Written By: Stephanie Dickison
Oh, sorry. I was trying to type one-handed. See, I was eating.
Being a food writer, I’m either writing, eating, shopping for ingredients or cooking. It sounds glamourous, but truthfully, it’s goddamn messy.
Early on, I tried to compartmentalize things so everything would stay neat and tidy. I would do a restaurant review one night, cook up something for a piece the next, and so on. As much as I would like my day – and deadlines – as ordered as a bento box, my work life looks more like shucked corn cob leaves piled on the floor.
Now, I am up early at my desk writing about how to ensure a moist pork tenderloin or how I didn’t have to cut my porterhouse with a knife because it was so tender. My desk (at the end of the bed in our 1-bedroom apt I share with my fiance – a TV writer – and our cat) is often piled with stacks of cookbooks and food magazines, with overflow on our chest, (also at the end of our bed, but thankfully not also used as my desk – our place is small, but not that small) and then out to the living room and the kitchen. I am often cooking in the middle of writing, so while I might be writing about Mexican tortas, I will have a capon roasting in the oven and be trying to successfully melt chocolate for a new tart recipe.
And though it matters little to anyone else, throughout the week, I carefully think about and weigh various options for my restaurant reviews. I try to cover a new area each week and not only not duplicate a cuisine until all others have been tried at least once, I also try to not order the same thing.
My fella is patient and understanding. He listens to be blather on about the difference between Punjabi and Pakistani cuisine and on date nights, let’s me stop into a fine food store to ooh over hand-twirled pastas and imported canned beans. He puts up with food and books everywhere and my constant search for the perfect recipe.
This kind of writing is messy though. Starting the day hunched over my laptop searching for the perfect word to describe the creamy risotto dotted with truffles or the bison carpaccio that exuded minerals and the fresh grass it consumed causes a lot of drooling.
And then there’s the take-out containers from my buttermilk fried chicken review and dishes from last night’s attempt at Spicy Malaysian Beef Hot Pot, to deal with.
Writing with one hand and eating or stirring a pot with the other – this is most definitely the life.
Bio: Stephanie Dickison writes about food, travel, tech and other subjects full-time from her desk at the end of the bed. She is the one in dress with the food stains on it. Her book, The 30-Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy About Writing & Working From Home, covers her wild adventures as a restaurant critic, as well as book and music critic.
54 thoughts on “Guest Post: Eating My Words”
It sounds like the life! Me, I’m the opposite, I tend to order the same thing over and over again and if I don’t I’m disappointed and I wish I had the usual. I’m not very adventerous when it comes to food.
I wish I had a thirty second commute. ^^ I could spend my lunch hour in bed. Talk about living the life.
Favored this! Very laughable
Almost forgot: my blog: http://zeworldmatters.wordpress.com/
I watch the food network like hell. I used to have a food blog so I know what you mean. It sometimes gets so frustrating that you almost forget to cook. As a food lover, I absolutely love to cook smoked Mascovy Duck topped off with fennel and paprika. I’m a vegetarian, but I cook well. That dish is AMAZING to smell… wow
Loved this! Very amusing. 😉 Saffy. x
I wish I could sit in my home and write and blog all day! I need a gig like yours.
As messy and full as your days sound, writing with one hand and eating with the other does seem to be a nice day-to-day! In fact, your day sounds rather exciting. I’m impressed with your husband’s patience and your level of energy or perhaps food passion. I am gonna have to check your book out! Excellent writing- this was a wonderful post to read first thing in the morning!
I can cook very well, reading this just makes me wish that my taste buds were WAY more diverse! Oh going through all of those cookbooks…ahhhhh!!!!
Mmmmm. Makes me wish I could cook.
Righteous the instal hand me starved! I believe I would be enduring, too if my longanimity meant a program of matter adventures!
heh heh. i’m holding a plate of ‘dahi baray’ in my left hand as i type with my right 🙂 (i wonder if they would be classified as pakistani or punjabi..)
but how incredibly foodie you are! i need more people like you around me! 😀
am feeling hungry nw………n i can’t work and write together, or I won’t like to………lol
it was simply a wow post!!
Congrats on Freshly Pressed! I read your post while I was hungry, so now I’m about to go out to eat. I don’t have time to wait on the beef to thaw. Good luck with your writing.
