Cooking has always been the left-brain complement to my writing brain, which, as for most writers, is dominated by the right side. The act of cooking, which requires precise actions and a steady concentration, is oddly comforting. Perhaps it’s because when your left brain takes over, your right brain is allowed to meander and to daydream.
In 2009, while polishing up my novel, Naked and Hungry, and hoping to find a publisher, I started my own cooking website, known as World of Crêpes. It’s focused on crêpes, those thin pancakes that you can fill with any number of delectable goodies. What started as a simple way to create an online gallery of my favorite crêpe recipes evolved into something quite different. It became a journey. And as the old saying goes, a funny thing happened on the way to the kitchen. I was lucky enough to land a publisher for my novel.
My love for crêpes goes all the way back to the age of 8, when my parents first took me to a restaurant named, appropriately enough, Frenchy’s, in Greensboro, N.C. There they served crêpes with the most delicious savory fillings that were topped with cheese and baked again in individual serving dishes until crusty on the outside. Although the restaurant did not endure, its presence in my formative years inspired a life-long love for France and all things French—the history, the people and the food.
That led to the launch of World of Crêpes. It includes recipes, tips, techniques and even reviews of our favorite crêperies. And while I have yet to land my own cooking show, I was honored to earn the title of Official Dessert of the 2009 Citrus Parade for our recipe for Crêpes with Tangerines and Honey. Along the way, not only did I forge friendships with amazing people across the world, I launched a monthly newsletter and wrote my own e-book on the subject.
In the middle of all this, Ingalls Publishing Group kindly offered to publish Naked and Hungry, which coincidentally, is based on a man who also likes to make crêpes (in between escaping the villains who are polluting his fishing hole and falling in love with an environmental activist). In promoting my novel, I managed to take advantage of the book’s cooking angle. I appeared as a guest chef at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market twice and I held a reading at a local crêperie where I satisfied my inner chef by making blackberry crêpes for the patrons. I’ve also had fun with my giveaways, crêpe pans and aprons imprinted with Naked and Hungry, which are always popular.
Although I’m continuing to write, I don’t make as many crêpes as I used to. However, I will continue to admire this culinary masterpiece. And when February 2 rolls around, I won’t be celebrating Groundhog Day like most people I know. You better believe I’ll be in my kitchen flipping those crêpes in honor of Crêpe Day, which is a national holiday in France.
Vive la crêpe!
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