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Listen to This, Listen to That: Eat Like a Writer

by Dan Froid

No two things in all things can seem only one;
Because two things so must be one thing alone.
Howbeit, reading of books and eating of cheese,
No two things, for some things, more like one than these.

Is there a better description for the writing life than this? Well, let’s hope so. This strange poem—John Heywood’s “Of Books and Cheese”—opens Episode 31 of Air Schooner, “Eat Like a Writer.” Heywood compares gourmands and the literati: neither cheese nor book will escape the fickle tastes of critics. In “Eat Like a Writer,” Stacey Waite and Scott Winter ask writers to share their tastes in food. The episode offers a veritable feast, featuring a dozen writers’ discussions of food and cooking. Denise Duhamel, Aubrey Hirsh, and Chavisa Woods tell us their most-beloved cheesy foods, while poets Dawn Lonsinger and Allison Hedge Coke share some of their favorites (sushi? Thai curry? pickled asparagus?). Listen to the episode to hear from still more writers: great meals from the past, go-to dishes while writing, and more.

So, okay, when I set out to write this post, I knew the song had to be about food, or eating. ‘Tis the season, right? (Here’s hoping you’re reading this in a state of post-prandial bliss.) To discover the song, I poked around my brain—and my iTunes library—until I found it. Of great meals in music, only one springs to mind: Dusty Springfield’s “Breakfast in Bed,” from the eternal classic Dusty in Memphis (listen to it here). You can picture it now, can’t you? That sly smile; that magnificent ‘do; an exquisite cup of coffee, warmed by Dusty’s unmistakable, sultry voice. One wonders what she would make, if asked, of books or cheese. Thanksgiving was never this exciting; eat your heart out, John Heywood.