Day 11- Food Fight by Marta Pelrine-Bacon

Day 11
Food is more than nourishment .in today's writing prompt from Marta Pelrine-Bacon

The Prompt


People have strong feelings about certain foods.

Have your characters battle over food. There are so many ways we fight about food.

Or have a character who refuses to love their traditional food and suffers the consequences.

Marta Pelrine-Bacon

Marta is an author and artist making stuff up as she goes along.

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24 thoughts on “Day 11- Food Fight by Marta Pelrine-Bacon”

  1. This was a great prompt. I was able to write just over 500 words with the opening, “To pineapple, or not to pineapple, that is the question!” Is it a legitimate pizza topping? It can tear a family apart.

  2. Commenting quite late! To say I did write this day. It was a struggle week for me, and on the 11th I wrote much less than I usually do, but I did write! It was a piece of backstory for the story I wrote on the 10th, and much more interesting in my eyes than the story of the 10th! It’s a little found family stuck together on a boat waiting for rescue, eating fish every day, and the POV member notices the oldest member taking more than his share of fish. Drama ensues!

  3. It’s great to see how many folks wrote from this prompt. Thanks to my fellow Superstars for the inspiration!

  4. I wrote a story about a little girl who loved her mom’s egg salad sandwiches so much that her mother began packing them for her lunch every day. After a while when the little girl could no longer stomach another egg salad sandwich, she still pretended to her mom that she liked them so as not to hurt her mom’s feelings. But finally one day at lunch at school she couldn’t stomach another one and threw it into the trash. The lunch monitor berated her for throwing her sandwich away until the girl was crying and inconsolable. The little girl finally explained to the monitor that she’d been having to eat them every day for months and the monitor understood why she was sick of them. Her mother was called and couldn’t understand why her daughter hadn’t told her she didn’t like egg salad sandwiches anymore. Her daughter was too embarrassed to tell her it was because she didn’t want to hurt her mom’s feelings.

  5. This was fun.
    I wrote it all in dialogue between two people at a diplomatic dinner.
    I think I’ve turned a corner: it’s starting to get easier to come up with an idea and run with it.
    If you can make it through to the 15th, you’ll make it all the way through the month; trust me!!

  6. This was such a blast—and so timely! A friend and I were just talking about the different ways people say “pecan” and “pasta,” and my son and I recently got into a good-natures debate about the Cajun food we currently enjoy being more enjoyable than the New England fare we grew up on. It turned into a story about the “heresy” of adding tomatoes to a clam chowder or gumbo. 😂

  7. May 11 2023

    Short version of my idea due to today’s time constraints: A boy is supposed to marry a woman in his village in Guatemala but he has been in the US for so many years, he has lost his taste for the traditional food of his people. He goes for a meeting with his in-laws, and while he tries to stomach the goat brain they offer him, he ends up embarrassing his future wife, endangering their blessing for them to be together. After the mishap, he tries to prove his Guatemalan-ness to her family and with the support of his own mother and siblings, is able to improve his abilities and characteristics to their liking while still being completely himself and teaching them to loosen up a little bit in the process.

  8. I wrote about a woman named who was grocery shopping for her mother and how she was justifying whether or not she should by each item.
    I had a lot of fun with this one.

  9. Thank you for the prompt! I sat with this one for a while before starting this morning. I ended up with a story retelling a parable in which a woman prepares an exquisite meal for her family, hoping for an evening of warm conversation and laughter, but they won’t leave their rooms. She then goes out and invites some neighbors and people from the street, to the surprise of her family!
    I’m finding that, for the most part, I’m knocking out between 500 and 700 words on these first drafts. I can already tell that these can be expanded quite a bit with more conversation, character development, and description, so I’m really looking forward to taking these out at another time.
    Day 11–done!

  10. Didn’t have much time, wrote a 100-word-story. I love this, because it allows you to write even with little time…

  11. Wrote a quick(112 words) dialogue-only story between Lou and another character about what they should take to a family gathering with both their families present and the fact that makes the other character nervous until Lou distracts him. 😉

  12. Yesterday I commented that I didn’t generate any conflict in what I had written, so it wasn’t much of a story. Today’s prompt handed me the conflict, and I wrote a *very* short (less than 400 words) story that really was a story. The MC realizes, from a fight about ordering a garlic dish in a restaurant, that he is artificially and somewhat cruelly keeping a relationship going that has already ended.

  13. (I am sorry. I read the last part of the prompt regarding ‘suffering the consequences’ just now. I wrote a story based on how someone hated traditional foods and came to appreciate them in the end.)
    Hatred of the Hilsa Fish :
    The whole household is decorated with colourful clothes. There is a CD of Ostad Bismillah Khan playing at the nahebat.
    “Mili, you’d better come down if you don’t want to be late for your wedding. Time to have lunch. You might take hours at the parlour afterwards….”
    I come running down and sit on the pira, meant for me. I was being treated to the last meal of my spinsterhood.
    As I start pouring the daal made of fish heads onto my plate, I hear Ma telling someone :
    “Take away that bowl with that hilsa head. She detests it.”
    My eyes fall upon the bowl with the biggest fish head you may have seen anywhere.
    “No, no, Ma. Let it be, it’s all right. Rimi Massi must have made it with a lot of trouble. Besides, …”
    I can’t finish as Rimi Massi tries to remove the hilsa head. A near sob gets caught in my throat. All my life, I have playacted my hatred for the fish to a T. It was time I learnt to be true to myself….

