Odd Cooking Post and Short Fiction


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.   


About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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10 Responses to Odd Cooking Post and Short Fiction

  1. I would say you are making me hungry, but I just ate. 🙂

    Are you going to Nationals? Was wondering if you have a deadline to pitch by then…

  2. relliott4 says:

    I’m planning to go, but things are still up in the air. I’m going to pitch in March and if that doesn’t pan out, I’ll probably start the agent rounds. Don’t know that I’ll pitch at Nationals. Heather, will you send me an email? I think all my addresses for you are wrong.

  3. X. Dell says:

    I have some leftovers here. Mind coming to NY?

    Short fiction seems so terribly difficult to write. The fact that you CAN do it is impressive. If it has the added bonus of sharpening your game, more power to you.

    Doing the diss, I can’t seem to find what voice I did have (formal writing always does that to me–everything starts to read like a textbook). I think I’m going to take you up on your advice and start with some short fiction.

  4. Rinda, you’re making me think… ouch

    I always seem to go longer when I try new things… I’ve never done a short story, though I have done magazine articles and I like them (I’m also a trade magazine features editor on the side). And yet I never tried writing something short. That might be fun. 🙂

    We’re having a tapas party this weekend… looking for recipes.. 😉


  5. relliott4 says:

    Ah, thinking pain… hope there is no irritating itch with that. heh heh

    WEll, if you want to try your hand at writing something wild and short, why don’t you try the Scene From a Pic? It’s a freaky picture this month and you can find it at the top of this page under that header. I put up a picture once a month and invite readers to write whatever inspires them. A line, a plot, a scene. It’s to free up creativity.

    The next picture and all the writing (along with links to the reader’s site) will go up February 8th.

    Appetizers, eh? I do have the hot spinach dip recipe from Olive Garden, too… Oh, and you can put all kinds of things in crescent rolls. A friend of mine recently put those little sneakers candy bars in the middle. I was surprised. They were great. She did different little candy bars.

    X, I used to sell tons of these short stories called confessions. They really are just short stories because I explored everything from love to obsessive compulsive disorder. I learned to write tight by writing them. I highly recommend trying short fiction–there’s no room for fluff.

  6. I once tried mixing in a few peppermint leaves with my home-made pesto…


    Not good.

    Marjoram, bacon and lemon combo is probably well know to some, but I rediscovered it for myself in an experiment one night that turned out so good I had to open a long-saved bottle of wine.

  7. Since Scott forgot to ask, where do you get your potatoes?

  8. relliott4 says:

    Marjoram, bacon and lemon. It isn’t well-known to me but I’d love the entire recipe. 🙂

    Oh, I get my potatoes from Irish Elves.

  9. Marjoram bacon and lemon zest, added to white sauce…

    That’s it. Use it like you’d use white sauce alone…

  10. relliott4 says:

    White sauce, eh? I was trying to picture bacon in pesto. Which isn’t in the least odd to me, since I’ll eat bacon in anything. I flirted with becoming a vegetarian but couldn’t see giving up bacon.

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