For me a really good day is if I can slam out a couple of thousand words of crime fiction; do a bit of outdoors sweating; and cook something yummy.
My mother taught me how to cook. Over the years I’ve picked up a few recipes here and there to supplement the soul-food meals I learned at the proverbial mother’s knee. I don’t eat those childhood meals very much anymore. To much: fat, salt, calories, cholesterol. Although I do still make a mean mac n’ cheese.
Now, love preparing colorful vegetables. I stick pretty close to chicken, fish, shrimp. Occasional red meat (although less and less each month). It’s difficult for me to resist starches (especially rice) and I’m a sucker for a chocolate cake.
I sometimes use the promise of dessert to keep my butt in the chair writing. The results-reward strategy works well for me. Plus, I find cooking just as creative as writing. When I’m fluidly moving around a kitchen pinching, shaking, cutting, pouring, stirring; it is the same power as when I let go of the act of writing and allow the characters to speak through me.
Here are a few things I’ve cooked up of late (photos below): herb-breaded chicken breasts; tuna salad on spinach; beef tacos w/ beans & rice; sauteed shrimp (to accompany grits); red cabbage & green squash (I call this smurf & turf); six-veggie saute; and my latest book.