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Thursday, April 13, 2006

BARB CONFESSES HER LOVE AFFAIR WITH FOOD



I would say that a good half of the scenes in my books take place either in kitchens, restaurants, or over plates of food. The heroines are often cooks or work in restaurants or pubs or such places (and then they walk, and walk and walk....!). Honestly, I didn't even notice it until I kept getting letters asking for recipes.

Once I noticed it, it wasn't a big surprise. I spent years in restaurants and I adore them. My grandfather owned a restaurant when I was a child. Ed's Kitchen, it was called--and it was in Temecula California. The Hell's Angels showed up there once, though I was not allowed to go down and see them, no matter how I begged. My ex husband was renowned for his biscuits and barbeque. My mother bakes the most exotic, tender cookies you've ever seen. I came naturally to my love of food, and whatever is natural for a writer shows up in the work.

But why not? What else, I ask you, is that elemental? What has so much potential for beauty--beauty for the eye, for the nose, for the tongue and the body? I love a farmer's market, with all those dirty vegetables piled up in stacks by gnarled hands. Zucchinis and tomatoes and corn with the silks hanging out and buckets filled with tall stalks of pungent dill--gorgeous! And who could possibly resist the cheese section of Whole Foods? You might have better markets in your world, but in Colorado Springs, Whole Foods is the top of the heap--and they do know how to sell bread, and cheese and produce. I spent seven dollars on strawberries there yesterday. Seven!

Are there offbeat or lovely places you like to shop for food? Is there an eccentric cook in your neighborhood (or your family)? What beautiful or exotic food do you find impossible to resist, no matter how stupidly expensive it is?
Connie Brockway, 10:35 AM
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