Tag-Archive for » cooking «

Writers! Leave Yourself Open To Stories!

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know that I am a proponent of keeping yourself open to life, stories, and snippets of tales.

shrimp-and-gritsI recently heard this question asked of a West African chef, “How did you feel when you heard a fat, rich, white woman (cooking show) claim that her recipe had been handed down from  generation to generation in her family? When actually the dish (Shrimp and grits) has been cooked on the west coast of Africa for hundreds of years?”
The answer?
The chef/host who was giving an intimate dinner party in his home in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa (each syllable drips with mystery, fish.senegaldoesn’t it?) smiled and said, “Gratitude that our cuisine lives on and is enjoyed in the United States.”

And Gumbo is another example. Louisiana claims it originated there. A poor man’s dish. Ingredients: Fish/seafood from the river out back, tomatoes and other veggies from the garden, a roux from pork drippings,(from the pig pen out back) butter  and flour.  Again, Africa via France and brought to the south with the Cajuns.

When I heard this conversation (above) what this writer’s ears heard was:  “MamaBelle, cook up some of your shrimp and grits as a side dish for my guests!”  The fine lady, from the senegal.Mamabellmansion on the hill, had walked down to the kitchen house to talk about the menu for her dinner party.  MamaBelle had been the head cook on the plantation for decades but still had knife-sharp memories of arriving in Georgia, bound in shackles, barely surviving the trip on the slave ship from West Africa. Put on the block for auction, teeth examined, hips examined (for breeding) stripped naked. Being marched miles and miles to the plantation. Working the fields until it was discovered that she was of better use in the kitchen. Living through the horror of her children being sold off when the Masta’ needed ready cash. more »

Keep Those Creative Doors Unlocked!

So I’m currently working on Book 5 in the series, The World of Murder.  The Taste of Murder takes place in and around the Food ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Network and cooking shows.

My two detectives, O’Roarke and Garcia are waiting for the elevator to take them down to the lobby at the Food Network studios. And who walks off the elevator but Arnold Miller, Broadway star… and one of my characters from The Act of Murder.

I stared at my screen for a second and, even though I was alone in my studio, asked aloud, Arnold, what are you doing in this book?’  I got no answer of course so decided to see where Arnold would lead me.  My readers  know by now that I am a staunch  believer that at some point the story takes over and the writer goes along for the ride….we become the typist.  So why was I surprised when Arnold rushed out of an elevator and almost mowed down my two murder cops?  Well, it turns out that Arnold knew my victim and his lover. He really filled our ear with all the latest gossip!

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Writers Must be Multi-Taskers!

Like so many other prolific writers (that I’ve interviewed) we are multi-taskers. And if we aren’t naturally, we learn pretty quick that we Cover.Angel - Copyshould be. As I finished writing the last few pages of ‘The Angel of Murder’, the story line for the next book was rattling around in my head. I edited book 4 one last time and published it. I then immediately sent it to my narrator/producer to begin the audio-book. This also requires my time as I listen to and edit each chapter.

‘Sugarek had barely released her newest book in the World of Murder series entitled ‘The Angel of Murder’ when she was already deeply into the plot of her next one. A famous chef-judge on a successful cooking show has been murdered. Detectives O’Roarke and Garcia have a cold case dumped on them in spite of O’Roarke’s vehement insistence, “We don’t do cold cases!”

Follow the two murder cops behind the scenes and onto the TV set of a wildly popular cooking competition where the suspects are plentiful and the case is three years cold.’
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