Sunday, June 16, 2019

Writing and Cooking

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPickTam

All the beautiful produce is hitting the grocery stores as well as farmers’ markets throughout the area. The colors and smells are mesmerizing. The choices abound. As a classically trained cook, the joy I get walking through the bounty is probably like the joy my hubby gets as he walks through a chocolate shop! Both of us take our time, imagining the taste and thinking through just what we will buy. And buy, we will. Share we must. 

What does food have to do with writing? 

The cook of the home has many choices about what he or she will cook. We have an abundance of food items to create something special to be shared with others. As we journey through life, we writers have many choices to make as well:
  • What topic will write about?
  • Will we write fiction or nonfiction?
  • Will we try to be published traditionally or independently?
  • Will we co-write?

Like perusing through the markets and gathering ideas of how to use the various foods, as writers we watch and listen to people and actions around us and also gather ideas. We become like sponges absorbing the activities and conversations around us. 

As a cook mulls over her recipe choices, writers mull over how they will share the thoughts whirling through their minds:
  • Will it be a blog post?
  • Will it be a devotional?
  • Will it be a magazine article?
  • Will it be part of a book?

Once the recipe, or writing piece, has been chosen, it’s time to move to the next step. The prepping or in cooking terms, mise en place (everything in place) is next and necessary in both scenarios. Writers do their research and put it all together to be used when needed. A cook gathers all his ingredients ready to be added at the right time. 

Once the first draft has been composed, it’s much like the cook’s dish—it’s time to let it sit and simmer. Time to let the words blend just like the ingredients of the food; both need to work together to have the perfect taste intended. 

We know that foods should have a good taste, but can words do the same? I believe so. I think a ripe slice of summer watermelon has a good taste and takes me to a happy place! Kind words can do the same thing through encouragement to your soul. But unkind words can leave a bitterness similar to horseradish, a bitter food. Words of anger can be like a spicy hot pepper. Both leave a memory that’s not so good in your mind. 

But there is another type of taste connected to words, and that is through spiritual food:

Taste and see that the Lord is good; Psalm 34:8a NIV
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go   hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35 NIV

As writers, are we offering up words that direct people to the best taste ever? Do our words point to the Bread that gives life to all who accept it? 

The next time we go through a market with all the colorful produce, think about the many ways Jesus can be shared through our words. How boring would the market be if it had row upon row of small red tomatoes. Just like each and every tomato we pick up is different and unique in its formation and color, each and every word we choose can be used to draw someone closer to God. 

Will you join me in sharing the abundance and wonderful taste of Jesus to those around us?


You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and give them The Reason to smile. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 37 years, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen, and wrapped around the paw of a little dog named Hattie. Born and raised in Ohio, her family now resides in South Carolina. She is the President of Word Weavers Upstate SC, member of ACFW and My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. She’s the Blog Editor for Word Weavers International. A Conference Assistant for Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. A monthly contributor for The Write Conversation. A contributor in the 2018 Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments. Also a regular contributor to several other blogs. 

Connect with Tammy: Blog:  Email:


  1. Great recipe for finding joy in our tasks there Ms. Tammy. God's blessings ma'am.

  2. This is a great message! I enjoy thinking of the connections between writing and cooking.

  3. Love your analogies here, Tammy, so that we can "tastefully" write and have the necessary appeal to readers. Thank you!