upcycled

When I was little, my dad taught me abut recycling and upcycling, long before it became trendy. No, dad was not a green-earth conservationist. His approach was purely artistic and creative. He was also Aspie. Undiagnosed, but most definitely so. To him, it was a challenge to create something desirable from what had been relegated to the trash heap as undesirable. Now that I am financially challenged, this early childhood fascination and education is standing me in good stead. It also aligns itself to the current drive towards sustainability etc, doesn’t it? The downside is that I have been accused of and mocked at for being a hoarder, in a negative way. I know, hoarders believe that whatever they are hoarding have important intrinsic value too, but I don’t just keep things and leave them to rot, I am creating constantly, new things out of old, and the hoardings do move, even if people don’t notice it. Another problem I am facing is the lack of space, of course. Our family home was quite large, there was ample space for our collections, and ample space to work in. I miss that. Space. And I miss dad, too. I miss him a great deal.

Well, here’s a tribute to dad and all the valuable creative and intellectual lessons I learned while apprenticed to him. I am upcycling my food. Why waste? At the same time, why be boring in the process of repetition? I love repetition, but I also see it as a composition of theme and variations, even if the variations may be too subtle for the average neurotypical global coherent mind. To me, the detail focused Aspie, subtle variation is as beautiful as giant mutant concoctions, and maybe even more so, because the process is in itself art, and beauty lies in the small things, the tiny shifts, before they become gargantuan.

One of the three chicken thighs became accompaniment to a plate of instant noodles. Simple and quick, I wasn’t feeling like cooking that evening, so this was sustenance. Pretty tasty too. The essential Asian student’s DIY cheap fastfood.

Ah, but the Laksa curry was superb! Waxing lyrical over a bowl of mush? Yup. The Laksa broth was delicious on its own, but this upcycled version, with leftover chicken thighs, tomatoes, potatoes etc is richer and thicker. It became a sort of curry. I toasted the pita bread. Not as robust as naan bread but it did the trick. Good stuff! I think dad would’ve approved too, he loved curries. I wish I’d cooked more often for him. It’s never enough when it is finally over, is it?

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