Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Guest Blogger - Louisa George

Romance in the kitchen

Hi Writing Playground! Thanks for having me here! As I’m hijacking What’s Cooking Wednesday this week I thought I’d talk about romance and food.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
- Virginia Woolf

Boy, do I love food. I own 85 recipe books and have stacks of cooking magazines. Every Sunday evening I troll through these recipes and plan the week’s menu. (Yep, I’m pathologically organized, but I also LOVE to know what I’m going to eat each day so I can imagine it. I have Italian ancestry, what can I say?) My mom taught me how to bake, but my husband taught me how to cook. In the early part of our courtship we spent hours together in the kitchen, planning, cooking and eating. Food formed an important part of our lives- so much so that when we had our first child I started writing recipes for an organic vegetable delivery company to supplement our income (I got paid in vegetables!).

There’s something immensely sexy about a guy providing food for his woman- maybe it’s the hunter-gatherer thing, or just that it’s romantic (at least to me), when a man thinks ahead and plans a meal. After a hard day’s work I like nothing better than to sit down and be looked after. The day we brought our first baby home my husband cooked a particular meal…and every single time we eat that dish (15 years later) I remember how excited I felt with my brand new baby, my life turned upside down and my husband putting food on my plate. Now my baby is getting grown-up I’ve started to teach him a few things in the kitchen too- hopefully one day his wife will thank me!

So it’s no surprise that food figures in my books. And usually, it’s the hero providing something for the heroine. As a writer this is a great tool to forge a connection between the reader and the characters. We all have to eat, to some it’s a chore, to others it’s a labour of love. To all of us it’s a necessity. As a reader I like to have my senses stimulated and what better way than by delicious cooking aromas? In my debut book One Month to Become a Mum, Luke cooks a divine hot hummus and garlic prawns. As they eat, sparks fly and what begins as a semi-innocent picnic ends in a sizzling night of passion.

In book two, Waking Up with His Runaway Bride, (due out July 2012) heroine Mim’s heart begins to soften as she sees Connor working at a breakfast club providing food to impoverished kids. And in book three (as yet untitled) I indulged my food obsession further by having brooding hero Adam provide two meals for heroine Skye, carefully picking out ingredients he knew would have a meaning for her – an action which, she realizes, means much more than words.

So I’ll be looking forward to reading the What’s Cooking Wednesday blog and taking note of the recipes! What about you, do you find men in the kitchen sexy, do you have a particular meal you and your partner like to share? Or do you cringe at the thought of your man/son/brother being let loose with a spatula?

You can visit Louisa online at her website.


Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants said...

Thanks for visiting, Louisa.

Food is always important in my books. Sharing meals is the perfect way to bring characters together. I had to branch out with Desire, though, because they have the money to eat a little nicer than I typically do. :)

In real life, my DB cannot cook. Not unless I want a PB&J, spaghetti or Hamburger Helper. And all those would require a 'where is the _____" so many times I might as well do it myself.

Playground Monitor said...

I made sure both my sons knew basic cooking. Whether they expounded on that was up to them. I think they do pretty well though.

I cooked something last night I haven't fixed in ages (and took photos for when I do another What's Cooking Wednesday blog). Stay tuned!

Cheryl C. said...

Gads, no! My husband is not allowed in the kitchen except to clean up! He's Italian and loves good food but he can't boil water. Now, he can grill. We like to sit on the porch, him grilling, and talk. He does some pretty good barbequed chicken so I guess he could survive without me as long as he has a grill. Guess it's the primitive thing - cooking over an open fire and all that caveman stuff. :)

Laura said...

Hi Louisa,

Alas I live alone. But I love to see a man cooking oin the kitchen in the TV shows and movies.

....would love to have someone else cook for me...

ALl the best!

Louisa George said...

Hi Andrea! I love that Desire characters get to eat nicer food- any chance you could put 'research' in fancy restaurants against your tax bill? LOL!

I know what you mean about 'where is the...', my husband rattles drawers to find things so loudly that I tend to just find them for him! It's easier on the ears!

Louisa George said...

Hi Marilyn! Your sons' wives will thank you! I know I was very impressed to meet a man who could cook, and very grateful to his mother! I will definitely be back to see what's cooking your kitchen! I just bought another foodie magazine today- I can't help myself1

Louisa George said...

Hi Cheryl! Too funny! What is it about men and open fire? I love that when we invite people over for a barbecue I tidy the house, make salads, cook potatoes, fix a dessert, serve drinks- and when guests leave they always thank my husband for such a great BBQ- never mention all my hard work! And his chest always puffs out proudly because he managed to flip some steak! Gotta love him!

Maria Mohan said...

Hi Louisa,

Food is a huge part of my life too. In fact food helped me and my husband to bond initially. He was staying in Dublin, out of India for the very first time. He was not attracted to Irish food at all and I remember he told me he often forgot to cook meals for himself and just ate bread and butter. I told him he should cook something and ask me to come over and eat with him. Of course, being Indian, he cooked only Indian dishes. I got hooked on Indian cuisine right then and we're still eating together over twenty years later. The difference is, I'm cooking the food now LOL

Louisa George said...

Hi Laura- Oooh, yes! All those hot chefs! I love the cooking channel! Especially if they have a french/italian/spanish accent to die for!

Louisa George said...

Hi Maria! How romantic! I love Indian food (and India- and Ireland, been to both and would love to go back!). I love exploring a country through its food. Curry for breakfast in India! Yummy! If you're still in Dublin I hope your husband eventually learnt to like the food1

Nas Dean said...

Hi Louisa!

Wow! I love the curries my hubby makes. It's extra spicy and extra everything! Lol! I think of his health and make bland food and what does he do? He cooks spicy food.

But he messes up the kitchen good!

Gina Rossi said...

Mom didn't cook so I had to teach myself. My real life hero could only BBQ initially but as life has rolled on cooking is something in which we've developed a joint interest. I love my RLH's robust, man-meals - even the way he uses every pot and pan, sharpens ALL the knives and powers through the washing up like a tornado in a china shop! Both my sons cook (one is a chef) as do both daughters and my son-in-law. Oh, and yes, food and cooking appears in all my stories. Heroes cannot live by words alone ;)

Louisa George said...

Hi Nas! Lucky you to have a husband who likes to cook! My man loves hot and spicy too- he puts chill sauce on everything! And I hear you about the mess they make in the kitchen!

Louisa George said...

Hi Gina! So good that you and your RLH developed a joint interest! It must be a man thing, too- my husband seems to be always sharpening knives! (He could learn a thing or two about cleaning up, though)