Post #138 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompt – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler
Memoir Writers and Stories about Cooking
On a recent Southwest Airlines flight from Portland to Orange County, I read an article about how little time Americans spend cooking. Spirit Magazine cited statistics that on the average “we spend 30 minutes each day cooking.”
First, let me say that at least one person out there must not be cooking at all, because I spend a minimum of an hour a day, even for simple meal preparation. We eat three meals a day at home except for special occasions. Why? Sure, I’m part Scottish, but we prefer the food we prepare to meals out, like knowing what goes into each dish, and feel we are feeding our souls as well as our bodies. And since I love to bake, my weekly average amount of time spent cooking goes up considerably from the bare daily minimum of 60 minutes.
The Spirit Magazine article went on to say that in a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, America was ranked as the third fastest nation in eating our meals. It seems that we only spend 74 minutes out of each 24 hours eating meals, whether at home or out.
Now this got me thinking. Kendra loves to cook. I love to cook. I have many stories associated with recipes. And as some of you know, when I became a vegan I had the fun of redoing all my favorite recipes and then turned to learning new ones. About two years ago when I also became gluten-free, I once more got to rewrite recipes. It took me a number of tries, but my famous (well, in my family) vegan gravy has now been translated into a gluten-free dark, rich gravy.
Even if you don’t like to cook, you probably have stories about recipes. You see, when we think back most of us spent our childhoods in and out of kitchens and learned a lot of kitchen table wisdom along the way.
So Kendra and I thought it would be fun to invite you to send us a story about a food or a meal that is special in your memory. Then add the recipe and we’ll consider it for a free ebook that we want to share with our readers.
This is a great contest that gives you a forum for writing using the five senses. What’s cooking and eating without sights, sounds, smells, touches, and tastes!***
Think of this ebook as our way to encourage people to spend more time in the kitchen, sharing cooking and eating with family and friends.
***Want to know more about using the five senses in your writing? We devote one chapter in our forthcoming book to understanding how to use sensory detail. Writing Alchemy: How to Write Fast and Deep. Writing Alchemy can now be pre-ordered at a special price. Bring the power of our revolutionary approach to your writing.
MEMOIR WRITING PROMPTS:
1. You can write for yourself and/or to share with your family. That would be wonderful. Think about a dish that you love to make and to eat. This might come from childhood memories or from your adult years. Maybe you cooked with a grandmother or grandfather. Do you have a photo that goes along with the prepared dish?
How could you write this? Be sure to consider textures as cooking usually involves touching food. What do the ingredients feel like? Is there anything unusual about them?
Next consider the smell of the ingredients as well as the finished dish.
Is this a recipe that has been handed down through the generations? A lot of women used to cook “by guess and by gosh.” This meant there weren’t recipes to be handed down. Did you have to experiment to get it right?
2. Now that you’ve had fun, wrapped your mind around food, recipes, and cooking, consider polishing your story and sending it to us. We’d like to consider it for a new ebook. Think of a specific time when you ate or prepared the dish. Turn it into a true story with a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion. This is memoir, so use your story to tell us something about you. Describe the people as well as the food. Let us know where the story takes place and when.
Then send the story plus the recipe to:
matilda at womensmemoirs dot com. Be sure to type:
FOOD MEMOIR AND RECIPE CONTEST
in the subject line so that it doesn’t get lost in my email system.
Let’s give people great stories and delicious recipes to enjoy both cooking and eating.