Cooking… When I have to by Deb Meredith

posedformurderThis deb married a man who could cook for a reason. Cooking is a chore I’d like to avoid most of the time. Unless, of course, I have a deadline. Then I become quite excited by the idea of making six different kinds of Christmas cookies. I think of all kinds of complicated recipes I could make, and spend lots of time reading recipes on-line.

But cooking can sometimes be like writing a book. There are the interesting parts and then there are the parts that are pure drudgery. But you have to do everything if you want a gourmet meal or a great book.

I enjoy shopping, and list making—it’s kind of like outlining. Your mind flows free. You’re open to possibilities, and ingredients. The eggplant looks good, so you start thinking about curries, Italian dishes, what else you have in the house. You consider spices and what else you need to collect. Or, if it’s your book, what the ramifications of making one of your characters a man or a woman might be.

Writing the novel itself is more stressful. Now the decisions you made in your outline start to take on a life of their own. You make some good and bad discoveries. (Oh, no—my onions are all rotten! Can I still make the dish without onions? Can I use lots of garlic instead?) Deadlines loom. Dinner guests are arriving in 15 minutes, and you still haven’t gotten dressed.

And then after you write the end, or take your casserole out the oven, it’s still not done. You need to arrange it on the plates in a way that looks good and appetizing. Or check for spelling and consistency. And hope your critics/dinner guests think it’s wonderful. And then you have a glass of wine and try to enjoy the fruits of your labor, too.

So I enjoy cooking… but I also like to eat a dish that someone else has prepared. Just like I have to sometimes tell myself to put down a book I’m enjoying and get back to work on my manuscript!

8 Replies to “Cooking… When I have to by Deb Meredith”

  1. Meredith! I love your cooking/writing analogies. This is a great post. And I hope now you are having a glass of wine and enjoying the fruits of your labor. But I get the feeling you are running around too much to do much enjoying at the moment.

  2. Thanks Eve! I have one more event on the road this week, but I’m hoping to get home in time for a lovely dinner (prepared by my husband) and a glass of wine!

  3. Meredith, I feel you on the cooking as you already know, except I also hate the shopping and list-making. (Except when I’m cooking for a party, then sometimes that can be fun. Someday I’ll tell my scary jalapeno story. Note: when the recipe says to use plastic gloves to take the seeds out….THEY REALLY MEAN IT.)

  4. How funny, Larramie! We writers are a smart bunch I guess… If our husbands didn’t already know how to cook when we met them, they’d have to learn fast. When a deadline looms, all the cleaning and cooking gets pushed aside.

  5. Yes, Katie, making cookies is a great procrastination technique–sorry! So is making your own Christmas cards and Valentines. And I’m a master of cleaning out my closet when I really should be doing something else…

  6. Meredith-

    I just wanted to let you know how bummed I was for missing your chat at the New Canaan Library yesterday. I was really looking forward to meeting you. I was hoping to get you to sign Posed for Murder. 🙁 Unfortunately, my 20 month old decided that it was high-time for a nasty cold and so the snot was out in full force yesterday. Please know that I look forward to meeting all of the Debs one day, as I follow [and thoroughly enjoy] your blog!

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