My name is Brooke and I'm a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in English with a Minor in Writing.  I created this website to showcase the work I produced for my minor, most of which is written from a private, intimate place, hence the title, "Secret Recipes."  For example, in my collection of personal essays, you'll find pieces that work through such subjects as mixed feelings towards deceased relatives, the dark side of the service industry, and failed romances.  My selections of short fiction, while not "true" or factual accounts of my life, are each firmly rooted in a real, lived experience of mine.  And my capstone project, a short recipe book with essays accompanying each dish, is perhaps the most personal project I have produced thus far, in that it is not only written from my own individual perspective, but it also weaves some of the subjects I am most passionate about, e.g. relationships, love, family, food, food systems, cooking, eating, etc. into a single document.


It's my hope that perusing the work in this portfolio will provide you with an experience that, while intimate, is less invasive than reading my journal.  Instead, I would liken the work to a glance in my fridge; it reveals some of my secrets and quirks, but not all of them, and in a manner that acknowledges their dynamic, ever-evolving nature.  The contents of my refrigerator vary greatly from week to week, and can change from stores of fresh produce, Greek yogurt, and delicious restaurant leftovers, to a few beers, a half-eaten bag of chocolate chips, and a tupperware container that's been in there so long that I am now afraid to open it in juust a few short days.  Neither of these extremes provides a wholly accurate portrayal of me or my diet, though some moment in between these two states, wherein I can still vaguely remember the contents of the tupperware container and my bell peppers are starting to show the slightest wrinkle in their skins, may do the trick.  When I write, I try to write in and around these and other moments in the middle.  My writing does not attempt to show me in the best, most flattering light possible, nor does it exploit and exaggerate my flaws for the sake of entertainment.  This work is not interested in describing single, static images, but rather in recording change, asking questions, and creating movement through language.  It's also all written by perpetually hungry person who talks about food almost constantly.


If that appeals to you,  proceed.


Happy Reading and Bon Appétit!




-Brooke Gabriel





Here's a little  information about me and this portfolio: