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.