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Writer, editor, writing coach, Lynette Benton

This time last week I was arguing with a salmon. The Whole Foods butcher had boned it nicely, but left some unappealing tan flesh attached to its underside. I was struggling to scrape that off before chopping the fish into chunks for a soup I was making.

I had already cleaned the sand from between the layers of the leeks. Fresh spinach was draining in a colander before being cut into strips to add to the soup at the last minute.

Once that was all simmering nicely, I started on the Spanish—or was it Cuban?—pork stew.

My husband, a vegetarian, mashed up a few of those delicious Garnet sweet potatoes, ladled sauteed mushrooms over them, then topped them with crispy oven “fried” kale. Somewhere along the line, he also peeled steaming yellow beets, a job I dislike.

We are accidental members of the “slow food” movement. Never having had fast food while growing up, neither my husband nor I eat it now. Since we eat almost no processed foods, dislike banal food, and eat many times in the course of each day, we’re driven to cook a lot.

This time of year, my landscaper husband (who used to be a professional cook), is available to do good deal of meal preparation, so cooking interferes with my writing less than during warm weather. When I’m on my own again from April through half of December my writing time will contract accordingly.

I just finished making a roux for a root vegetable “mac ‘n cheese” casserole, a whole lot better than last week’s fight with the fish. So, I’m out of excuses . . . gotta get back to working on my memoir.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like “What Keeps Me From Writing? My Furniture.”

Twitter: @lynettebenton

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21 Responses to “What Keeps Me From Writing? Gourmet Food”

  1. PatriciaW says:

    Lynette, any number of household tasks can keep me from writing, from cooking to laundry to homework with the kids. It’s an infinite list. My biggest impediment is simply myself, but I’m taking control of my time and making better choices about how I spend it.

  2. Margy Rydzynski says:

    Great post! You had my mouth watering. I had no idea Joe used to be a cook. Actually, I’ve decided to make a definite commitment to writing this year and not let those life-tasks (cooking, shopping, running a business) get in the way. So far, it’s been going well. I’ve joined a very serious writers’ group as one means to that end and, so far, it seems to be working.

  3. Tammy says:

    NOM NOM NOM! I tried to marry my love of weird ethnic foods with writing, but …eh. Everything gets in the way of what we want to do!

    This all sounded quite yummy. I’m wondering what a root vegetable mac and cheese entails…. real cheese? And?

  4. Hi, Tammy: Carrots, celery root, whole wheat pasta, Bay Seasoning (of which we had none), onions, garlic, milk and cheese.

    Hope you’re well, dry, warm. (Aren’t you glad you don’t have to go to a job every day? I am!) I’ll arrange for you to take my picture in the spring. Meanwhile, I’m sending you Polish and Publish. – L

  5. Hi, Patricia:

    I loved your post, The Fog Has Lifted, so I hope you’ll manage to find time to continue writing!

    Thanks for your comment. I’m sending you Polish and Publish. Hope it inspires you to keep advancing your writing.

  6. Jeri says:

    Lynette, I think you found a very acceptable reason for not writing. Now, when’s dinner? I plan to be on your doorstep 5 minutes before.

  7. Terry says:

    Your opening lines always make me smile and want to read on. I loved this one: “Last week this time I was arguing with a salmon”….

    Great post, but it really made me hungry. Everything you and your husband were preparing for dinner was right up my alley. I wasn’t very familiar with the phrase “slow food movement” until very recently. It makes perfect sense to me and I guess I could be considered a member of that group.

    And you are so right! Cooking keeps me from my writing and my art…but I give in because I’d much rather eat good healthy food than fast stuff. I’ve decided to just stay up later at night,when I get most of my writing and art done anyway.

    Your posts are terrific. Thank you.

    Terry Del Percio

  8. I have five grandchildren who give me a least one reason per day!
    But then, a lot of my inspiration comes from them. I just have too much to do for everyone. I have always put myself last. Guess it’s time to change things.

