Cooking & Writing

My apartment smells wonderful! I’ve got a pot of mushroom barley soup on the stove top. My usual vegetarian recipe ramped up with the steak I took home from a French bistro last night. The portion was too big for one meal and now it will be in several. I’m also roasting chicken and an entire head of cauliflower in the oven. I’m not just cooking for tonight—I’m cooking for the week and enjoying the romance between the kitchen and the desktop.

Cooking goes well with writing!

Much has been made about the relationship between writers and alcohol, but I’ve yet to read about the synergy between the big soup pot and the computer keyboard. The compatibility between writing and cooking is real. Taking a quick break to stir the pot, or check on the chicken, provides exactly the right distraction for a writer. It’s a productive break. Just long enough to be an actual break, while not leading the writer down a rabbit hole. Just the walk from my desk to the kitchen facilitates a different frame of mind, a shift in perspective that is invaluable. I go back to my desk with new insights, with the RIGHT words, with another idea ready to go.

Do all writers cook? I don’t know, but I’m curious.

I’ve been aware of the positive back & forth between writing and cooking for a long time, but cooking doesn’t always fit so nicely into my NYC-centric life. When I started dancing Tango, I found that dancing and cooking didn’t match well at all. It is hard to NEST and then get dressed to go out a couple of hours after dinner. It’s counter intuitive.

And then there’s the garlic!

Tango altered and lessened my use of garlic. More than the usual “breath” issues, dancing made me notice how garlic haunts in sweat, hair and clothes long after the pizza, pesto or Caesar salad is a memory. I all but stopped cooking when I became devoted to Tango. At that time, I discovered that Tango DANCES well with writing. Cooking went to the back burner (yes, I said that… heheheeee), until I figured out how to make the three partners work together.

I think I’ve found the right balance. If not an actual balance—I’ve found a way to alternate between writing & dancing AND writing & cooking.

I’d love to hear from other writers. Do you cook? Do you cook when you’re writing? Or do you just make another pot of coffee—I’ve been known to do that too!

I rarely photograph my cooking creations, but here's an experiment with grilled peaches stuffed with goat cheese and pancetta.

I rarely photograph my cooking creations, but here’s an experiment with grilled peaches stuffed with goat cheese and pancetta, from last summer.



  1. I am all about soup, especially in the cold weather. I cook fairly quick and simple meals during the week, so I guess I don’t cook much while writing or working from home per se. I save my soup marathons for the weekend, and then I will freeze it in individual servings to eat when the mood strikes.

    • Candy Korman

      Once again, I’m awed by your organization!
      There are times when I think I need the interruption in focus. I have a sense that you have a better handle on that end of writing discipline.

  2. Meh…I got half way through telling you about burning dinner when the power went. Apparently ‘they’ wrote to us to tell us there’d be an outage ALL BLOODY DAY but I didn’t get the memo…-cough- Sorry, still peeved.

    Anyway, my pair bondings are music and writing and gardening and writing. 🙂

    • Candy Korman

      Since I can barely keep the lucky bamboo (in a jar of water) alive, I think pairing writing with gardening is a dead end here. LOL… Hope your power goes back to being consistent. Writing and music sometimes works well. Other times—I get up to dance!