Sometimes when I get really stuck, I take a break and experiment in the kitchen. There are times I love to cook. Been on an Italian kick this week. Tonight, I’m making Toscano soup– and yes, it’s the recipe from Olive Garden. Sausage, potatoes, kale and a creamy broth… yum. <g>
Not all of my cooking experiments work. There was this thing with spaghetti, oil and tuna once that I wish I could erase from my memory. Forever. But yesterday’s experiment turned out surprisingly good, so off topic or not, I’ll share. 🙂
I wanted to use some leftover pork loin, so I thawed a loaf of frozen bread dough all day. Last night, I rolled it out and brushed a thick layer of tomato, Parmesan and basil pesto down the middle. I then sliced the pork thin and layered it on the pesto. I sauteed onions and green peppers in olive oil, fresh garlic and Italian spices then spread those over the pork. Mozzarella would have been best, but I only had cheddar, so that went on next. I then rolled the bread into a loaf, sealed the edges, made four small slices for steam on top and brushed egg all over it. Baked it until the outside was golden and crispy.
At first, my family was disappointed it wasn’t the usual stromboli I make that looks similar. (That one has thick layers of salami, ham, Italian spices, different cheeses and peppers and onions) But they ended up loving this one.
Nothing like putting leftovers in the middle of bread, eh?
In writing news, since I did get stuck and left the computer to cook yesterday, I went back last night and worked on a short story. All the conversations on voice lately reminded me that I still want to get some short fiction circulating the markets again.
I can’t spend a lot of time on that part of my writing right now, though. The book still has to be done early this year.
I do have two short pieces that have been percolating for some time. One was a short I thought might go into a southern horror anthology last year but I’ve heard nothing on that publication, so I’m thinking it might not be a go anymore. Bummer! I set that one aside to finish after the book-length work. I may send it out to Cemetery Dance or something. It’s not sci-fi enough for Apex.
And speaking of that wonderful magazine, I still have hopes of breaking through those doors, so I pulled out a futuristic and I hope, creepy, story I started a couple of months ago. I haven’t had the time to devote to my shorter works, but I’m thinking I may schedule a time each week for them.
Working on shorter fiction really does help to tone your voice as well as tighten your prose. At times, I find myself craving the challenge as well. And okay, I’ve never been the most patient person, so the accomplishment in the smaller amount of time is a huge part of their appeal.
Plus, every now and then, it’s good for me to take a short break from my longer works. Not too long since I’m like one of those actors who has to stay in character or lose it. But, every brain needs refreshment and working on something different can be as invigorating as ice cold lemonade on an Oklahoma, August day.