Saturday, December 02, 2006

MY CHARACTERS AND I SHARE A MEAL

spaghetti di ettore

So you already know I've been inspired to make art, to hunt for acorns, shells and rocks, to start a book club, to challenge my assumptions, and just today--to buy a set of colored pencils so beautiful in hue and so perfect in their lovely tin box that I don't ever want to use them.

And I've also been inspired to try new recipes. The first, which I found on P.A. Moed's site was called Spaghetti di Ettore. It sounded like the kind of food my family lives on these days--simple, easy to prepare, and healthy. No small part of its allure was that it involved not just pasta, but that staple of childhood, spaghetti. I could practically taste the spaghetti and meatballs my parents and I used to enjoy, ensconsed in a red naugahyde booth every Sunday night at Lena's in Brockton, Mass.

I thought I might even try my new recipe that very night--if I got to the store for the red peppers and capers it demanded. But before I had a to roast a single peper, it showed up in a scene I was writing. Turns out my characters not only liked Spaghetti di Ettore, they swooned over it. It was such a favorite that they ate it every Friday night.

As soon as I finished my daily writing, I had no choice but to get in the car, (still wearing my socially unacceptable "writing clothes" and a pair of ballet flats) and head for Shaw's Market where I picked up the necessary ingredients.

The results turned out to be well worth it--worth even my embarrassment when I ran into a guy I knew from my waitressing days in the supermarket. (How could I explain that my outfit wasn't really pajamas--as much as it might resemble them, but actually, my official writing uniform? I didn't even try.)

And yes, I would certainly make this again--though next time I might substitute a couple of plum tomatoes for one of the red peppers. (But that's just me; I'm one of those people who think that the tomato has divine properties and should be included in almost every recipe.)

***************************************************************

And now for the BLOG DISCOVERY OF THE WEEK or make it THREE--because I missed the last two Saturdays, and because sometimes it's just too hard to make a choice...

Following a link on Kirsten's elegant new blog, I was led to Summer Pierre, who tried to type, "I live in Brooklyn, but ended up writing, "I love in Brooklyn." Immediately, I knew I'd made a blog discovery.

I also fell in love with Momster because Irene Nam knows how to do so many things that I can't--like editing movies, knitting amazing sweaters, and designing a child's room that not only looks great, it's practically mess-proof.

Ascender Rises Above led me to Making a Mark, a blog that's all about getting out your colored pencils, your watercolors, or your charcoal, and doing exactly that. How could I resist?

19 comments:

Amishlaw said...

Looks yummy. Sometime I'd like to read how you interact with your characters. Do they become real people for you? I read a biography of Dickens which told how he would become very depressed and sad when one of his characters died.

KG said...

The "official writing uniform." LOL! It's the magical writing pajamas again --- they are so important.

I'm going to have to check out the Momster blog you recommend --- I need to learn more about making mess-proof rooms.

tinker said...

Yum - thank you (and your characters :) for the link to the recipe - I've been looking for something new (and easy!) to try. I agree with your estimation of the tomato's divine properties, and think I might have to add some of those myself (substituting them for the capers - I love 'em, but my husband can't stand the sight of them - sigh).

I'm so glad you're still experimenting with art - I can't wait to see what you do with those colored pencils!

tammy vitale said...

Coming in from Tinker's Art (and to her from AME)...I had to leave a note about attire...I'm an artist. My studio is my basement and garage and I was packing for a show. It was chilly so I had on my painting tshirt, well worn clamdiggers and horizonatally stripped purple knee socks to be sure my legs didn't get chilly. then I realized I had to go and get "bank" for the show, slipped on my raspbery slides and out the door I went. Without a second thought until I got a really funny look at the bank. =] I also had to go to the grocery store but I took the socks off first....

colleen said...

It's too early in the morning to be this intoxicated with words, images, and new places. Your post got me blog hopping! And hungry! I've copied down the recipe. I'll let you know if I make it and how it turns out.

I love thinking about your character making and eating this!

colleenR said...

It's too early in the morning to be this intoxicated with words, images, and new places. Your post got me blog hopping! And hungry! I've copied down the recipe. I'll let you know if I make it and how it turns out.

I love thinking about your character making and eating this!

Left-handed Trees... said...

Your writing muse is certainly inspired by fine food isn't he/she? Mine has been inspired by long walks lately--and the bare-branches of the trees outside. Sounds delicious...
--D.--

Kerstin said...

I love spaghetti, too! Strangely enough, rather than being a staple, they were considered somewhat of a delicacy and treat when I grew up. Only chefs in restaurants could be trusted to boil them to their al dente perfection, confirmed by my first attempt at overcooking them aged 14. Luckily living with an Italian family for one year as an au-pair means that I am now a mean al dente pasta cook.

I am glad you found Summer! She is one of my favorites, a truly multi-talented artist and I love her quirky and often funny writing; I have always said about her that when I read her stuff I can literally "hear" her talk. Having had the pleasure of meeting her in person my impression was confirmed.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
b/sistersshoes said...

MMmmmm looks healthy and yummy :)

and I must try out those sites, thanks sweetie :D
xxx darlene

Patry Francis said...

amishlaw: I'm not claiming to be Dickens, but I do weep for my characters. After the demise of one particularly beloved character, I was so forlorn, I seriously thought I'd never write another word.

kg: The writer's uniform is the best outfit ever--but next time, I'll change before I go to the store. Folks in the real world just aren't as impressed with the magical pajamas as you and I are.

tinker: I think you and Kat and everyone from AEM have inspired me for life. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

tammy: Now THAT sounds like a marvelous outfit. I especially like the horizontally striped purple kneesocks. I think I need to get some of those to go with the polka dot pajamas from Target that Alexandra G. inspired me to buy.

colleen: Let me know how it turns out! The official name is spaghetti di ettore, but my character has a three year old who just calls it s'getti and eggs. Push the red peppers to the side and I think kids would love it.

delia: Lately your posts have felt like long, thoughtful November walks. I've enjoyed taking them with you.

kerstin: I grew up with spaghetti that was boiled to mush--as well as abominations like "Franco American", but I loved it anyway. Now, however, I'm spoiled. It has to be al dente--which usually happens instinctively around here.

Thanks again for introducing me to Summer. I'm going to put up a permanent link to her blog tonight.

darlene: And easy to prepare. Don't forget that! Thanks for stopping by!

Fred Garber said...

I am with you on the tomatoes.

P. A. Moed said...

Hi Patry.

I'm delighted that you and your characters liked the recipe! Tomatoes sound like a great idea. Maybe even sun dried would be a good addition.

Patry Francis said...

fred: For some reason, I always thought you were Italian--though your name doesn't particularly support that theory.

patti: I always love your recipes! Sun dried tomatoes are an excellent idea...

Fred Garber said...

Part of me is Italian. The name is Eastern European Jewish. Also have French, Dutch, Swiss, German, Austrian and Canadian. My wife is from Mexico so I am an equal opportunity gorger!

Patry Francis said...

fred: Wow! No wonder the food always sounds so appealing at your place!

owlhaven said...

Hi! I just found your blog thru Publisher's Marketplace. I loved your story there of the phone call from your agent. Lately I've been dreaming of such a moment myself..

Mary, writin' mom to many

owlhaven said...

ps-- My family's been giving me a hard time lately about my writing uniform-- this, even after I bought brand new PJ's that look vaguely like yoga pants. They finally coaxed me to dress at 1pm today...

Mary

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,