Business guru, Henry Mintzberg, in his seminal ’80’s (I think) Harvard Business Review article on strategy, compared the process to making a clay pot: You start out with a pot in mind, but as the work proceeds you are constantly adjusting your hands to how the clay is responding. In the end, you may end up with a teacup or a vase…and that’s perfectly fine.
This morning I decided to make a simple chicken soup. I took some previously made chicken stock, threw in an onion, a couple of carrots, some celery, garlic, and a couple of parsnips, plus two large chicken breasts. But the onion was red and the carrots were a heritage variety, almost purple. The broth turned a rather yukky (to me) unnatural color. So I threw in a jar of tomato passato (strained tomatoes) and a few cherry tomatoes (for texture). “Hmmm”, I thought, “this no longer looks like chicken soup”. So I threw in some peas, Romanesco cauliflower, and some red and yellow peppers. The result is an exquisite, thick vegetable soup (just the right color) into which I shredded the chicken breasts. Yumm.