Sleeping Food

Last night I watched Alton Brown’s Good Eats, specifically the episode about steak.  In it he mentions that if you slice into a hot steak too soon, the juices will all come out.  Thus, it is necessary to let a cooked steak rest before cutting it.  The frozen bread dough that I am using for a recipe today also says to let the dough rest before rolling it out.  Even my freezer meal that I make for lunch at work says to let it stand (another word for rest) in the microwave for 1 minute before eating.

All of this sleeping food reminds me of something I was told in high school.  It’s okay to wait until the last minute to write a paper.  Of course, this presumes that you have done the necessary research and preparation for the paper ahead of time.  The reason for this is the same reason that the food needs to rest.

When you let your subconscious brain work on something while you focus on another matter, sometimes the solution comes more easily.  Ever had that moment when you were trying to find a certain word or name but it wouldn’t come?  And then, ten minutes later, on a different topic of conversation, it hits you?  This is the same idea, only with writing.

I like to let scenes marinate in my mind for a little before I write them.  I don’t want to wait too long, because I might lose the good images or great lines, but the story is richer and more developed after repeated playing in my brain.  I’m not always procrastinating when I’m not writing – sometimes I’m letting the juices soak back in before I cut the steak open.

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