“While I was writing The Lost Family, I cooked a lot—to meditate on the day’s writing as well as to kitchen-test all the recipes I then featured on the book’s menu. Some of my favorite lines for the book would bubble up that way, as if from a Magic 8-Ball, and one of them was ‘vegetables have no language.’ I revised this slightly for the novel, but it means that food is universal. The produce and spices will vary from country to country and cuisine to cuisine, but if you love food, you have a vast family out there. We can all communicate about how our beloved dishes are different—and how they are the same.” – Jenna Blum, The Lost Family
Crystal King, whose book about Vatican chef Bartolomeo Scappi, The Chef’s Secret, came out this year, quotes eleven authors on including food in their writing.
“Writing, in a way, is an extension of my cooking, and vice versa. Cooking taught me how to create, that I needed to create.” – Phillip Kazan
Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels
I’m taking a week off from work. Having lost my job, effective the end of the month, I have vacation time left I’ll never use. So I’m using some. This is also the week of the Sons of Norway convention, here in town (starts tomorrow). Although I’m president of my lodge, I successfully avoided becoming a delegate. I did agree, however, to help in greeting people (who wouldn’t want to be greeted by an avoidant curmudgeon?), and to make some chocolate chip cookies for the hospitality suite.
Yesterday I made the cookies. I’m pretty good at this; used to make them all the time. But it’s been a while now. I forgot one basic element of the procedure – you mix up the wet stuff in the big bowl, and then stir in the dry stuff from the smaller bowl. I got that backwards, with the result that I poured the wet stuff into the flour mixture and had to mix that up. It came out OK, but I judge these cookies a tad mealy.
But hey, I’m giving them away for free. And Norwegians are too polite to complain.
Also, I got a little boost yesterday. Heard from the movie translation company in Norway after months of radio silence. They threw me enough work to fill up the rest of the day.
Occasional freelance translation jobs won’t replace my library position. But it was an encouragement, and the timing couldn’t have been better, from the morale point of view.