June 19, 2011

Writing vs. Baking

by Tess St. John
I want to thank Anna for hosting me today! I love her blog: the recipes, her lessons, and the guests!

While trying to decide what to talk about today, I wanted to do something about baking (I couldn’t choose cooking...I’ve done it for twenty years now and have gotten all I can out of the experience, but I love to bake), because she always has the best recipes. So I started thinking...how does writing and baking parallel? I was suprised at all the two have in common

Before cooking, supplies must be purchased or found on your shelves. Before writing, we must either research or pull from our own experiences or imagination to come up with a story.

The right tools are necessary when cooking: utensils, mixers, and pans. When writing we need the same thing: computer, typewriter, paper, and/or pen.

Recipes spell out the ingredients and tells how much of each item to use. In writing, we have our genre specifications to tell us what each story should consist of. You’ll note in this case, many of us don’t follow the specifications...many of us use our own spices or ideas.  

Most recipes have an order in which the ingredients are added. Others just advise to put together and mix well. I think this is true of writers also. Some of us plan, plot, and outline and others of us just write as the inspiration comes.

After we’ve got the dish made, we must put it in the oven (in the heat) to bake. When we get everything together in our books, we must go through and put our words under the heat of our editor’s eye.

After baking, cool. I suggest we do this with our writing too. After you’ve written and edited something, put it away for a while and come back to it later with fresh eyes.

Serving the dish, making it as appealing as possible is next. And going through our story and checking for typos and grammar is essential in presenting our most appealing story.

Finally...We put it on the table and hope everyone enjoys our masterpiece. Same happens with our books.

This recipe is one of the reasons my husband says he married me.


1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ sticks margarine (melted)
3 Tablespoons sugar
Dash salt
1 cup chopped pecans (I usually use 1 ½ cup…because everyone loves pecans around here)

Mix and pat into 9X12 pan and up on the sides
Bake 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes…until lightly brown (too brown and it turns out too hard, but if it’s not cooked enough it’s not crunchy)

½  large container of cool whip
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat until well blended (usually takes a while…I put in my mixer and let it go for a while to get all the lumps out) Spread over cool crust.

2 small packages of instant pudding (my husband loves Lemon, but most people like chocolate…any type pudding will do, so use your favorite!)
3 cups milk
Beat until thick and spread over cream cheese mixture

Top with other half of cool whip. Refrigerate until set and serve

Keep refrigerated.

I hope this yummy dessert will grace your tables soon. I promise it will be a favorite!

BTW: My first book Second Chances, a historical romance is available at Amazon, B&N, and SW. I also have a freebie Prequel to SC titled Emma’s Chance. It’s available at B&N, SW, and on my website

Second Chances

Love that frees the heart ~ also captures it.

Lady Emma Easton’s elopement to an elderly earl shields her from an abusive father, until her husband’s death leaves her vulnerable once again. Only one man can protect her—the earl’s trusted friend, Viscount Drake.

After losing his wife, Lord Drake vows never to marry again. But his heart warms to the young widow he’s promised to protect. Emma’s love frees him from the darkness that’s consumed him. But now Drake must protect her from her father’s evil whims, or face losing her forever.

Emma’s Chance

Under her abusive father's control her whole life, Miss Emma Kerr is now betrothed to a man who is rumored to have killed his first wife. Emma's maid implores the help of Harmon Westbourne, the Earl of Easton, to rescue Emma from her father's home. The elderly earl isn't one's dream of a knight in shining armor, and his proposal of friendship and shelter, and how that may be accomplished, are outlandish.


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Tess. Great blog. I love the correlation between baking and writing. What a neat spin. And love the recipe. I'll have to give it a try.

Becky said...

Great post! Tess, how you explain what baking and writing have in common is something I don't think a lot of people think about. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I will have to give this a try. It is similar to a recipe that my mom makes. The only difference is she uses the graham cracker pie crust and uses the whole thing of cool whip and then tops it with a can of pie filling and then chill it for several hours.
Second Chances sounds really good. I have added it to my list to get and I am checking out Emma’s Chance.

marybelle said...

I can see how the right mix of 'ingredients' makes for great writing. The recipe looks great thank you.


Susan M said...

I already know the book is yummy. Can't wait to try the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for hosting me, Anna!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Becky! I've made the recipe you're talking about and it is delicious...but dh loves pecans so he's wild about this one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Marybelle! Hope you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Susan, you're a dear!!! Thanks so much!

Paty Jager said...

Fun post, and tasty looking recipe! I may have to try this when the grandkids are here. They are all chocolate pudding fans so this would be a fun different treat.

Good luck with your books!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Paty! Have a great Monday!

Meb Bryant said...

Tess, You asked "how does writing and baking parallel." For my cooking/writing, it's the smoke, fire and an unsolved mystery.

Anonymous said...

Meb, you're a hoot!!!!! Thanks for stopping by!

Bethany said...

Well done, Tess! You're right about the analogies and thank you for sharing the receipe :-)