Monday, February 9, 2015
Food for Thought
Now that we’re a week into February, how are those New Year’s resolutions holding up? For many of us, the commitment to eating better is as much a part of January as shopping the Target clearance aisle for 90% off Christmas gift bags. But by February, the nefarious marketing department at Russell Stover has us seeing red-cellophane-wrapped heart-shaped boxes of chocolates in our sleep.
Writers, being human like everyone else, have their gastronomic ups and downs. Maybe you will find something in the following list to either inspire you to make some healthy changes or have you feeling pretty good about your favorite chow.
Walt Whitman ate oysters and meat for breakfast. Spot on with the paleo thing.
Lord Byron sipped vinegar as an appetite suppressant.
Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) favors raw carrots and water.
John Steinbeck was a cold toast and stale coffee guy. (Makes me think of the dry white toast from The Blues Brothers. Which is much healthier than four fried chickens and a Coke.)
Emily Dickinson baked her own bread. If she were still alive, maybe she would wax poetic about the gluten-free craze.
F. Scott Fitzgerald ate canned meat and apples. Honestly, canned and meat are two words that don’t belong together.
Franz Kafka was a milk drinker.
Truman Capote favored other beverages: coffee, mint tea, sherry, a martini (in that order).
Gustave Flaubert enjoyed a balanced breakfast of eggs, vegetables, cheese or fruit, and a cup of cold chocolate.
Neil Simon would reward himself with a bag of Fritos after finishing a tough scene. He’s pushing ninety, so presumably he makes (to quote moms everywhere) "healthy choices," too.
Agatha Christie kept a cup of clotted cream to sip from on her writing desk. Must be a British thing. How can anything ‘clotted’ be remotely appetizing?
Jack Kerouac traveled the United States eating apple pie and ice cream
J.D. Salinger gladly (well, maybe that’s an overstatement) left his house for the all-you-can-eat roast beef buffet
Sylvia Plath loved to cook, and tomato soup cake, from The Joy of Cooking, was a specialty.
Stephen King enjoys a piece of cheesecake before sitting down to write.
If I had to choose a writer food, it would be soup. Pretty much any kind, as long as it doesn’t come from can. But I’m afraid I’m in the same boat as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who said, “Half my life I couldn’t eat what I wanted because I couldn’t afford to, the other half because I have to diet.”
What food fuels your writing?