From fruit bowl to word count

Yes, I’m writing. Can you read it, you ask? Better than that. You can eat it. I wrote a recipe. One that worked. My first real recipe, ever.

I’ve been cooking since my first batch of Rice Krispie squares for my Brownie bakers badge, but always from someone else’s recipe. Make up my own? It never occurred to me, with so many great cooks out there who could do it better than me. But those cooks didn’t have my triple threat of :

1. a heat-fueled fruit craving, my body desperate for any moisture after three days of 35C heat (pushing 100 degrees for you fahreinheiters)

2. A tired fruit bowl,  that colorful container dutifully filled with fresh offerings in the hopes that the kids will grab an apple instead of the crackers. But, proving no match for the Call of the Carbs, the fruit in time and heat wave is reduced to the appearance of little old granny heads  on the fast track to composting. I couldn’t give up or give in, due to Threat number three:

3. Celtic blood running hot at the mere notion of throwing something out.

Without my albeit bizarre circumstances, the best chefs in the world couldn’t imagine my story, let alone write a recipe to match. So just like Jack had to find himself in Finding Maria, I had to find my own culinary voice. And you know what? It’s darn-tootin’ tasty, this concoction of mine.

Pear Rhubarb Applesauce

Two apples and one pear, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks; 2-3 stalks of rhubarb, washed and diced, leaves removed

Put the fruit in a small saucepan with about a 1/2 cup water, enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle with 2-3 tsp of sugar. Bring to boil, then simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of ground cloves and nutmeg. Simmer another minute. Stir to break down any remaining chunks of fruit. Let cool. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 dainty or 2 generous servings.

Okay, so I didn’t write a chapter today. Or a sentence, even. But I did acknowledge my story, test my limits, and share the results. It seems to me all writers do that exact same thing, but good writers do it fluently, confidently, taming the unknown with a polish that comes from good old-fashioned practice.

Don’t worry, Rose, I’m getting to your story. Right after I finish my snack. And maybe take a nap. Testing limits, even the tasty kind,  can really take it out of you.