What’s For Dinner?


Sometimes it’s hard to stop writing and make dinner for the family. You’ve been immersed in your world for hours, and when you eventually surface (usually because the family is gathered around your desk, gazing hungrily at the empty coffee cup as if hoping there might be a drop or two left for them), there’s nothing in the fridge that won’t require at least an hour of complicated thawing and cooking to be edible. Not to worry! Cooking and writing have many similarities, and all you have to do is think about your chosen genre to come up with a fabulous dinner that will make the family cheer.

The mystery writer should grill a thick, juicy steak, just to doneness on the outside. When your family cuts into it, not only will they have a healthy dose of protein to build muscle and bone, but the telltale blood on the plate will spark your imagination and maybe reveal to you who the real killer in your story is.
If you’re writing noir mysteries, though, forget the steak. Toss back a shot of scotch, turn up the collar of your trench coat and disappear into the dark of the mean streets. The kids can feed themselves. It’s a hard world.

Science Fiction
Whether the robots are secretly plotting to take over the world or there’s an asteroid on a collision course with the Earth, science fiction writers have more important worries than mere food. Packages of delicious freeze-dried roast beef and peas, with a dessert of freeze-dried ice cream, make a quick dinner. And they’re simple to carry in the car when the apocalypse wipes out refrigeration. Hey, don’t complain, you could be eating Soylent Green.

Beans and bacon and cactus water. And ye’d best be grateful fer that, ye young whippersnapper!

Ahhh, love. The emotion that awakes such exciting appetites. Light several dozen candles all around the house, placed strategically on piles of rose petals. Melt Gruyère in the fondue pot, and slice cubes of artisan bread to sensuously dip into the warm, smooth cheese. Serve with hand-dipped chocolate strawberries and sparkling wine. The kids? Send them to Grandma’s. Or lock them in the attic, if you espouse the V C Andrews parenting style.

To the table bring Oynouns and Percely salade, a dishe of artechokes, Eeles in Bruet and the Humbles of a Deere. If your family balks at these somewhat unfamiliar dishes, just remind them that there are starving children in the 15th century who would gladly eat this food instead.

Take the family to a dimly lit, family owned Italian restaurant and order the spaghetti fra diavolo and tiramisu. Ignore the men in black suits at the corner table staring at you. There’s no way they know about the classified files on the flash drive in your pocket, the one you plan to sell to the Ukrainian gold dealer tonight on the docks. Enjoy your dinner. And no, it doesn’t taste funny…that’s just the garlic.

Three bites of lembas bread washed down with a cool glass of miruvor, while being serenaded by the gentle voices of the Rivendell Elves as they sing their grief at sailing for the Undying Lands.

Then again, if none of these appeal to you, there’s always Chick-Fil-A. 😀


16 comments to What’s For Dinner?

  • Fun, fun, fun, Misty. 😉 What’s for dessert?

  • I think I can safely say that ice cream goes with everything… 😀

  • mudepoz

    Gosh. What about us lab manual and doggy article writers? Alpo? Fertilizer? Have SO make dinner? Personally, I like the last one the best ;P

  • Okay, I’d love to see what you’d do with The New Weird. Or, maybe not….

  • Tonight the Cannibal Alternative Reality Dining Club will be serving steamed punk.

  • Epic Fantasy
    A thin soup made from trail jerky and various roots and grains from the forest that the guide swears isn’t poisonous. It may not look all that appetizing or taste like your mother’s cooking, but it’s filling and will drive the chill away for a while. Eat up. We’ve got a long way to go and still need to cross the Black Peaks to reach Tellinar and warn the armies of the coming of the Darkness. That or just jerky and hard tack biscuits because we don’t want the Darkness to see the light or smoke from the fire.

    Zombie Apocalypse


  • Beatriz

    AJ– is that served aboard a zepplin?

    Misty– What? No ribs???

  • Beatriz, the ribs would be for the Southern literary writer. Along with poke salat, cornbread, chitlins and *shudder* okra.

    David, I think AJ beat me to it!

  • Fried okra…yum! Keep the chitlins though.

  • Misty, oh my gosh, this is funny!
    I nearly shot tea out my nose when I got to the noir one!

    And now:
    This mystery / thriller / Southern fiction / women’s jeopardy / fantasy / Apocolyptic fantasy / urban fantasy writer is at a total loss what to feed the hubby.

  • Daniel, you and my mother would get along just fine. I used to tell her that okra was what the Confederacy fed their Union prisoners, to punish them. She wasn’t amused.

    Faith, I think you might want to take him out for dinner, ’cause mixing all those genres on one table is a recipe for a tummyache!

  • Baha, Misty. Thanks for the laugh.

    Sadly, this is all too true when it comes to feeding *my* hubby. And now that they’re taxing restaurant meals extra as of the first of the month in this province, naturally the responsibility falls to me. So, pasta it is. At least he’ll cook the noodles as long as I make the sauce.

    Tonight’s special features O-negative.

  • R.O. Kashmir

    Nice to know I’m not the only one chased away from computer to fix dinner.

    Hmmm, this is where cybernetics would come in handy. Then all you have to do is plug ’em in. And pancakes. Nothing like pancakes to send the nanobots dancing merrily off to Bliss. Actually wrote that into a very bizarre story once.

  • So, I took the hubby to Applebees. Good suggestion, Misty!

  • *laughs* The whole post was inspired because I forgot to make any dinner the other night. Normally I plan out the week’s meals in advance, so I don’t have to actually think about it. But the holiday threw me off, resulting in minor starvation for my poor boys. I’m back in gear now, though – last night was spaghetti, and tonight is madras chicken with rice. Yum!

  • […] ♣ At Magical Words, Misty Massey tells us what writers should be having for dinner, by genre. […]