Tag Archives: cooking

Gluten-Free

After a single conversation in the office break room, one in which he mentioned his gluten allergy and his subsequent inability to find a delicious cookie that contained none of the evil flour that was his enemy, she spent hours upon hours working in her small, one-bedroom-apartment kitchen trying to perfect a recipe that was both delicious and safe for her crush of five months. She emerged victorious, with more than a little flour on her cheeks and clothing and a small tupperware container full of her success.

While not gluten-free, these are whole wheat and sugar-free. That’s right, I bake too! 🙂

The Soup (A Flash Fiction Story)

What’s My Motivation?

“I’m an actor, I need my motivation,” he said.

“To make breakfast? Really?” She couldn’t believe she was having this conversation with her roommate. “How about to eat? Fulfill your animalistic need to feed? Survival?”

“Meh.”

“Don’t you have call backs later today? I don’t know – a stomach growling on stage, not sure how that would go over. Imagine what the casting director would say…”

He jumped up and headed for the kitchen as a sly smile crossed her face.

“Still got it,” she said, lounging back onto their orange velvet couch. She pulled the blanket off the back of the couch and curled herself up into it. A few minutes worth of sizzling sounds came from the kitchen and moments later he was above her holding out a plate and mug. “Spinach omelet. Irish Breakfast tea with a splash of milk.”

“Yum,” she said as she sat up and took them from his hands.

“I hope you’re happy.”

“It was your turn!” she said with a frown.

“Your hair is a mess. You have sex hair.”

“I do not!”

“Do you honestly think I didn’t hear captain marvelous stumble out this morning? He stepped on Walter,” he said as their cat entered the room on queue, almost frowning at her in frustration after having been stepped on.

“Aw, Walter, come here, I’m so sorry,” she said in a baby voice, making him cringe.

“So, yeah, sex hair. You’re so transparent. If you’re planning on going to class I would at least run a brush through it. Not that the neighbors don’t know what a whore you are, what with all that noise last night. Or maybe they’ll just think Walter was in a cat fight.”

“Sounds like you’re the one in the mood for a cat fight. Don’t forget to wash the dishes,” she said, leaving her plate behind on the couch for him to pick up but bringing the mug with her. He grunted she spun back to answer.

“It’s your turn! I did breakfast yesterday!”

“Yeah, I remember, runny eggs and toast barely toasted. A real treat.”

He sat back and ate the last bit of his omelet and then jumped a bit as she screamed.

“What are you doing?”

“Trying to brush my hair! It’s really knotted!”

“Maybe you shouldn’t have let him pull it so much.”

She poked her head out of the bathroom, blushing a little.

“Yeah, I heard that part too. Everyone did. Whore.”

“You’re just jealous that I have a man and you don’t.”

“For the hundredth time I AM NOT GAY.”

“Now who is transparent?” she asked from the doorway again, this time smiling.

“Try taking a shower. You can’t possibly be planning on going out today without washing off the stink of nasty, dirty hair-pulling sex.”

This time only a hand with an extended finger protruded from the bathroom.

“Mature.”

She started running the shower and then poked her head out again.

“Shouldn’t you be heading out to callbacks? Or do you need me to tell you your motivation. Probably to get a beej from the director.”

He gave her the finger, and as he did so noticed the time on his watch, cursed, grabbed his coat and ran towards the door.

“Have a nice day, slut.”

Hank’s Troubles

This story is based on a real postcard I found from 1949.  Make sure you read the actual postcard at the end of the story!  Enjoy!

Maxienne was cooking frantically in the kitchen, trying to watch all four burners at once, stirring, ladling, adding ingredients, chopping others, all with little Charlie crawling around her feet.  She tripped over him on the way to the counter to chop more onions.

“Really Charlie, I cannot wait until you’re napping again.  Tu est un menace!  At least your little sister sleeps during the day here and there,” she exclaimed in her heavy French accent.

Once chopped, Maxienne rushed back towards the frying pan, slipped on some sort of wet spot on the floor, regained her balance, and dropped all but three pieces of onion into the pan, the rest falling towards the floor.  Charlie looked up at the sound of the loud sizzle as they heated.  He smiled and started looking for whatever fell.

