Food Writing, From my Perspective…

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

What I think makes a good food writer…

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Writing comes naturally for people, you just need to sit down and write what is on your mind. Personally, for me it is hard to sit down and write because I have so much that I want to write but I don’t want to take the time to write it down. Just plain laziness, but honestly, I believe that we all have the confidence, passion, and drive, we just have to bring it out when we start to write.

“How to Fix Everything” by Heather A. McDonald, this personal story shows how easy it is to express your feelings through writing without getting too personal. With such a personal story like this, not everyone can exactly relate, but they can have an idea of what the person felt and what they went through. By saying things like, “ My mother cleaned each one slowly in scalding hot water. We had a dishwasher, but she did each one by hand, methodically scrubbing each spot of burned cheese or the odd potato straw hardened against the side of the dish” McDonald really made you felt like you were there watching her mother wash these dishes, with description and imagery like this, it can pull any reader into your story. This specific quote pulled me into her story because I used to watch my mom wash the dishes and it reminded me of when I used to do that. Simple things like relating to your own life can make the reader interested in your own story. Another quote I liked in this story was, “ One day, I would have my own kitchen, I told myself, and I would make and eat whatever I wanted”. I liked this quote because everybody has that “One day…” moment and that made me think of what I wanted to do one day. When writers make you think, it makes the reader more interested to read more.

“Just because you grow up on bad food, it does not follow that you lack nostalgia for it.” This quote in “Food” by Tony Judt was such a good opener for the article because everyone has their guilty pleasures of eating bad food every now and then, which made me feel like it wasn’t all that bad to eat bad food once in a while. That is what a good writer needs, a good opener. The opener is what the reader is going to go by to see if what they are going to read is going to be good or not, it will either make them want to read it or to put it aside. The one thing that left me cold in this article is the lack of emotion that was put into it. Yes, Judt talked about is family, about how his mother tried to cook and how his grandmother was a magician of cooking. Reading it was all interesting, but it was like I was just learning about his family and what they ate, not really feeling what he really felt when he ate the food.

In “Henry James: Vanilla Ice Cream with Brandied Peaches”, he wrote with a sense of urgency, he made the readers realize that he cherished summer, but that it went by too fast. “Around the middle of August, when vacations are past and sunset creeps up noticeably earlier every evening, end-of-summer anxiety sets in. How could I have let this happen? I didn’t have nearly enough picnics! Or take enough strolls through the park! Or eat all the corn, cherries, and peaches that summer demands!” With this kind of expression of his feelings, it makes the reader feel like this writer really cares about what he is writing about and that there will be emotion throughout the entire article.

For my family story, I plan on including my personal feelings and experiences; I will also include lots of imagery. I want to make the reader feel like they are really there. Making the reader feel like they are living the story will make the reader interested in what is really written, and realize the deeper meaning of things. When writing about food I believe that the reader should feel like they are with you cooking the food along side of you. When you talk about cooking the food you should talk about a background story, to make the reader feel that they are related to the same topic. Talk about why the dish is significant, if it is made only on special occasions or once a week, who do you make it with, and what makes the dish so special to you and why it should be interesting to the reader. Writing with vivid imagery will really make the reader feel included and they will really want to smell or taste the food that is being prepared. You should make the reader want to eat this dish and make it right after they read your piece. I feel like including the reader is the most important thing because it is what makes your writing important and helpful. In order to include the reader you must make them enjoy your writing by adding in personal stories, imagery and humor. I feel like if you don’t include some kind of humor, then your reader will get bored and won’t enjoy reading it as much as you intended.

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