    Sorry again. I have this bad habit of beginning from the middle. Let me take you through how I, Mili Sen, got rid of my pretentious hatred of the hilsa fish.
    Though I was born in Kol, I grew up in Bhutan. After thamma (grandma) died, my parents decided to take me along with them to Bhutan. My Baba was working as an accountant for Tashi Construction Company.

    BHUTAN, the very name brings innumerable memories to my mind. I was admitted to PP (Pre-Primary) and life in general was fun. In due course, I picked up their language, Dzongkha. To tell you honestly, I picked up the language real good. Anyway, that’s beside the point. My special attraction for loving Bhutan was the foods.

    First time my next door neighbour and classmate, Jigme, invited to her home for a Momo Night, will be etched in my mind for ever. Her mother was away on a personal matter and Jigme called me to dinner. She had prepared all the ingredients, filled the flour coverings with the pork stuffings, steamed them before making ezey (a kind of prickle made of dried chillies, onion and cheese) as well. Mmm … it was yummy to say the least. I had never tasted anything like that before!
    If I accepted my friends’ invitation for a Trek to the nearby hill (we had such hills in and around Tsimalakha), the main reason was the menu they had already shared with me. We were going to have pork pa (a kind of fried pork), ema datse ( an item made of chilli, cheese, butter, onions and tomatoes boiled together), red rice ( a very tasty locally grown rice) and suja (butter tea). God! Just the mere mention of those items makes my mouth water again.
    You see, I was a foodie but nothing tasted more divine to me than those Bhutanese dishes.

    On my return home from the trek that night, I told Baba that I would get married to a Bhutanese guy in order to have such delicious foods for the rest of my life. I also made fun of our mother tongue, Bengali, as I didn’t have to study the language at school though I conversed in Bengali at home with my parents.

    I studied there till Standard-X and neither Bengal, Kol to be precise, or the Bengali language meant much to me.
    After Standard-X, my parents decided to take me down to Kol as they felt that I had no future in the Himalayan Kingdom. I got admitted in Calcutta Girls’ School. I hated my classmates, my school, the language they were fond of using outside the classroom – Bengali, of course. But most of all, I hated Bengali foods. They were either too oily or too spicy for me.
    “Mili, today we’re going to have special dishes. All made up of the hilsa fish, considered by many as the best fish. Any item made of the fish is like a national dish for the Bengalees. I am sure you’ll love it.”
    “I hate the very name of the fish. How can a fish be called hilsa? What kind of fish is that? Oh, Ma! Why can’t I have pork instead?”
    “Don’t talk like a fool, dearest. We aren’t supposed to eat pork here in Kol. Decent people simply don’t eat such stuff here…”

    Ma made many delicacies that day. At lunch, as she was about to serve me a fried hilsa fish, I cried out :
    “No, no, no. Give me the smallest one. I can’t stand the smell.”
    My Baba who was sitting next to me, looked at me like he couldn’t believe his ears.
    “Have a bite first. You will be singing a different tune afterwards.” He said, relishing his share of the fried fish.
    I had a bite and before I could make head or tail out of the taste, I made a face and brought most of the fish out of my mouth. “Yak! You call this the best fish? Give me the home-made card instead, I won’t have anything more to do with the fish.”

    As Ma started pouring the card into a bowl, unbeknown to others, I chewed on the little bit of hilsa in my mouth. It didn’t taste all that bad after all.

    A few months later, my friend Kriti called me. “Mili, can you come over today? Ma had made some pacca Bengali dishes for lunch. We are going to have a party. Rice, daal, sarsa-hilsa and payesh. She wants you here.”
    “I don’t like that fish. We had it a few days back and I nearly threw up. I’ll come to yours though.”
    “What did you say? You don’t like hilsa fish?”
    “No, I prefer pork pa or pork momo to hilsa. I was in Bhutan for so long, you know.”
    “My buddy, Mili. Don’t talk like a baby. Do you have any idea how much a kilogram of hilsa cost? Father bought it today at rupees two thousands a kg. Sometimes the prices may go up to three! You can have ten kgs of pork with that price…!”
    “Whatever. I still like pork more.” I replied as I hung up.

    “A kilogram of fish costing two thousands rupees! God. The Bengalees must be real crazy!”
    I took a liking to the fish at Kriti’s that day. Though I didn’t make a fuss at Kriti’s. And when I had payesh, a kind of sweetened porridge, I got kind of bowled over. I realised why, like my Baba used to tell me, they considered this food as God’s own food.

    Though at home, I kept up with the same pretension, I had fallen for the hilsa, heart, mouth and soul.

    The end

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