Mae Clair: Writing and Recipes

Welcome to Thursday (hey—wow–that could be a weekly thing, LOL!). I wrote this post for my book publisher’s blog several months ago and thought I’d splatter it over here for those of you who may have missed its riveting debut.

In case you’re wondering how writing and recipes are related, allow me to connect the dots. I have a passion for writing, something I’ve loved since childhood. I write constantly. If I go longer than a week without keying some form of creative idea, characterization or story line into my computer, I suffer withdrawal.  It isn’t pretty. I’m addicted.

I can’t say the same about cooking.  Recipes are the bane of my existence. *shudder*

Somewhere along the line, the food gene completely passed me by. My husband says it’s because I have no passion for cooking (probably because I believe kitchens should be decorative, not functional).  I guess I spent too much time making Creepy Crawlers as a kid instead of learning how to use an Easy Bake Oven.

I don’t lie awake at night mourning my lack of culinary skills, but it does create a problem when I’m invited to party and feel the need to show up with something edible.  Family and friends know my expertise doesn’t go beyond tossing a salad or purchasing some gooey concoction from a bakery and plopping it onto a plate.  My co-workers ultimately realized this when they asked me to participate in a luncheon that included a recipe exchange. While others contributed Apple Almond Squares, Stuffed Pepper Soup, Feta Bruschetta, and Curry Coconut Chicken, I arrived with Tortellini Salad and copies of the following recipe:

Mae Clair’s Tortellini Salad

  1. Mix a healthy dose of delusions with 1 cup of vigorous pep-talk.
  2. Remind yourself you’ve created complex characters and plots. How difficult can an oven/stove thingie be?
  3. Ignore husband who begins reminiscing about the “infamous cake fiasco” that resulted in one overly large, hockey puck-like biscotti. Apparently there’s a legitimate reason a box cake mix calls for water. Who knew?
  4. Settle for making a simple appetizer and breathe a sigh of relief.
  5. Ignore husband when he snickers and suggests the last appetizer you made should have been killed before it multiplied. Glare when he says you have yet to outgrow the adult supervision stage.
  6. Blow dust off cookbooks and search for appetizer recipe.
  7. Ignore husband (who looking over your shoulder) realizes that – – God-be-praised! – – there really is variety in the culinary world and – – *gasp!* – – even something called red meat! Ssssh!  Who knew?
  8. Decide you’d rather spend your time writing than crushing tortilla chips and slicing up fat black olives. Celebrate with a glass of wine.
  9. The day of luncheon, head for your nearest gourmet deli and clean them out of tortellini salad. Panic when they state you should have called ahead before placing a large order.  Plan?  Um . . . what exactly is that?
  10. Ooze charm or desperation, whichever works best.  Leave with tortellini salad, mentally high-fiving yourself for being clever.
  11. Finally, for the highly skilled (I wouldn’t suggest something this complicated on the first try): place said tortellini salad in a festive bowl and pass off as your own. Blank expressions and stammering rarely work when someone asks for the recipe. The best you can hope for is a diversion. Fainting does the trick.

Well, there you have it – – my famous (or is it infamous?) recipe for tortellini salad. My
co-workers enjoyed it though, strangely, I am no longer asked to participate in recipe exchanges.  Hmmm . . .

Will I ever develop the same passion for cooking that I have for writing?  Probably not. Maybe I can’t whip up a meal that will leave you walking away from the table clamoring to tell all of your friends about it, but, hopefully, the ingredients I’ve sprinkled throughout my upcoming release from Lyrical press will do just that.

I hope you’ll join me October 8th for the release of WEATHERING ROCK, a time-travel / paranormal romance. I promise a smattering of Civil War history, werewolves, hot romance, a friendship turned to rivalry, and several complex character relationships.

Oh, and just for the record, I’ll take a Creepy Crawler over a baking sheet any day! 😀

16 thoughts on “Mae Clair: Writing and Recipes

  1. LOL! My family just tells me to bring those dinner rolls in the baggies and ice cream. I’m actually not that bad of a cook or baker–I just get bored, walk away, and somehow while I’m gone doing something interesting, the food burns. I can never get my rolls to rise (does that sound dirty or do I just have a gutter mind?)

    And you can keep the creepy crawlies–that’s where my female gene kicks in and begins screaming hysterically. 🙂

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    • Hi, Lynne. I’m much worse at baking than cooking and, like you, I always find somehting more interesting to do. My husband is constantly telling me not to multi-task in the kitchen. My solution? I stay out of the kitchen, LOL!

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  2. Mae, just yesterday we had a going away party for person promoted to a new job/department. Naturally, I supplied my usual dish…money. Yes, money goes well with any office parties or luncheons. I am no good in the kitchen!.

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  3. The picutre (top one) lookd delicious! I’m okay at cooking meals, but I hate baking. Meat & potatoes, I dig, but sugar and butter and mixing bowls…it’s just so much effort for stuff I can buy at the store that tastes better than I can make…Cheers to all you bakers who enjoy the work and the rewards:) I’ll make you a steak sometime:)

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    • I’m with you, Jessi – – forget the sugar, butter and mixing bowls and point me to the nearest bakery or store. 🙂 As for steak, I don’t even know how to buy one, My husband prepares his own as I have this weird aversion to red meat! He’s a steak-and-potatoes guy so I know he must really love me to stay with me all these years, LOL!

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  4. As a military brat we used to travel all over the world. This meant that when we were younger, we spent a lot of time with mom. Now my mom can take a practically empty refrigerator and create a gourmet meal, so the bar is pretty high. But as small children, we used to love when my mom would bake. She let us help and made it fun. If she was making bread, she had little loaf pans for us, and a big one for her. If it was pies, she had tart tins for us and pie tins for her. We felt so cool with our miniature versions of her creations. As adults, my sister and I now look back on that time and smile. And when I’m stressed and need to decompress, I bake. It brings me back to a simpler time. Of course most of my friends think I’m completely nuts….but enjoy the fruits of my insanity. 😉

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    • What a great story! I loved the part about how your mom would have special tins for you to use when she baked. I can imagine how exciting it must have been, eagerly looking forward to those times as children.

      The fact that you bake when you’re stressed–??? OMG, baking (or my appalling lack of skill at it), MAKES me stressed, LOL!

      Thanks for the very cool comment 🙂

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  5. I can relate – I’m allowed in the kitchen area to ocassionally feed the dogs and fill their water bowl. Thankfully, the refrigerator is near the entrance and I’m able to get cold drinks without actually entering the domain of my husband. I haven’t had to cook, not one single time, since I made purple chicken breasts sometime in 1992. Several have asked me for the receipe.

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    • LOL! I ADORED this, Sheri. I’m still chuckling as I type. I’m so happy to know I’m not the only one who causes catastrophes in the kitchen! Thanks for sharing that great story! 🙂

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  6. Your post made me laugh so hard, Mae. How funny! I love your recipe. 🙂

    I’m not much of a chef myself, although walking into the kitchen has yet to set off the panic attacks. Funny how all those little people (and even that big one) always seem to look to me when they get hungry. 😉

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    • Hi, Stephanie. Glad you enjoyed my post 🙂 I’m a disaster in the kitchen. Fortunately, my husband often fends for himself. I couldn’t imagine if I had him AND little ones looking for culinary delights!

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    • Thanks for dropping by, Roz. I’m afraid I’d never make it as a foodie. I guess we all have those areas were we blow it out of the water. The kitchen is more like a desert for me, LOL.

      I’ll see what you’re up to – – in China yet! 🙂

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  7. Pingback: Ghosts with Mozzarella Please, by Mae Clair | From the Pen of Mae Clair

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