Take a look at this picture. Beef stroganoff. Ever made it? If not, here's a great recipe.
Now, write a scene where two characters make beef stroganoff together. Or where one character makes beef stroganoff and the other character is in the kitchen, not helping. You can choose to make the food the focal point of the scene, or to make the scene about something else while you showcase the food.
Think about each step of preparation. What happens first? (While in the recipe, they suggest doing the egg noodles first, I highly disagree... that should be the very last step... but let's just imagine.) Do you chop the vegetables first? Did the beef come pre-cut, or do you have to cut it yourself? Remember, it's not a script for a food show, so there has to be something going on around the food. But try to make it real.
What is real about food? The texture, the sound, the smell, the flavor, the color? What changes do onions go through when you brown them in butter? What does garlic smell like if it's been cooked too long? These are the tiny details about your food-based writing that will make your readers feel like they're part of the scene.
If you would like, you can post part of the scene in the comments. If not, that's fine, too. Let us know how the writing process went for you. What did you notice about the way you started writing about food?
If you were going to write a scene about food today, what food might you write about? Is there a food you've always wanted to try and haven't for whatever reason? If so, what is it?
Remember: details about the food make the story real. For instance, take a look at this excerpt from Ruth Reichl's Garlic & Sapphires, where she tells of making matzoh with her son:
We went into the kitchen, and Nicky dragged a chair to the counter and climbed up. I got out the colander and handed him the box of matzos. With ceremonial solemnity, my son slowly broke the cracker into little pieces. With equal seriousness he ran water over them until they were damp, drained them, and put them into a bowl. Then, very carefully, he broke a couple of eggs into the matzos and gently mixed them with a fork. “See,” he said, “each matzo has some of the egg.” He held out the bowl for me to inspect.
I threw a lump of butter into a pan, and then threw in a little more. This was no time for restraint. Nicky slid over until he was next to the stove and picked up a long wooden spoon. “I can smell when it’s time to put in the matzos,” he said, sniffing the air. “Now!” I picked up the bowl and upended it over the pan. As Nicky stirred, the fine smell of butter and eggs slowly filled the kitchen.