Last Wednesday, I decided to throw myself into culinary abandon, and whip up a most savory of suppers.
Earlier that day, I had banged out several pages of a spec comedy after abandoning the previous style that my partner and I had originally agreed upon. A style that is more challenging – and fun.
By four p.m. I was in the kitchen, whipping up roast pork tenderloin with fennel, apples and onions (there had been an incredible sale on sustainable pork tenderloin, one that I could not resist). Life was chill; I’m always in my element in the kitchen. The husband had returned from work, and was sipping wine as he watched the news. The aroma wafting in the air was intoxicating. Enticing.
I pulled my Calphalon skillet out of the oven, and, using my tongs, placed the loin on a chopping board to rest. Always rest your meat.
At the same time that I was executing this dish in the kitchen, I was also executing the script’s finale in my head.
I turned to the skillet on top of the stove, and tossed in a little white wine to deglaze the pan. The liquid hissed. I mentally wrote three lines of action. Then, I grabbed the skillet’s handle to give it a shake…
Anyone grok the problem here? Anyone? Bueller?
I had grabbed the skillet handle, which had been roasting at four hundred and fifty degrees Farenheit – with my bare hand.
Hours later, I returned home, morphine coursing through my veins and southpaw adorned with a spiffy accessory.
Why do I make mention of this?
Other than making a dramatic and shameless plea for attention and sympathy Because writing is like cooking.
You have an idea for a
You assemble and prep your
throw your ingredients into the pan bang out your first draft.
taste and adjust your seasonings rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
plate the dish and garnish it give it that final polish.
You serve it up, and hope to hear thunderous applause.
cooking writing are ingredients imagination, discipline and focus. Try to accomplish too much, and your dish story might seem haphazard. If you try to shortcut steps, you might end up with raw poultry an incomplete journey.
If you write on spec,
and who doesn’t these days you can’t afford to turn down those rare opportunities to get paid for doing what you love – and yet, you still have to work your spec day in and out, until it is well done.
The problem is, unless you proceed with caution, this kind of multitasking can get you into trouble.
Of course stories — no matter how scathing — don’t leave you with a third degree burn to your hand.
Here’s your bonus – Roast Pork Tenderloin with Apples, Onions and Fennel
Preheat oven to 450.
- 1 large pork tenderloin
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons country Dijon mustard
- 1 bulb fennel, sliced
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 medium Gala apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Rosemary spear, for garnish
Pat loin dry with a paper towel. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 T olive oil. Add tenderloin and brown on all sides, about five minutes. Remove loin from skillet.
Add the remaining oil and the fennel, onion and apples. Saute over medium heat until translucent.
Slather the dijon over the tenderloin and place tenderloin on top of the saute mixture. Place in the oven and roast for approximately 15 minutes, or until pork reaches 140 degrees internally.
Remove skillet from oven. Transfer pork to cutting board to rest for five minutes.
While pork is resting, deglaze skillet with wine over high heat. Reduce sauce by half; season to taste.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer saute mixture to platter. Slice pork against grain, and place on top of mixture. Drizzle sauce across, top with rosemary and serve.
Oh. Most important note – use oven mitts.
Now, go write.
HRH, Princess Scribe
What I am reading: INCEPTION. I’ll be breaking it down for Save the Cat!. Most delicious.
What I am watching: RED tonight. Watched THE ILLUSIONIST the other day. Somewhat let down by it – too many tricks up the sleeve.
A Royal Shout Out: To novelist, playwright and poet Sandra de Helen. Sandra’s work is an inspiration; her poetry is laden with startling imagery and emotion. Haunting. Sandra, I think this is your year. To read her work, Like the Red Crested Poet on Facebook.
Ouch. But morphine is good. If I was eating meat at the moment I’d try that recipe. Sounds delicious. Hope your recovery is fast and your writing gets back on track.
Ha. Morphine not so good when one has access to an iPhone. Zac received a message from me with the phrase “Ujudt gad a vmbraindtorn” in the subject heading. I also told him to call me. And gave him the wrong number. When he later questioned me about it, I claimed that I had been hacked by Norwegian spammers.
I know. 😦 Poor little piggy…
Poor little tasty piggy… what’s a princess to do?
The recipe sounds delish. Sorry about the hand. Totally understand.
Watch The Prestige instead. Much better ending. You won’t guess.
If you do guess, let me know at what point you do.
Remember, It’s All an Illusion 😉
Yes, I’ve been meaning to see PRESTIGE…
but illusion or not, I felt that the film tried to *trick* the audience. No like that.