Writing Aftertaste

I’d never written a book but I was trying to finish up my dissertation. Unfortunately, procrastination had taken hold in many ways, but cooking in particular was my most egregious technique of procrastination. My husband Dave agreed to help me stop procrastinating and finish my dissertation by taking cooking completely off of my plate for a whole summer. The deal was that he would take care of the cooking so I could do all of the writing. But unfortunately, this was really hard for me. I missed cooking. I reached the point where I would have to sneak to cook myself food because I couldn’t function without doing so. No sooner would Dave pull out of the driveway than I would begin to think about what I wanted to eat. I would sneakily cook and finish everything I’d made because leftovers would be evidence of my indiscretions. I even went to such great lengths as discarding my cooking waste in my neighbors’ trash cans. But amidst all the guilt and sneaking and more guilt, an interesting thing happened—I realized I was much more productive while I was cooking. When you’re chopping, you’re slicing, you’re dicing you’re doing something that doesn’t require the deeper psychological processes in your brain. I realized that by the time I had finished cooking, whatever problem I had left on my desk at 10 o’clock was worked out in my mind by the time I got back at 1. I would return, well fed, and my creative juices were flowing, and I was ultimately much more productive. I am a person who needs a creative outlet. What Dave effectively did was he took away my creative outlet—my cooking. And all of this was another inspiration to me. It inspired me to write Aftertaste, the story of a female chef.