Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's Fall. Let's Read. Let's Write. Let's EAT!

Ye Olde Peach Tree.
Some readers will remember when it was flowering.
Now that most schools have students corralled in classrooms again and  peaches hang reddening and almost ripe on low branches I'm waiting for that sudden shift of light that will signal the arrival of fall.

Already, the bar-b-que on our deck is covered more often than not and I'm looking up recipes that don't involve squash. In another month the garden will have broccoli and cabbage starts and the elephant eared leaves of the squash plants will be replaced with the winter crop of green parsnip sprouts.

De Squash
I can't help it; I get excited about food and about cooking as much as I get excited about writing then reading something I'm satisfied with, and I've come to think that cooking and eating is a lot like writing and reading.

Today's Harvest
Here's what a renowned chef and restaurateur said. Every morning the cuisinier must start again at zero, with nothing on the stove. That is what real cuisine is all about." Fernand Point (1897-1955)

Well, to me that sounds a bit familiar. Every morning I start from scratch with nothing on the page. For me that is writing.

Today's Havest in the Pot/Moong Dal with Chicken and Veggies
M. Point believed that cuisine shouldn't be "static." He believed that a chef should start with the base created by other great chefs, build and refine to "suit changing tastes in changing times." Jean Troisgros, another famous restaurateurs, says of M. Point, "He knew how the old classic recipes were prepared, but he was not especially concerned with following them 'to the letter.' He built on them and created his own recipes. It all came out of his head..."

That rings some bells for me as a writer/reader. I've enjoyed the classics, treasured their language and adored their characters. While I've internalized the stories of those creative geniuses of the past, what I write today is aimed at the tastes of our time.

As a cook and a writer I enjoy trying something new, testing it, tweaking it, redoing it to make it better, asking for opinions from "tasters," and then thoroughly enjoying it when I've made it the best I can.

I've come up with only a few comparison of food to writing and reading. Can you food lovers/writers/readers come up with more?  I'd love more. Also here's the recipe for the Moong Dhal with fresh vegetables if you'd like to give it a try.


  1. I'm intrigued by the idea of what "readers today" want, and what writing for them means. I know the vast bulk of what I have read is, by definition, written in a different era. And yet, they inform what I write today. It's that idea of "building upon" that ties it all together! :)

  2. Thanks, Susan. Yes, we all have to build from what we know of the past, yet as writers create what is fresh and desirable today.

  3. Give me words, give me food--it's all good eating!

  4. Very nice post Lee.(I envy your garden. Gardens are all burned up here.) Let's see cooking, eating, writing.

    I kind of like to graze, you know, nibble here, nibble there. I can easily relate nibbling to gathering ideas. Take something from here, take something from there...

  5. Yes, Clara, that's about how I see food too. Yummm. I love your metaphor, Bish. A nibble here. A nibble there and soon you have this fabulous story.

  6. Your harvest looks beautiful.
    Thanks for the follow! I'm following now too, and I'll be back to check out future posts. Have a great weekend. :)

  7. I like the new look :)

    I love fall cooking too - it's all about comfort food!

  8. I love the peaches. YUM! We had a great garden this season here in NC. And plenty of strawberries, grapes, and blueberries. Mmmmmm Making myself hungry here. :)

    Hmmm, tossed salad. I always add a little of this and a little of that, which is what I do when I write.

    Lame isn't it? Sorry. That's all my measly brain can think of on Saturday morning. :)

  9. I love writing and cooking. It's summer here, getting ready for fall. I've been enjoying cooking with all the of the fresh food available. I'm taking six cooking classes this fall, and I'm very excited.

  10. Ah -- peaches and McIntosh apples. Does it get any better? And that light shift has happened here -- it's like the leaves, though they haven't turned yet, have a more muted, silvery cast to them.

  11. What pretty pictures! The fruits make my mouth water! :)

  12. Hi Lee, I've often thought along the same lines ... there's some connection between writing and cooking! I guess it's creativity: building something pleasant or pleasing or intriguing. Trying new things, experimenting with recipes, imagining the finished product. Love the new blog look, by the way! Always a pleasure to stop by and say hello. Best, Daisy @ Sunny Room Studio

  13. So good to see all of you here. It's rather like hosting a wonderful feast with good friends.

  14. I don't think i've ever had such a strong hankering for a peach! Very much agree with your comparison to cooking and writing, though hopefully one isn't a precursor for the other - because I'm a terrible cook!


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