Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Dec 07 2009

Write, cook, eat, write, repeat

A dear family member is also a writer, which means we often compare projects and writing issues. We also exchange recipe ideas from time to time, particularly ones recipes that seem to free time for other pursuits, such as talking about writing. She recently started to share an old family recipe with me and realized she had drawn a blank on some of the ingredients. I'm sure it will all come back to her when she cooks, but it made me wonder about recipes in relation to other writing. Many of us, both writers and non-writers, recall whole real-life dramas surrounding food and the sharing of recipes and cooking techniques. Almost everyone has some wild story to tell about something such as the family dog dragging the Thanksgiving turkey off the table. Our most vivid memories are often wrapped in the aroma of baking bread or other favorite scents.

When that other writer from my family couldn't recall that old recipe I wondered how many good writings from the kitchen are lost in family history. Commercial cookbooks are great fun, but many of us still have a few old stained index cards with our grandmother's best potato rolls or killer chocolate cake scrawled in her writing. But some recipes are never written down and unless the offspring of great cooks are let in on the family secrets through mentoring or verbal instruction, some family recipes are in danger of disappearing forever.

Some authors have taken this whole recipe thing a step further. There are whole tales written surrounding the allure of food and preparation. Joanna Fluke and Nancy Fairbanks are among those who have managed to pepper (pun intended) their tales with recipes and food descriptions that have led more than one avid readers to the kitchen for a mid-book snack.

So if you're a writer of stories or articles, don't forget to write down that cherished family recipe for lemon meringue pie or your tricks for making last-minute freezer-to-oven French fries seem more exotic (and more French) by smothering them in canned, condensed French onion soup. Otherwise, your family may see you like they would the plumber who takes care of everyone else's troubles while the family homestead leaks like a sieve.

Note: A sprinkle of gruyere atop the French fries should complete that illusion nicely.

posted at: 13:18 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!