Journaling About Authors and Food

“Sometimes people say I am unusual because I cook and write. I smile and nod and think aren’t these things that everyone should do? I cook and write for one reason; I like to make stuff.” These are the words of writer Greg Atkinson in the forward of an anthology called Literary Feast: The Famous Authors Cookbook. I truly believe in Greg’s words and feel honored to be included in this collection put together by The King County Library Foundation. However it wasn’t easy to decide which recipe to include in this collection. After being married for 32 years and raising three kids, I have my share of favorites. I started by pulling out my self-compiled handwritten cookbook and listing in my journal the family’s all-time favorites. The recipe I chose to submit has been carried with me from my childhood—Wiener Schnitzel. I was asked to write a few words before introducing the recipe and here’s what I wrote:

“I have an Austrian mother and had a Polish grandmother, so this crispy Schnitzel recipe, with home-fired potatoes, was a staple in our home. It was the dish we had once a week and was always served when visitors were invited for dinner. You can say that I was brought up on this meal. Also it was often accompanied by a sliced cucumber salad marinated in vinegar and water. Although I didn’t mention this recipe in my recently published memoir, Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal, it was a huge part of my childhood. My children, now all grown, have also learned to love this favorite dish of their ancestors.”

This wonderful collection also includes recipes from 90 authors, including David Baldacci, Elizabeth Berg, J.A. Jance, Jonathan Kellerman, Alexander McCall Smith and John Saul. By the way, it makes a wonderful gift for all the writer friends in your life.

CoverYou may order a copy for $22.95 from: http://www.thriftbooks.com. Happy cooking! Until you get your own personal copy, here is my recipe:

Wiener Schnitzel

4 thin slices of veal scaloppini

bowl of flour bowl of bread crumbs

2 eggs oil salt and pepper

• Assemble three deep bowls. In one put the flour, in the second beat the two eggs and in the third pour the bread crumbs. Start with moderate amounts of flour and bread crumbs, you can always add more as needed. • Flatten the veal with a meat mallet. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. • Dip both sides of the veal in the flour. Shake off excess. • Dip the flour-coated veal into the egg, making sure veal is completely covered. Lift up and allow excess to drip off. • Lay the veal in the breadcrumbs and make sure it gets coated on both sides. • To help the breading adhere to the meat during cooking, you can place the cutlets on wax paper in the refrigerator for one hour. • Use a large frying pan and heat oil (can use half oil and half butter) until it gets hot enough that the cutlet sizzles when you put it in. It usually only needs about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately. This is also delicious served cold for the next day’s lunch.

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Quote of the Week


"A writer uses a journal to try out the new step in front of the mirror."

~Mary Gordon

About Me


I am a memoirist, essayist, poet and teacher whose passion is keeping a notebook. My notebook is my muse and my alter ego. It contains personal snippets of my life and observations from the world around me. Diarist Anaïs Nin has been a great source of inspiration for me. My hobbies include writing, writing and more writing, but when I have extra time, I enjoy reading, walking, hiking, yoga, working out, cooking and hanging out with my family and Maltese Poodle, Spunky. In order not to become ensconced by the glare of my computer screen, I also teach in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in various conferences and festivals around the country. My pleasure comes from sharing my joy of journaling with professional writers and anyone interested in writing.

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