You know that show, “Chopped?” It’s the one where four professional chefs compete against each other using mystery ingredients from a basket. It’s a test of skill and creativity.
It ALSO happened to be the source of one of my most genius moments in parenting. You see, my boys watched that show and loved it as much as I did.
Lo and behold, our family “Chopped” was born. Just like the game show, we would host a three-round competition spanning appetizers, main courses and desserts. Each course involved a “mystery basket” of 3-4 ingredients that everyone would have to synthesize into their own dish. My sons and I would take turns pulling mystery ingredients out of the fridge and pantry.* We’d give ourselves 20 minutes to prepare our dish, and we’d taste and judge our handiwork after each course. Each round would have its own winner, and we’d crown a champion of the day. It was, in my own humble estimation, a pretty crafty way to get rid of a bunch of leftovers from the fridge.
It’s also a pretty crafty metaphor for writing:
1. You’ve got to work with what you have.
2. People can work with the same prompt and be wildly different.
3. Sometimes you have a bunch of fun.
4. Sometimes it’s a flaming mess.
5. It’s a LOT of pressure.
6. But pretty satisfying nonetheless.
*My husband wisely recused himself from the game, most likely because he would have beaten the pants off us every time. That, and the fact that he has standards for what he will put into his mouth-hole.
Thanks, as always, to the folks at Two Writing Teachers for the weekly Slice of Life.
Give ’em a peek!