Researching Food

In order to write with credibility, the author needs to complete all the research necessary for a novel. This includes researching about the foods included in the story without sounding like you’re repeating a menu.

One writer who does this well is Jan Karon. Her Mitford series is filled with all types of recipes and mouth-watering descriptions of the various foods that Cynthia, Father Tim and the other characters eat.

So when I write about Reverend G and her family, I research all the various foods they enjoy and even some of the foods they dislike.Blueberry muffin tops

I already know, because she told me, that Reverend G detests red gelatin and those vanilla crackers with banana pudding. So I don’t need to spend time with those particular food groups. Lucky for me, gelatin and banana pudding are not my favorites either.

Reverend G drinks green tea. For years, I have been a tea drinker – green or otherwise and lately, I have ventured into the white teas. They have a particularly smooth flavor that is not as much of an acid as the black teas. Of course, Reverend G drinks green tea, because it is supposed to help with brain function. Unfortunately, it does not cure Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Cheesecake with blueberries is her favorite dessert and it appears in all three books of the series. I have tried various renditions, including my own gluten free recipe. Usually, whipped cream on top is not necessary and since Reverend G rarely mentions whipped cream – there’s no need to research that particular taste. Although I might like to try that new-fangled version of chocolate Cool Whip.

Blueberries on Reverend G’s oatmeal turn up in the second book of the series. Did you know that if you microwave blueberries, they turn the oatmeal purple? Reverend G knew that and now – so do I. The readers of the second book will know that, too, because I included it in one of the scenes.

Chunky Monkey ice cream went on sale one week, so I “talked myself” into trying a pint. It was good, but a little too much banana for my taste. However, I needed to know that so I could describe it in one of the scenes.

In the third book of the series, which I am currently editing, Jessie makes her famous calzones. As you may remember, Jessie is Reverend G’s daughter-in-love and she invites the family over for an Italian dinner. I wrote the scene, not realizing that Jessie was going to make calzones, so now I need to try some – but I have a problem.

As the author of this series, I need to write with credibility. I need to know how the calzones taste, but they are usually made with white flour which contains wheat.

Anybody have a good recipe for gluten free calzones?

©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” –

0 thoughts on “Researching Food”

  1. Try the GlutenFreeGirl website. She has numerous gluten free recipes, plus her husband is a chef. She also seems to be part of a gluten free club of some sort. You could link to some of the other members and look for a calzone recipe. It sounds like it could be a real challenge to find. Happy hunting! –sk

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