muscovado sugar
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup mango chunks
- Rinse quinoa in a strainer for a few seconds.
- Combine 3 cups of the milk and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Add the quinoa and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes, especially in the latter part of cooking so your quinoa doesn’t stick.
- If mixture starts looking too dry, or you would like a more liquid pudding, add the extra 1/2 cup of milk. I didn’t have too although I must admit I do like a fairly squidgy pudding.
- Ladle pudding into bowls, cups, or glasses (as I did here) and top with mango and pineapples.
Anyone who has visited Aran’s gorgeous blog knows that it is bursting at the seams with charm and beauty. A virtual stroll through her pages always leaves me inspired. When I saw this pudding I knew I had to recreate it – not only did it look enticing, it was a quinoa version of arroz con leche (which my mum makes and I love!). I decided to make mine with our local dark muscovado sugar, whose deep molasses-y flavor got on perfectly with the quinoa’s earthiness. Instead of strawberries, I topped mine with pineapples and mangoes…our intensely sweet summer fruits. The juicy mangoes were a gift from another food blogging friend. Yet one more thing that inspires me – the generosity of food bloggers who are so willing to share even if they haven’t really “met” the person at the other end (thank you Divina!)!
This blog has always been a very personal space for me – a place where I journal my life in the kitchen (and sometimes outside of it too!). But over the course of almost five years you (yes you!) have, happily, become a part of it. No, it isn’t my birthday, nor my blog’s birthday, nor any occasion of distinction. Just another lovely everyday in which I'd like to say thank YOU for the inspiration! :)