Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush…

I’m sure pretty much all of you dear readers will now be singing away, reminiscing about childhood nursery rhymes, but how many of you have ever seen a mulberry bush, let alone eaten a mulberry?

When my teenagers were little they had a mulberry bush game from Orchard Toys, sadly it doesn’t seem to be available now, but it was a firm favourite back in the day. We sang the song and stomped our teddies round the little bush as we collected cards that went with the actions we had to perform.

As a child I remember singing the song and doing the actions in the playground at school, having been taught the song by my mother who remembered playing the same game herself. Mulberry bushes have therefore been part of the childhood of at least 3 generations of my family, but we had never seen one, nor eaten its fruits.

I’ve seen the ugly looking little berries in their dried form on various online shopping trips, but they never really appealed, mostly because of how they look, but also because I imagined they would be crispy and generally sensorily repugnant, as well as rather pricey!

When Detox Your World offered me the opportunity to receive some ingredients for review, I jumped at the chance to try out some of the products that I’ve looked at, but never been brave enough to buy. Top of the list was a packet of mulberries.

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I really didn’t want to try them when they arrived as they just looked so unpleasant. After several days (seriously, this is how unadventurous I can be with new foods!) I decided that I had better bite the bullet …. well it turned out that they weren’t remotely bullet like, instead they were rather soft, with a slight resistance, if that makes sense, and had a really sweet taste – incredibly moreish in fact! My children, when they could get past the look of the berries, thought that they were rather like raisins; my son’s descriptive powers went a bit further and said that they were almost toffee like, and that he would choose them over toffees if they were available in a shop! High praise indeed from The Boy with a ridiculously sweet tooth!

Mulberries were definitely a winner in this family then. However… one of the other exotic delights I chose to try out was Durian Fruit. Now it does suggest on the website that this is something that you will either love or hate, with some people suggesting it tastes of garlic and onion, but I was tempted by the promise of vanilla, banana, caramel and custard flavours.

I tried it out, in a VERY small amount, in my first trial of our passionate chia seed pudding. I was dubious as soon as I opened the packet in all honesty. The smell was odd, vaguely unpleasant but I could definitely detect some potential for creamy vanilla-ness, so I ploughed ahead and dropped 5 little pieces into the pudding to soak overnight, imagining that this would bring out the best of this curious little fruit.

Oh how wrong I was! The smell intensified almost immediately the fruit came into contact with the liquid, it was so repugnant that I imagined that come morning, going downstairs would result in the family all making a quick dash for bowls and toilets! No wonder that Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transport System carries signs like this!

Photo credit – wikipediaImage

As it happened the smell didn’t get any worse over night, and we all bravely tried a spoonful of the durian chia pudding; I should have videoed the facial reactions really, I think they would have become a youtube success! Disgust and horror would be the words that best described what my family thought of this delicacy – some may call us philistines, I would say that we have highly developed tastebuds, and that any fruit that is encased in such heavy duty armour as the durian, was obviously never meant to be eaten by any sensible human being!

Durian is reputed to be highly prized for its aphrodisiac qualities, and its high tryptophan content (the chemical that makes us happy)…. If any readers would like to try it for themselves I’d love to know what they think, and would be more than happy to send them the remains of our packet! Drop me a comment in the box below and we can consider this a competition of sorts!

In summary then: Mulberries we would definitely go round and round the bush for, durian  would see us heading for the hills at speed.

Huge thanks to Detox Your World for giving us the opportunity to try these items, it was lots of fun, and we will definitely be back for everything, except the durian!

Primal Creative Urges

One of the reasons I chose Creatively Paleo for my website name is because I strongly believe that the creative act is a primal urge that we all feel throughout out lives; I wanted the website name to express the fact that creativity, as a primal desire, is as crucial to our health and wellbeing as the food we eat.

Ever since I can remember I have had moments where I been overcome with the desire to create. Often I wouldn’t have the first clue what I wanted to create, but I just HAD to make something. From around about the age of ten I called these my “creative urges” and I would not be able to rest until I had satisfied the intense yearning that would almost consume me when these urges struck.

I can see a similar need in my son which demonstrates, on a very immediate level, that the desire to create is not an inherently female experience. Obviously when looking at the wider world this is clearly demonstrated, not least by the countless numbers of men who have created great works of art, music, culinary delights etc; but I do think that the primal urge has perhaps most often been associated with the creation of new life in the womb.

I suspect this feminisation of creativity has been a leading factor in the demeaning of arts based studies – academia and cerebral studies are so much more highly prized once you leave the colourful, paint splattered days of kindergarten behind, whilst more obviously creative pursuits are sidelined, at best, but most often mocked and maligned.

It is my belief that this lack of understanding about our primal need to create, has helped to lead many of us into the depths of despair; but… the strength of this innate desire cannot be crushed completely as is testified to by the number of formerly “sensible” adults who suddenly develop a yearning to become yoga teachers, gardeners, artists, knitters, photographers etc etc etc, most often when they hit their late 30s and early 40s, when of course it is laughed off once more, this time as a midlife crisis.

We each have a creative spark within us, no matter how deeply buried we might think it is. How could it be otherwise? After all, don’t we originate from ancestors who were compelled, by something within, to mix up dirt and berry juices and apply them to the walls of their caves as decorative, seemingly purposeless, art? How would humanity have advanced to the extent we have without this need to take raw materials and transform them into something beautiful, useful, tasty or just plain whimsical?

photo credit: wikipedia

Creativity does not just have to be about the arts however, it is entirely possible to fulfil a creative desire in anything you do – a computer coder would probably not seem to be remotely creative to most people, but that strange language, in the right hands, can create a beautiful programme or website that those of us who don’t speak that language would find impossible to bring into being.

Creativity is the spark of passion that drives you; the medium you choose to bring it into existence through is almost besides the point.

I think by now you might be able to tell that I’m a little bit passionate about creativity…! I truly believe that “paleo” is so much more than a way of eating, it is an entire way of life; one that will fuel not just your body but your mind and soul too.

I’d love to hear how you’ve honoured your creativity this week. Here’s how it looked for me.

Recipes for the purple funky chicken and the apple cake will be added to the website this week. Be the first to know by liking our facebook page or by following us on twitter.

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