Eating and writing? mmmmmm. Just make sure the food is cheese covered and the writing is sumptuous. Add in a little guilty pleasure TV (dating in the dark, anyone) and I’m right there with you. 😉
Well, I have to say- sounds like you have a dream job! Food and writing… couldn’t be better!
I am eating while I read this! 30 second commute- I have been doing it for 4 years. Great piece, it is so true to me, that I could have written it!
It sounds oddly romantic in terms of the food and the books at the end of the bed.
I love your blog
hope this year is great for you. I am still trying to find my way around this blog, and I am lost.
I write and eat. I also vacuum my keyboard once a week to get the crumbs out. I’m not talking about one of those sissy little DustBuster things, either. I’m talking full-on hose suckage from an upright. Try it. It works. Just make sure you don’t have any loose keys on the keyboard first. I once had to write an entire assignment without an M key. Deadlines, you know.
I loved this book, and I love Stephanie Dickinson. The writer’s life for me!
While I am not a food critic, I do cook and write, and eat and write (especially being a full time student) it cuts on time, and the food is fresh in your mind when you are writing about it and cooking it at the same time 🙂
Great stuff! You really paint the picture of a writer’s life. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.
Cooking and trying new food and than being able to write about it?! Sounds like fun and if you were not messy, think the food would not taste as good 😉 Thanks for a nice read! LB
I can’t tell you how many keyboards I’ve shorted out by drooling over them while surfing recipes online. Fabulous read! I’m seriously jealous of your dayjob.
Love cooking and blogging about food; also love writing. Apparently I also love incomplete sentences. 🙂
Sounds like a dream job to me!
Just don’t ever let you keys get sticky! 🙂
Jesaka, I’m a first time visitor and found your post quite entertaining. Needless to say I will be sticking around for a while. Thanks for laugh.
I LOVE your writing! And I’m sure the TV-writer fiance isn’t bad at writing either.
Having a patient hubby is nice, yes? Mine follows me patiently when I drag him through the gourmet stores I find tucked away in shopping plazas or to far-flung restaurants that I heard about from fellow foodies. He doesn’t like food nearly as much as I do, poor thing.
Now I’m hungry, dammit.
Food writing is hard. How do you explain taste or a cooking technique to the uninitiated? How do you avoid gaining weight?
I almost always write with some food or something in my hand. Course, I don’t have a fancy excuse like being a food writer… 😉
I’m not nearly enough of a multitasker to write and eat at the same time, much less also cook. I like to really pay attention to my food – I refuse to eat in the car, or standing up (unless it’s ice cream at the freezer – that’s a different story). I like to sit down while I eat, savor every last bite (and calorie!). I also seem to have a problem dating and eating (my blog is about dating) … I get too distracted by the conversation to enjoy the food (which means definitely a second date is in order) or I get so distracted by the yummy food that I don’t enjoy the conversation as much (which means the guy is probably kinda boring anyway).
Loved this post!
Kudos to you. I was a food writer for a short time. (The themes of my writing were mostly educating the uninitiated cook — i.e. me.) And it was HARD! Way to go!
That reminds me – I really need to work on speech recognition again – I wonder how well it works if you speak with a full mouth?
great post! now I gotta figure out how to be that writer at the end of the bed cause damn it’s hard to write much after a full day of work, the gym, errands, etc… and I love to cook too and all the cooking mags/books layin around annoys my wife sometimes as well! 🙂
Ah, writing and eating. Can life get any better?
Just the post left me hungry! I think I would be patient, too if my patience meant a series of food adventures!
Great Post! Though I wasn’t that blessed in having the ability to multi-task this two activities, how I wish I could though.
Writing and thinking about food for me is always hazardous. I end up gaining calories instead of finishing my report. And Stephanie, I truly admire your partner. He’s a gem! 🙂
I’m a man. I eat, then I write, then I eat, then I write, one thing at a time :))
Never admit that us men cannot multi-task!
Diddo. I’m a woman.
I can’t write and eat…but I wish I could!!!!
I used to write and eat at the same time until I noticed that my keyboard was looking a little grubby. When I took it apart for a good cleaning, the crumbs of food and unspeakable green fur-covered things that I found inside convinced me to just concentrate on writing.
I wish my husband was as understanding – he’s always complaining that there are too many cookbooks and magazines around.
Wow, 30 second commute, too funny. Sounds a bit hazardous though, at least for your clothes! Great post!
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