Vodka martini, and some eggs. Scrambled, not stirred.

Today is the birthday of Ian Fleming, the writer who invented James Bond.

For over a half century, in books and on the big screen, Agent 007 has been living about as large as you can, traveling to the most magnificent places, wearing the nicest clothes, driving the fanciest cars, staying in the most opulent hotels, and ordering the fanciest foods and drinks.

But that wasn’t quite how James Bond was originally supposed to be, at least not when it came to food.

Originally the world’s number one secret agent was going to eat pretty much just one thing.

Ian Fleming wrote an essay in 1963 called “How To Write A Thriller,” in which he explained how he thought up his books.

For books like his, Fleming said, the goal was simple: get the reader to turn the page.

As long as there were people who wanted to see what happened next, the book would be a success.

Fleming said his writing style was meant to be as straightforward as possible, so the words didn’t get in the way of the action.

At one point, this emphasis on simplicity was going to also extend to food.

Fleming wrote that he was never a big fan of fancy foods or drinks, so James Bond’s favorite food was going to be his own favorite food: scrambled eggs.

He eventually changed his mind; for one thing, it didn’t sound quite right to have a character live this very upscale life and then just scarf down plate after plate of scrambled eggs.

But also, he said, a proofreader noted that a spy getting hooked on scrambled eggs could be a security risk.

If another spy was tailing him, he could literally follow 007 by asking at restaurants if a man had ordered scrambled eggs there.

But if you do know a way to get readers to turn the pages of a spy novel that heavily showcase eggs, I say go for it.

And here’s a bit more food news for you: the extraordinary pies made by Karin Pfeiff-Boschek.

They’re known not just for their flavors but for the extremely intricate pie crusts she puts on top – geometric patterns, color gradients, and carved flowers, to name a few.

She even weaves together pieces of pie crust for some of them!

Taking a slice of such a pie and then eating it would make me feel guilty. Well, extra-guilty.

Ian Fleming Explains How To Write A Thriller (LitHub)

Doughy Braids and Sliced Fruits Arranged into Sumptuous Pies by Karin Pfeiff-Boschek (Colossal)

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Photo by Mike Mozart via Flickr/Creative Commons