Tuesday, May 17, 2011

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jean Candlish Kelchner, Author of Backstage at the White House

I love food!  I know, we all do, but I love to use it as a writing device in my novels.  It gets things done.  For example, in, Backstage at the White House, I used eggs to express inner turmoil.  The First Lady "had indelibly stamped the poached egg on her plate into her memory forever as she waited for Palmer's words and tone.  The President "swallowed a blob of poached egg and bit off a piece of buttered toast.  He wasn't just irritated; his inner steam was enough to fry the egg and burn the toast before they reached their point of process and distribution."  Yes, the mighty egg speaks volumes!

On the other hand, there's nothing like a good meal to get the conversation going, to ease tension, raise confidence, camaraderie, and, of course, move the story along.  Backstage at the White House is about a plot to keep women out of power, especially out of politics.  The First Lady and her four best friends find out about it, and they set out to put things right.  They didn't want to; they liked their lives the way they were.  Several of them were downright rebellious, and the tension that had been growing throughout this first meeting in the First Lady's sitting room was becoming downright unbearable until Bev blurts, "I'm starved!  Do you think all this covert stuff is going to affect my appetite; that's the only thing that would make me leave, for sure! . . . Ellie, I thought you were gonna order something to eat?"

Ellie's request had brought from the kitchen a silver platter centered with cold roast chicken and surrounded by vegetables and cheeses.  A smaller companion platter held a chafing dish of chocolate fondue accompanied by plump, deep-red strawberries.  It delighted the eye and, as Sue Ann pointed out, was more healthy than fattening if one just ever so lightly dipped the tip of one's strawberry into the warm brown cream.  

It's surprising how a chocolate dipped strawberry topped off by a glass of champagne can change the world—it did theirs.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing some food for thought, Jean!

You can find Jean at:


  1. Thanks Shelley. I love your website even without me. I'm going to go blast it around and come back to read more. Jean Kelchner

  2. Hi Shelly & Jean - I am Shelley's latest follower. Thanks for this post -it made me hungry...

  3. Wow! This is brilliant! I've read the book, and loved it, but I must re-read, didn't recall all the food links in this book. She's a writer par excellence!
    Nancy Holland