Today is a great day to talk about the Mississippi mud cake, or do I mean the Mississippi mud pie or perhaps I should call it the Muddy Mississippi cake? Better yet, let me add the word “slide” to cake and call it a day. Inconsistent names for this dessert plus its endless variations within the basic recipe got me thinking. Your job is to create your own varieties of a basic dish, chicken and rice, and write about it.
Creative Idea Gal’s Thoughts
I was confused again doing research for today’s prompt because I couldn’t understand why one dessert was called so many different names. And then, I got the answer I was looking for. It’s not just one dessert, it’s a slew of desserts all inspired by the muddy waters of the Mississippi river. Once I figured out that important distinction, I focused on the recipes themselves to see why there were so many endless variations on the same premise.
It occurred to me that one reason for the variations of the same sort of pie / cake recipe is because people are all different and have different tastes. Some like Oreos, some like graham cracker, some like Kahlua, others like pudding, others like ganache. Because people have different culinary tastes and experiences using a variety of ingredients, their desserts yield different variations of the same basic pie / cake recipe based on the muddy waters of the Mississippi river.
Not everybody is a fan of desserts, but chicken and rice seems harmless enough. Either in your mind or in your kitchen, see if you can concoct five different varieties of a simple chicken and rice dish. How would you prepare it? What extra ingredients would you add? Would you add sauces? Would you cut up the chicken and add it to a food “house” such as a tortilla or taco? What would you do to make it different?
Creative Brainstorming Tips
Creative brainstorming is useful to help us gain new insight on topics we already know. As I was doing research on today’s Mississippi mud cake, it is true that I was surprised and confused by the inconsistencies of the name, but I was even more surprised with the variations of the recipes themselves. It had never occurred to me the reasons why some recipes are different than others because I never really thought about it.
In this regard, cooking and creating new recipes is really a lot like writing itself and also helps to explain why there are major differences in writing style. Every writer is different and brings unique life, educational, and work experiences to the table. All of us writers begin to write from different starting points. It is not like real marathons where we all begin at the same starting line. Our starting lines are creatively staggered and not smooth at all. The bumps we’ve had in our life with our positive and negative experiences all serve useful purposes that help us write, and cook, and allow us to create beautiful new things.
“…the resource that revolutionized my cooking. How To Cook Real Food comes with over 25 Recipe Worksheets that help you develop your own recipes you know your family will love. You simply look at the foods you have, pair them with whatever listed cooking techniques inspire you, and line those up with herbs and other seasonings that will create mouthwatering explosions of flavor.” – Kristen Michaelis, for Food Renegade
“As a culinary student, one of my chefs has challenged our whole class to develop our own unique recipe completely from scratch. We aren’t allowed to use family recipes, or even tweak recipes from cookbooks. He feels that we are all talented enough to be able to develop recipes…” – Question from a culinary student posed in a forum
Writing Prompt 057
Prompt: Write about and create five variations of a chicken and rice dish
- Step 1: While it is true that today’s writing prompt deals with baking and cooking, the idea is to get you to think differently about something you already know. In writing, that becomes an important skill. Think about in your mind or do some real tests in your kitchen using chicken and rice. It’s a simple basic dish.
- Step 2: Add your own special flavor to the chicken and rice dish (both literally and figuratively). What can you add to this dish to make it your own? How can you change its appearance or texture? Can you add some ethnic or regional variations to make it interesting?
- Step 3: Once you’ve created five variations of chicken and rice in your mind or in your real kitchen, write about it! Describe the foods and the differences in the dishes with vivid detail.
Please be sure to leave comments about this writing prompt. We want to hear from you!
About the Author
Amanda M. Socci, J.D., is a freelance writer with 14 years of experience writing professionally. Socci currently cuts her blogging chops on her personal portfolio blog, the Creative Idea Gal blog, and on an online news site, Mount Vernon Patch. Inspired by Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction in November writing challenge, she created a unique 10-month training program for Writenonfictionnow.com and Writenonfictioninnovember.com blog visitors.
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