Open up the refrigerator or the pantry, what do you see? I know—food, but look closer—words, right? And where there is food in boxes, cans, or frozen bags, there are interesting and descriptive words (see the vegetable broth label if you don’t believe me). We often take those words that grace the sides of packaged pasta or breadcrumbs for granted, but they are there for a reason: to describe flavor or texture, to entice us, to give us ideas about dinner, and to of course inspire our writing. Who knew?
Take an even closer look, where the warm of ingredients may inspire your setting, or the details of a recipe may trigger sensory cues for dialogue, a scene, or a poem. Food, ingredients, flavors, are good for conjuring up memories or inspiring our imaginations. As you’re exploring your cabinets and thinking, write down a few bits of delicious, and grab a snack while you’re at it. Make a list (on paper or in your head) of all the words that jump out at you from the pantry (crushed red pepper flakes, mustard seed, vanilla), the refrigerator (rich, flavor, perish(able)) , the kitchen cabinet (cork, grain, simmer), or all three. Don’t spend a ton of time in the gathering (or the snacking). The real work is in whatever you create with these words—gourmet dinner or your next delicious line. Bon appétit and good luck writing.