Sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration in (or out of) the kitchen and that low creative tide can feel terrifying, like you’ll never be able to make something again. Like you never actually were able to make something in the first place. Like you’ve been a big phoney your whole life and everything that came before was just one big accident or coincidence or misunderstanding. That amazing soup you made last week? Yeah, that was actually terrible. Everyone who ate it was just being polite. That cake you make for everyone’s birthday that’s, like, your thing? It is, always has been, and always will be horrible and you have irreparably bad taste and instincts for not immediately seeing it as such. Also, you’re going to die alone and no one likes you, not even your cats.
The ebb and flow of creativity is perfectly normal, but it never feels that way. It feels like the deficit is reality and will last forever and every mean thing you can think about yourself is gospel, digging you deeper into a crappy hole of crap, because feelings, especially the rotten ones are not even a little bit logical. Because they’re fucking Rude.
But the truth is that, yes, we are competent and, yes, our cats do love us, and creativity will come back once we get out of our own way and let it happen. And the best way to step aside and welcome your creativity to back into the room is to try something new. Something that will invigorate and refresh and stir up the juju. Something that’s just novel enough to distract you from your big dumb head while all the garbage drains out of it, so you can get back to what you do best: being a total badass.
Shrub is something we’ve been waiting to make since Rachel tried it at Eat Retreat and it is the perfect choice to shake shit up in the kitchen. It’s tasty, idiot-proof, and refreshing as fuck.
Nothing more than a blend of fruit, vinegar, and sugar, Shrub is the invention of the 17th century English need preserve delicate fruits through the long winter. It’s bright and fresh with an assertive tang, but it isn’t overpowering. The quasi-pickling somehow brings out the subtle floral flavors in the fruit and makes a syrup that is basically Kool-Aid for grownup– and we’re happy to report it’s done its job quite nicely.
- 2 cups well-washed Blueberries
- 1 cup Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Honey (you can be fancy and use some yujucha, if you want a citrusy situation)
- Wash a quart mason jar with very hot water, rinse thoroughly and allow to air-dry completely.
- In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Simmer over medium-low heat for a few seconds until the Blueberries just hardly start to give off juice.
- Carefully pour the hot Shrub into your mason jar and set somewhere dark and cool to hang out for at least 12 hours (but no more than 36).
- To serve, do whatever the fuck you want. But we recommend putting a tablespoon in the bottom of a champagne glass and topping it up with very dry champagne or club soda (with vodka, question mark) for a super refreshing drink that is classy as balls .