Baking played a role in my first two MG manuscripts, especially the most recent one. My main character's family owns a bakery. When I wrote it, those memories of helping my mom measure ingredients, decorate cookies, and sneak batter fueled my writing. The smells and sounds of a Saturday afternoon with the oven heating the kitchen are still fresh, even after 30 years. Maybe that's why the food scenes were some of the most fun for me to write.
Some memories have yet to make it into my writing, but I know they'll eventually show up somewhere. There's the Birthday Cake Fiasco of 1990 (think the Bumpus dogs/Christmas turkey scene in Christmas Story, only with cake). Or the time my best friend and I turned the mixer on high speed with over four cups of dry ingredients in the bowl. Flour dust coated every surface in the kitchen. Even the ceiling fixture needed a wipe-down.
These memories floated around me two days ago while I baked a cake for my dad's birthday. The cake itself came from a Pillsbury boxed mix (sshhh! - don't tell my mom), but I whipped up the frosting from scratch. It's taken some experimenting over the years to get it right. Mom never wrote it down, instead eyeing everything as she dumped it into the mixer ('just a dribble of vanilla, maybe a second's worth'). Anyway, I have finally mastered the frosting. And, unlike my mom, I wrote the recipe down. I'm a writer after all.
What childhood memory has played a role in one of your stories?