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Sunday, October 13, 2013

What I Cook or Don’t Cook When I’m Writing

Please welcome my guest, Marilyn Meredith, author of the newly released Spirit Shapes
My daughter and I had a conversation about cooking today—and my questions to her was, “I wonder how many dinners I’ve cooked over the years.” I don’t even want to figure it out.

When I cooked for my family, no one ever objected to what I concocted; they were just happy to eat whatever we I put on the table.  Hubby was in the Seabees when our five kids lived at home, and money was scarce. I shopped one time for the whole month, planning out every day’s menu ahead of time. I became an expert at putting together meals, sometimes from very little.

Later, after the kids were grown and hubby retired, we owned, lived in, and operated a care home for six women with developmental disabilities. I cooked dinner nearly every evening for them and us and whoever else might be living with us at the time (my mom, various grandkids) and we often had company too.  I learned to cook large quantities without sacrificing taste.

Now hubby and I are back to the two of us—though our son, who lives next door, often joins us for dinner. Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows that I am still cooking nearly every night. It doesn’t matter whether I’m writing or not, I want to eat so I still cook.

I must confess though, I don’t enjoy it quite as much as I used to. I still like to try new recipes and experiment with food items I have on hand. Unfortunately, I’ve had few failures. It’s hard for me to give a recipe for a certain dish to anyone, because I seldom make things the same way twice. And I don’t measure.

Once in a while, I rebel, especially when I’ve had a particularly long day either writing or promoting, and I’ll say, “Let’s go to the Mexican restaurant tonight.”

Sometimes I write about a meal my characters are cooking and eating and it makes me want to fix the same food.

What about you? Does reading on Facebook what someone is making for dinner, or what characters are cooking or eating in a novel you’re reading make you want to have or fix the same food?

This is the meatloaf that I made when my editor visited. I always make a large meatloaf, and I don’t really measure much so the measurements here are not exact..

3 lbs. lean ground round
2 eggs
3 T of Worcestershire sauce
2 white onions chopped
¾ C Bread crumbs (I usually just tear up some old bread for crumbs and frankly, because I like whole wheat sour dough, that’s what I usually have around.
Salt to taste
Mix the 2 eggs with a fork then mix all the rest in with them. Use your fingers to mix it all up together.
Form a large, but rather flat loaf, maybe 2 inches thick in a large baking pan with sides.
Pour ketchup on top in a thick layer.
Bake about 45 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.
Serves 5-6 and hopefully with slices leftover.

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. She borrows a lot from where she lives in the southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area, including the nearby Tule River Indian Reservation. She does like to remind everyone that she is writing fiction. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, an organization for electronically published authors, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and follow her blog at 
Her latest novel is Spirit Shapes: Ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree's investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war.
Marilyn is doing a blog tour to promote Spirit Shapes, and the person who comments on the most blogs on this tour will have the opportunity to have a character named after him or her in the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery. Administered by Marilyn; please do not contact this blog.









  1. Thank you for hosting me today. It's looks a bit like I'm making a rude gesture in this photo--was not my intention.

  2. Marilyn, I don't think it looks that way at all. I've posted on Facebook, Sisters in Crime, Guppies, and Turquosie Morning Authors-my publisher. Please post wherever. Thanks, Judy

  3. I posted this one like crazy last night and will do it again!

  4. Your meatloaf sounds a lot like mine except I use tomato sauce instead of ketchup because I don't like the sweetness of ketchup. It's good the night you make it and great for sandwiches throughout the week. Solves a lot of meal issues.

  5. I love meatloaf sandwiches. You're making me hungry for one.

  6. Looks like a delicious recipe, Marilyn. I've heard of some people adding ground pork, as well, but I'm a purist and like ground beef as the only meat in my meat loaf.

  7. Thanks for commenting Lesley, I do all different things with my meatloaf, sometimes no topping at all, I've added mushrooms, left out the breadcrumbs, doesn't matter, still love it.