Food seems to be a common theme around many folks’ Memoir Monday and Slice of Life Stories this week. To that end, I’ve been cooking a lot more lately now that I’m getting settled into our home. I’ve been pulling recipes out of cookbooks and from Cooks’ Illustrated, which is fast-becoming my new favorite cooking website. However, almost every night, when I get ready to make dinner, I have found that I’m missing something, such as cumin or zucchini. Additionally, there are times when the recipe calls for something ordinary, like butter, and I pizzazz-it-up by using lemon dill butter. I’m finding that my dishes are turning out quite well despite a missing item or an ingredient change. That being said, I haven’t been writing down the changes I’ve been making on the recipes… I’ve just been making the changes and leaving it at that. I’m starting to think that if something tastes good, I should note the change and write about why I made it and how it might have changed the recipe (for better or for worse).
This weekend, I’m challenging myself to pause and do some writing about my cooking. After all, making roast chicken last night was a first for me. There’s a story there… Buying it (with or without the giblets?), bringing it home, calling my father in a panic about what I do with the chicken once it’s in the roaster, basting it with a brush, carefully laying it in the pain, flipping the three pound bird over at “half-time,” searching for a cooking thermometer, needing to put the chicken back to continue cooking a few times, etc. There’s a recipe and a story here. It needs to be written.
Here’s my challenge to you. This weekend, whether you’re cooking a time-honored recipe or trying something new, take a few moments to pause and write about your cooking experience. If you’d like to enhance your writing, snap a few photos during the process (not just of the finished product). Having the process documented in photographs will allow the writing to go a bit easier once you’re done with the kitchen clean-up. (A few snapshots from my roast chicken evening will follow at the bottom of this post.)
Happy writing this weekend… and bon appetit!
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).