Monday, April 10, 2023

What do superheroes eat? An Open Book Blog Hop post

A loaf of homemade bread and the Open Book Blog Hope logo

Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

What does the food your characters eat reveal about their personality?

Food comes up surprisingly often in the Menopausal Superheroes novels. Maybe this is just because I lean towards being a foodie myself, or maybe it's because I like to show my heroes in domestic settings and food is a part of that. 

But let's take this hero by hero. 

Jessica "Flygirl" Roark: Even before she became a superhero, Jessica had no interest in cooking. 

Her bestie, Leonel, despairs of the beautiful kitchen in her fancy house "going to waste." 

In her first marriage, she and her husband bought a lot of pre-prepared foods or picked up takeout when they were out. During her cancer treatments, they used a meal service. 

In her single-mom years, she tried to do a little better, but it was hard to develop kitchen skills and save the city in her new role as Flygirl, so her boys had their favorite pizza place on speed dial. 

Things are looking up now that she's remarried. Walter is a scientist, and cooking is a science of sorts. He's got a penchant for pancakes and other carb-heavy meals, but superhero work requires a fair number of calories, so it's working out well!

Leonel "Fuerte" Alvarez: The foodie of the group. 

Before the mad-science changes that gave him super-strength and changed his gender, Leonel was abuelita to several grandchildren, spoiling them with tamales, biscochitos, conchitas, enchiladas, posole, and countless other Mexican-American masterpieces. 

That hasn't changed, though the fancy meal prep happens a little less often now that he's on call to rescue the citizens of Springfield when the need arises. 

He still loves to spend the morning in the kitchen and the evening watching everyone he loves enjoy his creations. 

His husband, David, has learned that sometimes a tres leches cake means there's bad news coming, but it doesn't stop him from digging in. Bonus! Their house nearly always smells of coffee and cinnamon.

Patricia "Lizard Woman" O'Neill: Patricia likes the finer things in life. Designer bags, expensive travel, theater tickets, visits to the spa, and fine dining. 

Overcoming her humble beginnings as the eldest daughter of an often-married and just as often divorced mother, she worked hard and made personal sacrifices to get to a position where she could afford to indulge. 

She is proud of making her way up to Vice President even though she started her career in the later 1970s, when the glass ceiling was definitely still firmly in place. 

Her condo is provisioned with the basics and she can whip up an omelet like nobody's business, but after spending her younger years flipping burgers and slinging milkshakes, she thinks her time is better spent on something other than cooking. 

Sometimes she and Suzie, her girlfriend and sometimes sidekick, like to stay home and get takeout Chinese, but they're definitely first in line when a new restaurant opens in Springfield, ready to find out if the fuss is worth it. 

The other characters in the series have some opinions about food, too, but I'll save them for another day. Does food play a big role in books you write or like to read? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

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  1. I take after Jessica - I have little to no interest in spending my time cooking.

    1. I didn't either for the first 30 or so years of my life. I do enjoy it now though.

  2. I like cooking but I can always be talked into take out - or take away - depending on where you live.

    1. Take out/away can really be a blessing sometimes.

  3. I love your character descriptions, as a cook and baker myself, I know that my mood is influenced by food. I find it easy to get food and eating into my stories, discussions over a meal is a great way of moving the plot along.