When Life and Fiction Collide

I was in a hurry. Shortly before a meal I’d intentionally planned to be simple, I received new and crucial information that turned my easy preparations into a grease-splattering mess.

The food: Nachos, an easy, widely enjoyed finger food that would allow ID-100214331the youth group kids to nibble on the move. (Because high schoolers don’t sit still.  If you thought toddlers were antsy…)

But then, just as I’m beginning to load a baking pan with chips, my daughter comes in, alerting me to new information, such as:

Not everyone likes meat. Can you put it on the side?
Do you have enough sour cream? There could be 50 kids there tonight.

Did you buy green onions? (Those are her personal favorite, and yes, I know, I could’ve ignored that one, but something in my mommy heart makes it hard for me to say no to food requests. If you have insight into this, do share. haha)

Long story short, with no time to spare, I began zipping around the kitchen, dicing, frying, spicing… I felt fairly productive, like the Don Juan of cooking endeavors, until a strangely sweet aroma wafted from the browning ground beef.

A very distinct, sweet aroma.

ID-10053602Biting my lip, I moved to my spice shelf and inspected the labels nearest the shelf edge. Yep. Cinnamon.

Not cumin.

A dash of one small ingredient changed everything. (I’m sure there’s some sort of spiritual analogy there. If you discover it, let me know. 😉 )

Short on time or not, I had to laugh. Loud. I was living out a flipped version of a scene in my novel, Intertwined (not yet released).

In the story, Tammy Khun, a single working mother agrees to make home-made cookies for her son’s end of school party. But then, she forgets about the endeavor entirely, until the day arrives. Then, in her haste, she buzzes about, grabbing spices here, stirring oats there, completely oblivious to the fact that she’d swapped chili powder for cinnamon. She’s not alerted to this until, once at the school, she notices the puckered faces of those who bite into her hurriedly baked cookies.

Oh, poor Tammy! For her, it was too late, as the cookies were already dished out on many plates. Luckily, that wasn’t the case for me. Double-luckily, meat browns quickly, and I happened to have another package of ground beef already thawed.

Even so, I found the correlation uncanny and quite hilarious. They say truth is stranger than fiction.

Can you relate to Tammy and my experience? When have you, perhaps in a hurry or maybe while distracted, fumbled up something that should’ve been easy? Can you share a time when you made a major blunder during food preparation? What happened?

Before I go, I wanted to invite the fiction-lovers among us to join my Biblestudyinvitemonth-long, relationally based Bible study. Centered on surrender and discovering our unique, God-given calling, this study will use my debut novel, Beyond I Do, as a springboard. The study starts Nov. 10th and ends Dec. 10th.  You can find out more here! If you don’t have the novel yet, you can purchase the ebook version at a huge discount (for only $2.39!) at CBD. Purchase the book here.

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About Jennifer Slattery

Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery, also writing as Jen Pheobus, uses humor, grace, and truth to inspire God's children to live abundant, Christ-centered lives. She does content editing for Firefly, a southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and is a regular contributor to Crosswalk.com; Internet Cafe Devotions; Faith, Friends and Chocolate; and manages the social media for Takin’ it to the Streets, a ministry that serves Omaha’s working poor and homeless. She’s placed in numerous writing contests and her work has appeared in numerous compilations, magazines, and e-zines.
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6 Responses to When Life and Fiction Collide

  1. Sorry if I messed up our schedule. I had Nov.4 on the calendar for my turn.

  2. jenlhall63 says:

    I’m sure the analogy is something like, when we don’t slow down and wait on God and start improvising, we could switch up cumin and cinnamon or maybe birth an Ishmael 🙂

  3. Jean Herian says:

    I put a batch of brownies in the oven……..when I checked on them ……..they
    were BOILING ! I went thru the list of ingredients. ……I had left out the eggs !!

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