Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I am a good cook. There aren't many things in this world that I will say I am just good at but you know, cooking is one of those things I will fess up and say, I am good at this. I've spent years learning to cook and learning how to cook better and better.

And yet sometimes I still fail. This weekend was one of those times. I've been planning a crock pot lasagna for weeks and I finally put it together and served it to my family, fully expecting them to take a few bites and, again, tell me how wonderful the dinner was.

Sadly, I'd forgotten to spice my sauce.

Cheap-o supermarket lasagna would have been better. Salt is really quite a necessary ingredient to all food, especially when tomatoes are involved, and lasagna without just a little bit of oregano and black pepper, and a copious addition of fennel seed is lackluster at best. The sausage I'd cooked in the tomato sauce, and expected to flavor it, came out bland and with a texture reminiscent of sawdust.

D asked, "What kind of sausage is this?"

To which I replied, "Something you don't like."

Nobody ate more than one helping, and I didn't complain at all about my children throwing theirs in the midden heap.

Tempted to throw the rest of it out as well, instead I allowed DH to toss it in the fridge, where I vowed to ignore it until it started growing.

Of course, food around here is expensive and I'm not actually one to quit on things. A nibbling of a plan came while I was going about my daily life. I reasoned that if I mixed in some new sauce, something extra flavorful and with some more pleasant, better seasoned meat.

I bought some ground beef, seasoned it enough for twice as much, and cooked it with diced tomatoes. I spooned cold lumps of the lasagna into a pan and then poured the hot, well-seasoned sauce around it, then threw it in the oven to re-heat.

The result was wonderful. I had two helpings, as did D, and we fought over the scraps the kids left on their plates.

What does this have to do with writing, you may be asking? Well, most of what I write is bland, flavorless dreck the first time around. I am a good writer, eventually, but what I write is never good when it first comes out. I'm also an impatient person. I forget that the revision process is where all the good gets added, where I take my cold, flavorless lumps and turn them into a hot, gooey, unctuous mess that people will fight over. So next time I look at what I've written and am tempted to throw it out like garbage, or leave it until time has leached all the wonder I'd once felt for the idea, I need to remember my lasagna and what a little extra effort and a little extra heat can make.


  1. I'd disagree on your writing "never being good when it first comes out." And your twice-made lasagna sounds delicious! :)

  2. I'd disagree on your writing "never being good when it first comes out." And your twice-made lasagna sounds delicious! :)

  3. Nice analogy; I'm going to remember that one.