Tag Archives: cooking

Failures Define Us If We Let Them

The First Time:
The secrets lived in the books on the top shelf.
Some books were paperback, new, glossy with names Like Southern Living’s Best and The Joy of Cooking, but my favorite was the giant, splotched on the outside red and white flecked, yellowed paged hard back Betty Crocker.
I don’t know how old I was, I think 10, when I first dared to take it from its home and make a meal.
French Toast. I served it as breakfast in bed to Mom and Dad.
After that I was fearless.
I made pie crust and chiffon pies. Popovers. Pasties. Pancakes of every kind imaginable.
Once I nearly burned down the house making a surprise anniversary dinner for my parents. Not because of the cooking, but because I didn’t have any matches to light the candles so rolled up a ton of paper towels and caught them on fire using the electric stovetop. Paper towels burn fast! I was 11 or 12.
The food was good, though.
The burnt spot on the new carpet…well, we just moved furniture around to cover it.
In sixth grade my love of cooking landed me in cake decorating classes.
In high school, I worked for Del Taco, and my favorite job was prep where I’d spend two hours shopping and mixing.
A fearless belief in my abilities to cook anything led me to fun in the kitchen.
I don’t know when or how that changed.
It’s funny that The Artist’s Way has brought it back to me.
My failures in the kitchen became fodder for funny family stories, and I let them identify me. I quit trying.
I’m going to reclaim the fun. Unfortunately, I sold the ancient Betty Crocker Cookbook in a garage sale.
Will I still have failures? I’m sure. But they won’t define me. I won’t let them.

Honor and Lies deals with failure and dreams and daring to live beyond expectations. I wrote it 12 years ago, and I still love the characters. Honor and Lies coupon:  50% off for one month: coupon code is LH94Z. Find the book here.

Cooking and Creativity

I recently learned how to cook. I could make a taco salad and guacamole, but that was about it. Not for lack of trying. I subscribed to Southern Living. I ordered those cooking cards you get in the mail when you first get married. I cooked one meal after another and my lovely family suffered through them all. Finally I gave up. It was casserole city for years.
And then I discovered the food network.
I watch Everyday Italian or Rachel Raye or Michael Ch….(I have no idea how to spell his name!) and I can’t wait to get in the kitchen.
It’s a whole new way of releasing creativity. I LOVE it. And so, thank God, does my family. Tonight we’re having Manicotti. Unfortunately tomorrow’s weigh in and the manicotti don’t quite go together. 🙂

Speaking of creativity: I’m experimenting with my writing. I’m trying my hand at first person. I’m not real sure what I think. On one hand, I like it because it’s so close. On the other I don’t because it’s so limited. After tonight I might go back to third.

And on the note of limited: I really want to write an inspirational novel but the list of “Thall Shall Nots” from the CBA drives me crazy. It seems so superficial. Like they’ve decided to take the humanity out of the writing. One of the things I love so much about my small group at church is how real the people are. When I read Redeeming Love, it made this huge impact on me because of its REALITY even though it was a complete work of fiction. I think I need to quit thinking so much and just write the darn book. (Only I can’t use darn in the book if I decide to go that direction)

My CP Karen Kelley’s new book Southern Exposure is out. Thank God her publisher kicked butt on the cover. The last cover made you think you were getting a sweet little romance. It’s a Brava. It’s HOT. It’s romance. It’s steamy as heck. But it’s not sweet. 🙂 Southern Exposure is awesome, and the cover is hot, hot, hot. YUM!
I just finished Suzanne McMinn’s Cole Dempsey’s Back in Town. It’s wonderful. Like a modern day Jane Austin novel. But now I have even more questions about the differences between Intrigue and IM.

I think I might think too much and write too little!
Today’s Dallas Morning News had an interesting article about a young, successful postmodern writer. I haven’t read his book, but I like how he just tells his story and doesn’t worry about rules.