10 January, 2012

What if the Cupboard were Bare?

I'm procrastinating today.  Two-thirds of the way through final edits of my manuscript and I need a break.  I can't face rereading another page, hunting for typos, unresolved red herrings, etc., so instead I'm brainstorming my next book.  So what if this one hasn't sold, I want to be ready when it does.  An agent once told me that if I wanted to submit to her agency, I'd better have two to three outlines for additional books ready.  Advice taken.

So here I am, plotting out my next mystery. Of course, I'm that odd mix of plotter and pantser who carefully lays out every chapter and promptly deviates from the script as soon as I begin typing.  But that's okay, because some of my best storylines are "ad lib." For now, I'm happy to just get my ideas on index cards and line them up in order on my corkboard.

With a working title of "Short Rations," I have my protagonist, a caterer, and her clients marooned on an island -- not Redemption Island, but a small private island off the coast of Connecticut.  An unforeseen Nor'easter has blown in, knocking out electricity and guaranteeing no one can access or leave the island. Since this is New England, there are no coconut or pineapple trees for foraging, and during a storm, no fish to be caught. So what's a girl? No crockpot, no microwave, no oven; just a big old fireplace and a woodburning stove.

I'm not a mean person, I intend to supply her with some food, but what should it be? A mystery basket from Chopped with ill assorted items like canned sardines, strawberry jam, jicama, and pita bread?  A carton of MREs left over from who knows when?  Or maybe a garden of vegetables and  pantry of basic staples?

Must be lunch time.  My stomach is rumbling just weighing the options.  I know what I would hope for, but what about you?  If you were stranded for several days on a rain-blown island, what food would you pray for in the kitchen?


  1. I think I would pray for a can opener first.

  2. As the fussiest eater on earth, I'd be wishing and praying for a big jar of creamy Jif! And a nice box of Ritz crackers to spread it on! (The crackers, not the box . . . )

  3. Susan wrote: "How about pot stickers and dough rolled on a stick and cooked over the fire??? I forget what they are called! Got a paper bag??? Have bacon and eggs in a bag. "