Like most dogs, Doodle, the canine narrator of the Doodlebugged Mysteries, not only loves food but has some strong opinions on the subject. He recently got a chance to share some of those in Cooking Up Stories: Favorite Recipes from the Oregon Writers Network.
The brainchild of Louisa Swann and Dayle Dermatis, Cooking Up Stories is a compilation of recipes and brief story excerpts from an extended group of writers who have taken one of the highly regarded Oregon coast workshops taught by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Writers who attend the workshops stay in the Historic Anchor Inn, http://www.historicanchorinn.com/, a time-capsule sort of place, full of intriguing corridors packed with memorabilia from the last half century. And the owners, Kit Ward and Kandi Hansen treat the visiting writers like family, providing gourmet breakfasts and evening snacks for the often exhausted participants.
Wondering what they could do to repay Kip and Kandi for going the extra mile for workshop guests, Louisa and Dayle came up with an idea: Writers need to eat. Dogs often need to be rescued. And there would be no better way to thank Kip and Kandi than to donate to one of the many animal rescue causes that the two support.
The result was Cooking Up Stories, a cookbook filled with (mostly) easy recipes—the kinds of foods writers might make while working head down on a book. Thanks to the donated efforts of Louisa and Dayle and Lucky Bat Books, all of the proceeds from book sales go to Bark Beach, an annual beach run that raises funds for emergency vet care.
For his part, Doodle was happy to contribute some of his musings on food and eating. Here they are:
*I’ve never eaten much chocolate because the bosses insist it’s harmful to dogs. But the tiny bites I’ve had makes me wonder, once again, if they just say that so they can keep it all for themselves. Because it’s really, really tasty.
*Never have understood one word of Chinese which I gather is hard to learn, but it turns out I like the food. My second boss (the bad one) used to bring it home all the time, one of the few good things about living with him.
*Piece of cake, as the boss often says. A curious expression, since, although cake is great — love it! —for a dog, at least, getting a piece is not always easy.
*Never understood the human fascination with ice. Cold drinks aren’t my thing, unless it’s water, of course, and then not as cold as ice makes it. And hot drinks — don’t get me started. Room temperature’s the way to go as far as I’m concerned, especially when the cold drinks are things like beer and diet ginger ale.
*I don’t understand why humans like to take forever to eat. Well, actually I do. It’s because they eat a bite, talk, talk some more, eat another bite, talk and talk some more. Really, if they’d just keep quiet and focus they could get through a meal in a reasonable amount of time. Look at us dogs. We don’t take a bite, bark, bark some more, then take another bite. We get the job done. Humans could learn from our example.
*Salsa is always a little tricky. It can be good, but sometimes it can really burn your mouth, so you need to smell it carefully before eating it. Chips are always good, of course.
*As Miguel used to say when he’d give us treats, “hunger makes the best sauce,” which I think means food tastes better if you’ve had to miss breakfast.
Cooking Up Stories can be found in paper and ebook formats on Amazon.com as well as from most online book retailers.
Susan J. Kroupa is a dog lover currently owned by a 70 pound labradoodle whose superpower is bringing home dead possums and raccoons and who happens to be the inspiration for her Doodlebugged books. She’s also an award-winning author whose fiction has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, and in a variety of professional anthologies, including Bruce Coville's Shapeshifters. Her non-fiction publications include features about environmental issues and Hopi Indian culture for The Arizona Republic, High Country News, and American Forests.
Susan now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Southwestern Virginia, where she’s busy writing the next Doodlebugged mystery. You can find her books and read her blog at http://www.susankroupa.com and visit her Amazon Author page at http://amazon.com/author/susankroupa.