Creative Expression Through Culinary Art

Yesterday and earlier today I did something that I haven’t done in a few weeks, I cooked because I wanted to. Last night at about 7 PM I started one of my slow cooking pasta sauces. I started with a very basic tomato based of crushed tomatos, tomato sauce and some fresh tomatos. I followed up with a lot of other vegtables and spices. There is something very relaxing about having something cooking in a slow cooker and stiring it about once every hour or so. This evening I completed the other half of the meal, the meat and the pasta. I decided to go with my normal fried chicken component. For once my fried chicken actually came out perfectly, golden brown, done throughout and not lacking pieces of its fried shell. Normally I would cut the chicken and arrange it on the top of the pasta, but because of the way the chicken looked this time I decided to leave the chicken pieces whole and serve them on top of the pasta as-is. This is one of those times when I am glad that I only fry with whole breast meat. The final dish was the following: fettucini base, sauce on top, mozzarella cheese sprinkled about, then chicken placed on top of the hot melting cheese.
These burst of creativity when I am cooking make me very happy. I don’t have many of my hands-on hobbies left, and it is nice for me to be able to enjoy the ones I do have. I have decided that I really do need to find some additional things to cook though, I am about to the end of my availible modifications to this one dish, and now that I have had the chicken come out like it did, I feel like I have perfected it, and as such it is time for me to move on. I stick to pasta dishes too much, I need to escape from them and try something new, something I have never thought of before. Anyone have any ideas?
My biggest restrictor is my ingrediant list. I have a lot avaiible to me because my mother and I run a template kitchen, we have a base set of ingrediants which we require to be on-hand at all times. One big disadvantage to that is that we hardly ever add new ingrediants to our collection and a lot of fresh ingrediants don’t store very well for long periods of time. Perhaps I should just start going to the store when I have creative urges and pick up whatever grabs me. I have been watching Food Network for a long time and there is a lot that I could be using that I don’t. Either way, now is not a time for culinary regrets due to things not attempted, it is a time of culinary celebration for dishes (and in this case, techniques) perfected.