Is #DinnerOnTheFly for Plotters or Pantsers?

So, you read the title and the first thing that came to your mind was “What IS #DinnerOnThe Fly?” It started several years ago when my wife and I were at the Old Town Farmers Market in Wichita for the first time in several years. Off the cuff, I commented how it would be easy to put together a dinner from what I could acquire there. Needless to say, my wife was quick to caution me on the availability of certain produce from April to October, etc.

Within a couple of weeks, I put this notion to the test, continued sporadically over the next few years until Covid hit, and even set up a Facebook page (which you are more than welcome to join). It became more than just a culinary challenge. It was an opportunity to support local businesses while at the same time improving one’s health.

After last week’s post involving a crossover between the keyboard and the kitchen, I’ve done some thinking about this process. Once again, we refer to the title: Is #DinnerOnTheFly for Plotters or Pantsers? On first look, we could certainly say the latter. What could be more seat of the pants than walking around and contemplating what kind of dinner to put together based on currently available resources? You chat with the guy from Pappardelle’s Pasta, enjoy some quality conversation with Linda at Graze the Prairie, see if maybe you can find some intriguing garlic from Orie’s, and create a mental menu.

Ah, but after doing this several times, it no longer becomes a impulsive consideration. You become used to it. You know exactly what could make a captivating meal, different and yet fresh at the same time. That does not necessarily mean your spontaneity has evaporated. You simply know how to handle the process and what kind of components will serve your purpose.

When I write fiction, I usually create just enough of an outline to set a course. The character study, the settings, the approximate journey. As is typical, however, characters have a tendency to go their own way, walk their own road. So I follow them. In the end, I am satiated, just as my wife is whenever I return from the Farmers Market.

The most important thing is to be aware of the ingredients available to you, choose them wisely, and if your well laid plans go awry, add some herbs and spices and it will all turn out well. And don’t forget, if by some unfortunate happenstance, the meal truly sucks, there’s always tomorrow night’s dinner.

Bon Appetit and Happy Writing.


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