  9. Just returned from “exploring the contents of my refrigerator.” (Your words from Polish and Publish.”) Now back, with a happy tummy, I must say your post was wonderful. Ashamed, I admit that “we” do eat processed foods—what else is there?—so cooking is not what keeps me from writing. My excuse is my family—five young children and one high maintenance husband. Their love consumes me, and I love it. That is why I am writing this at 11:30pm as my oblivious hubby snores at my side.

    I was fortunate enough to read Polish and Publish. I found it to be an invaluable tool for writers with all and every piece of necessary writing-related information imaginable. This easy-read covers topics that I, as a new writer, had never thought of. I found it to be a shortcut, or Cliff Notes, if you will, of anything a writer from any genre could find beneficial in a practical, technical, and business sense. Yet, it was an engaging read; not the least bit boring like many other “instructional manuals.” Thank you so much for sending it to me upon my winning of last month’s contest. I know it will benefit me, and many others tremendously, on the journey towards becoming a published (best-selling :)) author.

  10. Boyd Lemon says:

    What a wonderful way to eat, Lynette. I immediately got up and started cooking my chicken vegetable soup. Like you, writing and food are among my passions. Others are travel and wine.

  11. Thanks for your comment, Boyd. So glad the post inspired you. Chicken veggie soup. Super yum!

    I’m sending you Polish and Publish. Although you’re an experienced writer, you might find some useful tips in it.

  12. Hi, Jeanne:

    Thanks for your comment. I hope you’ll be able to carve out a few seconds for yourself. Hope the tips in Polish and Publish help. I’m sending it along to you.

    Regards,
    – Lynette

  13. Okay, Jeri: You’ve reminded me that I’m starving right now. After I eat, I have to cook a black-eyed pea and kale stew—first time making it.

    Although you’re already a super-accomplished writer, I’m sending you Polish and Publish!

  14. Kwana says:

    What a fun and yummy post. Now I’m so hungry and you’ve reminded me that I have nothing prepared for dinner. can I use that as an excuse to close my WIP? No?
    Just about anything can pull me away you know. Sad really. Must stay focused. Thanks!

  15. Thanks for your comment, Kwana.

    I’m sending you Polish and Publish. Maybe it’ll help you focus on your WIP, rather than dinner! :-)

  16. Alan says:

    Working full-time and only writing in spare time!

    Take today for example. Had a great idea for a story, possibly a short or even a novel if it worked out. Put the idea in my notebook, and took my netbook with me to work to write on the train or at lunchtime, but I didn’t write a word.

    So either that or the fact I’m trying to finish the latest Peter James novel! ;)

  17. Love your honestly, Alan. Will send you Polish and Publish. (Maybe it’ll inspire you!) Thanks for your comment.

  18. Mandee Sears says:

    What keeps me from writing?
    Life! — My daughter, the hamsters, the laundry, the vacuum, my job, my cell phone, the weather, dinner, my website, twitter, Pawn Stars on Apple TV, Janet Evanovich, cleaning, my husband, my mom, my sisters, my brother and many, many other variables.
    Prioritizing is the key! (Dinner might can wait but not the hamsters cage!)

  19. Although food often calls out to me from the kitchen, it’s not my cravings that distract me as much as my inability to sit in one position for any length of time.
    I was involved in a car accident a few years ago and I injured my back and my knees so I can only sit for minutes at a time before I have to move or stand or attempt to walk around. And this is what leads to me to the kitchen, and then to the patio door where I lose time watching the birds eat from the feeders that I become inspired to fill up because I’m there…and that task takes me a long time.
    I know that if pain was not a daily adversary I would probably have my next book finished now. And the pain is bad enough but I always end up taking a longer break than I should just staring out at the birds.

  20. Hi, Ronnie: I’m always astonished at how much writing (and helping aspiring writers) you do! I’m a birder myself, so I know the temptation to watch them from the window.

    Tx for your comment—and be on the lookout for Polish and Publish. – L

  21. Hi, Mandee: Whew—activity overload. Tx for your comment and I’m sending you Polish and Publish. It MIGHT show you how to free up some time, but not how to prioritize! ;-) – Lynette

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