I have a soul sister in fellow Women’s Fiction author, Yvonne Anderson. She says: “I like just everything about food except cleaning up after it.” Yep. I agree 100%!
Yvonne is my guest today for my weekly Cooking Calamity posts. Remember: if you’d like to contribute, for fun or as a promo op, write me and let me know. (My email address is on my Triple Edge Critique Service page. Put “Cooking Calamities” in the subject line.) Hope you get a kick out of today’s treat!
Most of us here in the US take food for granted. When we’re hungry, we eat, and the choices are abundant. We forget it hasn’t always been that way, that millions around the world still struggle to find enough food to keep them healthy, or even alive.
Because it’s so important, food has a place in each title in my space fantasy series, Gateway to Gannah. In the opening scene of Book #1, The Story in the Stars, the protagonist, Dassa, makes a mossberry pie. In Book #2, Words in the Wind, the same character finds herself stranded in a wilderness where food is hard to come by.
Though I don’t have to forage for my meals, I do sometimes obsess about food more than I should. I love growing, harvesting, processing and preserving it, not to mention planning meals and cooking them. I even love grocery shopping. I like just everything about food except cleaning up after it.
I married a hunter and fisherman. We’ve lived on a farm and raised our own food. That, and the fact I’ve been banging pans around in a kitchen for the almost-forty years of my marriage, means I’ve learned up close and personal where food comes from. These experiences are gratifying to me personally, and they also prove useful when it comes to enabling my story characters to feed themselves.
But please, don’t misunderstand: I’m not a great cook. I manage to keep us well fed (sometimes, I think, a little too well), but my culinary creations are seldom the sort of thing you’d find in Good Housekeeping. Take, for instance~~~
My Coconut Cream Omelette
I’ve never cared for coconut, and when I first married, I had no experience whatsoever with cream pies. But eventually, at my husband’s request, I searched my cookbooks (this was in the 1970s, before the Internet), found a recipe that looked good, and baked a coconut cream pie: homemade crust, coconutty custard filling, and fluffy meringue on top.
It looked luscious as I took it out of the oven, and I grinned at the thought of how pleased my husband would be that evening when I surprised him with it. But then… I honestly don’t know how it happened, but as I took it off the oven rack, I dropped it. It landed upside-down on the open oven door. AGH!!!!! Acting quickly, I grabbed a big pancake flipper and tried scooping it back into the pie pan. I got half of it in, but then it folded down on top of itself, meringue-to-meringue. It was the ugliest thing you ever saw.
What should I do? I have a strong aversion to wasting food. It was a mess, but it landed on the oven door, not the floor—and it was fully baked, with all the requisite ingredients. After toying with the idea of feeding it to the chickens, I decided to put it in the refrigerator to chill. I’d bring it out to surprise my husband after supper—just not with the triumph I’d anticipated!
That evening I told my husband the story, saying I’d baked him a coconut cream omelet. He laughed, but ate it, and said it was good. I’ve made cream pies since, and have never dropped another one. One of my kids did step in two pumpkin pies I’d made—but that’s another story.
Dassa’s mossberry pie is another story too. If you’d like to learn more about mossberries, or the special event she baked her pie for, fly through the Gateway to Gannah for some serious sci-fi adventure. Click here for blurbs about all the titles in the series, links to purchase, and free previews.
Formerly a legal secretary, Yvonne Anderson works part time as a Virtual Assistant but spends most of her time on the planet Gannah researching her books. A member of ACFW, The Lost Genre Guild, Independent Author Network, and International Thriller Writers, she serves as contest administrator for Novel Rocket, named five times to Writer’s Digest list of the 101 Best Websites for Writers.
Yvonne is a regular contributor to the blogs Speculative Faith and The Borrowed Book. She also shares a few wise words on her personal site, Y’s Words. You can connect with her on Twitter; by email at yvonneanderson101 @ gmail.com; or, if you insist, on Facebook.