It truly doesn't matter how long my list of "recipes I want to try" gets. No matter how many ideas I'm storing away for a better time, certain ideas pop into my head and take precedent over everything else. The list floats away. The ideas become meaningless, compared to the one seed in my head, which is so fresh it just can't be squashed.
My list was long when I thought of making this tropical lassi. Memories of fresh passion fruit, picked from the vine in Ecuador trigger my imagination. It was a must-make-now moment. I knew finding passion fruit here was going to be tough (just like my story about sushi fish from earlier this week) but I was determined to try.
In the book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert explains her theory of creativity. Her idea is that when a creative idea strikes, you have to take hold of it and run with it while it's there: otherwise that idea--which has a life of its own- will move right along to someone else who has the time for it. When I read the book I thought I was investing in my writing process... learning to become a better writer. But what I found is that her lessons applied to my one true passion: cooking.
If I look back at my list of recipes to make, many of the ideas are old and forgotten. It is long, so this makes sense. With the oldest ideas there is usually barely a spark of inspiration left. A faint glow where there used to be a fire. Maybe, four months ago, one ingredient was in peak season, and I wrote down 10 of my best ideas to use it. And now, I've moved on to lassis and tropical fruits and all of those ideas must wait for a year.
For my ideas, the list is like being on hold with customer service for an hour. Some times they are there when I come back. The best ideas usually are. Sometimes they are nothing but an empty shell of a thought--static on the other end of the line, where something with energy used to be. The inspiration has moved on to someone else. This wasn't going to happen with the lassi idea: I was determined. It would take just 5 minutes to make the darn thing if I could just find passion fruit.
And there they were! 🙌 Magenta in color and looking fresher than ever, a bowl full of passion fruits. Did my subconscious realize that passion fruits were on sale this week? Or was this just luck? I grabbed several--more than I would need- and triumphantly made my way to the check out line. (Tip: if you have a Sprouts near by, they often carry tropical fruits like passion fruit).
As expected my creation came together in less than 5 minutes: dump everything in the blender and hit go. I live in pretty much the opposite climate as a tropical rain forest (in the summer, it's a dessert, in the winter it's all snow and flurries), but the summer heat was begging for a snack this refreshing. It is both hydrating and satisfying, and boasts a tang from the passion fruit that couldn't otherwise be recreated.
Creativity released to the world, I could sit back and enjoy my lassi in peace.
Serves: 2 | Total Time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (non-dairy yogurt would work at well)
- 1 cup chopped banana (frozen makes for a nice cool drink but is not required)
- Juice of 3-4 passion fruits, or 1/4 cup passion fruit juice
- A dash of cardamom
- 4-5 ice cubes
- Optional: 1 scoop whey isolate for protein
- If using whole passion fruits: slice fruit in half, and scoop seedy flesh into a strainer. Use the back of a spoon to push the juices through the strainer and into a blender jar. Once you’ve gotten all of the juice, discard the seeds and peel.
- Add banana, yogurt, a dash of cardamom, ice cubes, and whey protein if using, to the blender. Turn blender to “Smoothie” setting or puree on high until the drink is smooth and no chunks remain.
- Pour into two serving glasses and drink while it’s still cold.