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CathyL

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John, would you give us a glimpse of what you're cooking/writing about these days? I'm also curious about dishes, thoughts or experiences that you intended to write about but didn't, and why.

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Cathy, I don't even tell Matt what's in the works, sometimes until a first draft is finished. It's also why I've stopped putting a little teaser ("In upcoming issues") in Simple Cooking itself. It's also why I don't outline my essays beforehand (I'll bet that surprises you); I want to be surprised. It's hard enough working on subsequent drafts (of which there are many, no fewer that five and sometimes as many as ten) when I do know what it's all about, but at least then, having created my monster, I'm trying to teach it to talk and to walk. I've written a bit about pieces that never got written in the topic that concerns where I get my idea for essays, but that usually happens because I'm unprepared to strike when the iron was hot. A particular instance of that was when Matt and I read Anthony Bourdain's KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL out loud. By the end, my mind was reeling with thoughts, but that didn't happen to be an opportune time to write a review and the synapses had all burnt out by the time I could. So the best I got out of that was making Ed Behr laugh on one of his rare visits down from Vermont. Other times, I just don't know if a piece will ever cohere or not. Images float around in my mind like pollen in the spring air. (Those are the days when I'm not lying huddled under my bed with a blanket thrown over my head.)

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A particular instance of that was when Matt and I read Anthony Bourdain's KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL out loud. By the end, my mind was reeling with thoughts, but that didn't happen to be an opportune time to write a review and the synapses had all burnt out by the time I could. So the best I got out of that was making Ed Behr laugh on one of his rare visits down from Vermont.

Now that's the real teaser!

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