Saturday, 31 July 2021

FOOD STORIES



Hello reading friends! 

THEMES

When writers write for a while, themes can emerge, and one of the topics that interests me is food. This will be no surprise to friends and family, as I’ve been described as a ‘feeder’. Someone who enjoys preparing and sharing meals. 

FOOD AND STORIES

When growing up, I ran home from primary school each day to enjoy a hearty lunch, followed by tea on the table at five o’clock. As one of four children, there was always plenty chatter around the table. For me, food and stories have always been closely linked. A tradition I’ve tried to pass on to my own family, ensuring the kitchen is the heart of our home. The celebrity baker and chef, Mary Berry says the reason we pine for home cooking is because a special ingredient is added - love. 




FAMIILY MEALTIMES

However, for most of the past year I have been living alone (although I am very lucky to have dear friends and family close by) and realised that it’s not the preparing of food I enjoy, so much as the companionship and shared stories around the table. Don’t be mistaken, when my sons were very young, it wasn’t all sunbeams and laughter that filled the kitchen. Mealtimes could be a challenge. Then during the teenage years, there were several tense meals, when the only sound was the clatter of cutlery! But, often, sharing food also offers an opportunity to catch up. 




USING FOOD IN WRITING

But what has this to do with writing? Well writing about food, or the lack of it, can set the scene for a reader and say much about a character’s background, circumstances, mood. Are they eating alone? Or preparing a celebration feast etc. Always remembering that relationships with food can be tricky, stirring uncomfortable memories, binging for comfort, rationing food as a means of control. 


My favourite comfort food - 
a boiled egg and toast!


POTLUCK ZINE

And then there are those who, for a whole variety of reasons, find themselves in food poverty. Which is why I was drawn to write a piece for Potluck Zine, a publisher who donates 10% of sales of EVERY issue to The Trussell Trust, to help put food on the table for those who need it. The latest issue focuses on Feasts, and I am thrilled that my story, A Welcome Home, is included. 




The title, A Welcome Home feels apt, as over the past week I have done just that. Welcomed my husband and sons home, and I’m in my element again, cooking and preparing family meals. 

So, are you a foodie? Do you like to experiment with new ingredients and recipes? Or do you see food as fuel? Cooking as just another chore to be completed. If you are a writer, how do you use food in your work?

HOW TO PRE-ORDER A COPY (DONATING TO THE TRUSSELL TRUST) 

To preorder a copy of Potluck Zine and help others enjoy a decent meal, just click on the link to order a copy (which will be issued at the beginning of August)... Preorder Potluck Zine 


Issue 4 of Potluck Zine : FEAST



Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy!

Rae x





8 comments:

  1. Great post, Rae. And I realized after reading it that I have a scene in every Olivia Sinclair book where Olivia and her best friend Lauren eat lunch or breakfast. (And they don't count calories!) Now I'm hungry...

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    1. You're right, calories don't count when eating with a friend!

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  2. What a great post, Rae, and congratulations on having Welcome Home selected for the feast issue of Potluck Zine. Dinner (hot) and then tea at five (cold)... takes me back to my childhood. In our house meals were not served past 6pm. Anything past 6 was supper and usually consisted of no more than a snack and a warm drink. Simpler times. :)

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    1. Thanks Victoria. Your childhood meal routine sounds very similar to mine. My best friend had dinner at 6pm, which sounded far posher than our tea at 5!

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  3. Congratulations, Rae. Also, the Trussell Trust do a fantastic job with foodbanks. It is so very sad that there is a need for their work. *sigh*

    A cause worth supporting, and a writer worth reading!

    John 🦔🦔🦔

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    1. Aw thank you, John. I agree, it's so sad that the need for food banks is growing, but fantastic that Potluck Zine are doing what they can to help.

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  4. A very interesting post, Rae, and a worthy cause to be showcasing. I think we would get on as I'm a 'feeder' too. I have an old metal sign in my kitchen that used to be put outside B&Bs and hotels here back in the 50s/60s - Paignton and District Hoteliers Association member! I almost always have my characters sharing food at some stage. But it's just putting a thought in my head saying that .... what if a character went to a lot of trouble and ..... ????

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  5. Oh I love that prompt, Linda... can't wait to see where you take it. And your sign made me laugh. There's nothing more satisfying that having a large pot of something simmering away in the corner! : )

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