Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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When you’re obsessed —

If you like cooking and love good food, but are consumed by the need to write a lot of pages without stopping, what do you do?

Sometimes I have a very tight deadline (Books II and III of the Griffin Mage trilogy, I’m looking at you) or sometimes  I’m just working hard to put lots of words in a row.  But I don’t want to eat nothing but ramen noodles and apples for weeks or months, either.

Last week, when I was writing at pretty close to my top speed, I was also on a Thai kick.

I tried four different recipes for pad thai.  As long as you have shrimp and cubed pork already thawed, you can cook the shrimp and pork while the rice noodles soak.  You’ll also have time to make and slice the omelet, slice the scallions, get the bean sprouts out of the fridge, mince the ginger and garlic, and find the fish sauce, chili paste, and tamarind (third shelf of the pantry, NOT the second where you thought it was).  By the time the noodles are ready to toss in the skillet, everything else will be ready to go, too.  Time to make dinner:  25 minutes.  You can read over the five pages you just wrote while you eat (because that’s what you do when you’re obsessed).

I also made a sort of Thai-Chinese fusion fried rice, with jasmine rice, Chinese sausage, shrimp, pineapple, bean sprouts, and fish sauce and soy sauce.  Very tasty.  Wish I had more Chinese sausages in the freezer.  Time to cook the rice — doesn’t count because I cooked the rice in the morning and stuck it in the fridge to chill until time for dinner.  Time to make dinner:  10 minutes.

Fastest of all:  cellophane noodles with Thai peanut sauce.  I made the sauce from scratch, thank you.  It’s not like it’s hard.  And I simmered the cellophane noodles in chicken broth because I think that makes a big difference in flavor.  Canned, because that’s fine for this use.  Time to make dinner:  5 minutes.

No fussing over desserts because (sigh) it’ll still be nice to ONE DAY lose those extra five pounds.  Fruit, therefore.  At least I really like frozen grapes.

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