Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cooking is like storytelling for hungry people!


Further to Hannelore's insightful and oh-so-adorable comment, I submit that cooking is like storytelling (for hungry people).  There are certain elements you need to set up first - characters, world, rules of conduct - that are akin to the garlic, onions and other spices you saute before beginning to cook.  Then you have the things that take a long time to pay off - the plot, the beginnings of sub-plots, character introductions and intrigue - which are things like meat or particularly troublesome vegetables.  Next come the little details that add flavour and nutritional value - common vegetables, mostly - which account for the actions that happen along the way to your dramatic finale.  Last, but not least, you have the garnishes - sauces, parsley, the presentation of the dish, etc - which finish off your story, wrap everything up and add the last little pieces of deliciousness that make a good meal great.

Having said all that, however, I'm a thoroughly mediocre cook, possibly because creativity - my favourite element of writing - doesn't translate necessarily well when attempting to follow a recipe.  I suppose the same would go for someone trying to be creative with narrative theories before they understand those theories, but when you write a poor story, you at least have something to salvage.  Burnt chocolate lasts forever.

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