Inspiration strikes in strange ways.
My most recent reminder of this inarguable truth began as I was wandering around the thrift store the other day, and my eyes fell upon a gorgeous splash of ceramic red.
The object in question was a petite red baking dish, and I immediately recognized it as the junior member of a set of three baking dishes, of which my mom owns the large yellow and the medium turquoise versions.
Obviously, this precious dollop was my destiny.
Throw in the fact that the label read Crate & Barrel, one of my all-time favorite housewares brands, and without further ado, I marched myself up to the check-out and slapped down my $1.99 before anyone realized what a steal I was making.
It wasn't till I got home that I grasped the undeniable truth.
Adorable as my new friend may be, his size is desperately small. Not a single recipe in my retinue would be content to bake in such limited quarters, and I had no idea how I would put the rascal to use.
Still, this was clearly a relationship meant to be, so I waited with confidence, and sure enough, the epiphany eventually struck.
If there are no recipes that fit the dish, then I will need to invent some that do.
Here's what happened next:
I sliced up apples till my dish was full. Three mediums did the trick.
I mixed about a half cup of granola with roughly a tablespoon of flour, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and enough canola oil to bind it all together.
I would have used melted butter but I was out. Whatever.
I popped my creation into a 350 degree oven and baked until the apples were soft, about 20 minutes.
Then I divided the spoils among my party of four, and topped each serving with vanilla ice cream.
* * * * *
And here is what this little adventure has taught me:
Necessity really is the mother of invention.
Fruit crisps are ridiculously easy to fake.
I'm on a roll. Ain't no telling where my tiny red baking dish will take me next.