Bread (and cheese)

Discussion in 'Workshop' started by Hex, Dec 13, 2011.

  1.  
    Hex

    Hex Mod in tooth and claw Staff Member

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    This was an idea that really grabbed me -- it's in Teresa's blog post on world building here, she said:

    If characters are invited into a cottage for a meal and the cottagers offer “goat cheese and a coarse brown bread sprinkled with flaxseed” -- rather than simply “bread and cheese” -- not only does it create a more complete picture of the meal, but it suggests herds of goats and fields of flax growing nearby.

    Reading that made me think. I hadn't thought much about food, so I wondered what bread the character in my wip might eat. I decided on this for wip1:

    "Puffy and white, it was the subsidised bread everyone ate because it was so cheap. The fortifying minerals gave it a greyish tinge; I could taste the chemical edge, and it made me think of lab rats."

    What about the bread in your stories?
  2.  
    alchemist

    alchemist Not on holidays

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    "Although tasteless, the knowledge that the reconstituted 26-year old bread may well have been the last piece on the planet added a flavouring of desperation."
  3.  
    hopewrites

    hopewrites Happily Ever Aftering

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    Untitled- Steam wavered in the air above the dark gold crust as Gieselle lifted the pan out of the stone oven. Quickly shaking it onto the bread board she sliced it for the friends who had just arrived.
  4.  
    AnyaKimlin

    AnyaKimlin Active Member

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    Gosh I feel dull - I tend to just call them sandwiches lol :

    she has cut the banana sandwiches into triangles and taken the crusts off, just like she did when I was ill as a child. They make me smile, and I sit on my bed to eat them.


    (I should add in the defence that my MC doesn't know how to make sandwiches and much prefers cake which he is more descriptive about).
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  5.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    He looked at the bread in front of him, sumptious, fit for an Emperor and wanted to throw it out the window and the filth that surrounded him as well.

    Earlier in the book;

    He saw the stale bread on the floor, gnawed by vermin, and knew he couldn't take it, yet still he wanted it with all his being, his stomach turning over with the need for it.

    Earlier again;

    as it was set in front of him, reconstituted, plain and dry he turned around and declared it as rank, inedible.

    Possibly I'm confused? Or could it be a way of following the twists and turns of a story. An interesting thing to think about, good thread.
  6.  
    hopewrites

    hopewrites Happily Ever Aftering

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    oh wow! what a subtle way to show character development.
  7.  
    Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat Inchoate acolyte

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    This isn't fair, :D my characters so far have not eaten bread... I guess they are all gluten intolerant ;)

    I can't even think of a reason to contrive a bread sharing/eating incidence. darnit.
  8.  
    pyan

    pyan Fortiter et recte! Staff Member

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    "It wasn't bread as (he) knew it - those great pillows of plumped-up, crusty white loaves that he'd seen on sale on the bakery stalls in the city - but still, the smell of Doran's flatbreads baking on the hot rock still brought an overwhelming yearning to go back."
  9.  
    Karn Maeshalanadae

    Karn Maeshalanadae Why?

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    As Amalia pulled the bread out of the oven, Istan's mouth began to water. The crust was a dark golden brown, and the scent of fresh rye hit the air, which he knew well was hand-ground that very morning. Amalia set the heavenly loaf upon the table, its scent seeming to permeate even the very wood of the furniture as Istan sat down. He tried to quell his glee at such a feast, for he had not eaten for nearly a week, but what truly sealed the deal was when a small cup of fresh white butter was set beside him.


    That's not in any story of mine, but I think it can make a grand example. :D
  10.  
    TheTomG

    TheTomG Thomas M. Grimes

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    Man does not live by bread alone... but some of the stuff here sounds like it might just be enough to sustain us in body at least!

    No bread-eating, bread-baking, bread-finding or bread-rejecting in any of my written works so far. In fact not much food at all. But, this has given me pause for thought in how it can spin out a world beyond the meal itself and act as an effective way to set the stage with no need to "infodump" or over-describe.

    Clever stuff! Now, about those fluffy white loaves with golden crusts....
  11.  
    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

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    Am I supposed to find an already existing description of bread in something I have written? Because a good percentage of my characters are exclusive carnivores; they wouldn't know what to do with a loaf of bread (well, they might, but the baker wouldn't enjoy it much). Others are poor enough that they'd be delighted with supermarket sliced, as long as it isn't actually growing mould (well, not too much).
    But I could generate a few rolls or a baguette for one of my slightly deformed fairy tales, like Hansel and Gretel?
  12.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    They tasted it and felt it lacked a certain strength of flavour, a meatiness, before they decided it wasn't worth eating and decided to play football with it instead. :)

    I think it's quite good fun to do, but it only fits logically in certain settings/ novels etc.
  13.  
    Hex

    Hex Mod in tooth and claw Staff Member

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    No. I didn't actually have descriptions of bread in mine, either. It was more a 'what sort of bread might they serve in your story?' kind of question.

    I found it useful because of what it made me decide about the food my characters would have been eating, but, as you say, it doesn't apply to the scalier of your characters.
  14.  
    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    What Hex is trying to suggest, Chris, is: "Use your loaf."









    :eek::)
  15.  
    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    You might just as easily apply the principle to whichever staple food your characters are eating at the time, even if they get all of their nutrients by swallowing pills.

    What can be inferred is as important as what is actually said. Like the chemicals and the hypothetical lab rats in Hex's example. Both can be of benefit to the story.

    There is a whole saga implied in alchemist's one brief sentence.
  16.  
    Boneman

    Boneman Active Member

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    Crumbs, hadn't thought about it, so I trolled through my wip:

    We’d brought bread and cheese, potatoes and beans and some dried meat, though I was hopeful of snaring a rabbit or a roe deer before then.

    "I’ll put them under our sleeping rolls,” I said. “We’ll be as warm as newly-baked bread.” (Heated Stones...)

    We used crusty bread smeared with yellow butter to mop up the sauce.

    The bread was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, and it went well with the strong cheese.

    There are loads more, as it seems to be an integral part of the diet in my world...

    An interesting exercise - I only ever refer to it as 'bread' or 'crusty bread', which has made me think about it anew. Good one!
  17.  
    Peter Graham

    Peter Graham New Member

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    O mortal man who lives by bread,
    What is it makes thy nose so red?
    Thou silly fool who look'st so pale
    'Tis drinking Sally Birkett's ale!

    Trad. arr. Graham
  18.  
    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

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    OK, this sort of fits into my "short short?" blog http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/blogs/chrispenycate/619-short-short.html

    Warm. After a second night in the open that was their first impression of the suttered, dark room. Then the smells. The irresistable (to two hungry stomaches that hadn't had anything but a few berries in days) odor of fresh baked bread, heavy and dark. Barley and rye mix with acorn flour and impregnate the cottage with the essence of 'nourishment', and from the spice mortar for grinding the accents for more luxury products; cinnamon, mace and the hallmark tang giving its name to the cottage.

    Ginger.
  19.  
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    ‘One Mammoth Burger, with large fries and a chocolate shake. One Prime Evil Soup, with extra trilobites. And a small Snowball in Hell, with chocolate chilli sauce.’
  20.  
    mosaix

    mosaix Active Member

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    "I know it's not what you're used to, but bread just doesn't rise the same in low gravity."

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