And at that, Charlie’s little sister, Mariette, started squealing from her crib, apparently awake from her nap.  Maxienne wiped her brow with a nearby towel, sweating from the heat of a New York City August.

“Hank?  HANK?  Mon dieu!  Could you please help in here, s’il vous plait?”  She waited, hearing no response.  “Hank?”  She turned the burner under the pan down and ran into one of the five rooms in their new apartment, looked around, and realized the room was empty.

“Ah!  This place is too big!”  She ran to the next room and picked Mariette up, running back towards the kitchen, causing her to sweat even more.  As she ran by the closed door she said, “Merci, Hank.  Thank you for all of the help!”  Not waiting for a response she headed right for the kitchen, where the pot full of sauce had started to boil over and splatter onto the kitchen wall.

“Damn!” She said, lunging for the knob on the oven.  Mariette squirmed in her hands, wanting to get down.  “Fine, you want down?  You can go down!”  She rushed the three feet to their living room and put Mariette on the couch, surrounding her with pillows.  At this, Charlie started crying.  “What now?”

Maxienne turned in time to see the onions were starting to burn, and quickly pulled the pan off the stove, a little oil jumping from the pan and onto her hand.  “MERDE!” she yelled.  Meanwhile, Charlie was still wailing as if in pain, so she lowered the sauce and ran to him, swiping him up in one fluid motion, spinning right back to the stove where she quickly stirred the pasta so it wouldn’t stick.  Then, her attention turned to Charlie, she tried to investigate why he’d suddenly started crying.

Something was lodged in his mouth, and as she fished it out, he bit her.  “Damn!” she yelled.  “Hank!  Would you PLEASE come in here?  Get out here and help!”  Still no answer, she went back into his mouth, fishing out one of the chunks of onion.  “That’s it, Charlie?  That?  It’s onion…it won’t kill you.”

Charlie, relieved to have the taste removed from his mouth, still frowned at her.  “Perhaps some milk,” she said, heading for the refrigerator.  She reached above it first, pulling down a package of French cigarettes, and quickly popped the package so one jumped into her mouth.  She pulled a glass and the bottle of milk out like someone who had done it a thousand times, and he had a sip of milk before she’d even put him back on the floor.  Charlie calmed, she leaned into the burner and lit the cigarette, the beads of sweat on her face reflecting the fire.  She turned her attention back to the stove, stirred the sauce, noticing it was a bit thick.  “Merde!” she said to herself.  “Hank!  I think I burned the sauce!”  She tasted it.  “I think I can save it,” she yelled again.  Still no response.

Maxienne checked the pasta, scooping a piece out on a wooden spoon and picking it up carefully between her freshly painted nails, and threw it against the wall.  It stuck for a second before falling off.  A few more minutes, she decided.

At that, a knock came at the door.  “Hank!  I do not suppose you could get that?”  She waited, expecting to hear the door of the bathroom open, but still nothing.  “Ah!” she growled to herself in anger, quickly drying her hands on the towel hanging from her apron.  She checked the onions, quickly threw the meatballs into the pan, jumped back from the sparks of oil that spurted from the pan, and ran towards the door, drying her hands yet again while watching the future meal over her shoulder.

She opened the door to find Pete, their door man.  “Hey there, Mrs. J!  Got your mail!  Sure smells good in there!  What are you making, meatballs?  Gravy smells great too!”

“Would you like one, Pete?  They’ll still be a few minutes at least…”

“No no, ma’am.  Thanks all the same though.  Let me grab these too for you!”  He picked up the empty milk bottles from the floor by the door.  “Can I help you with anything else?”

“Can you get my husband to give me a hand?” she asked with a sly smile.

He laughed.  “No can do, ma’am.  But if there’s anything else, let me know!”

“Merci, thanks Pete!  Maybe I’ll send some down for you when it’s done?”

“Thanks!” he said as he walked away.  She shut the door and ran back to the kitchen.  Flipped the meatballs.  Stirred the sauce.  Checked the pasta.  It was done, so she grabbed the potholders and emptied the hot water into the sink, watching some ashes fall from her cigarette into the pile of noodles.  She put down the pot, took out the ashen noodles, and threw them in the garbage.  Then she took a moment to tap her cigarette into a nearby ashtray on the kitchen table and wipe her brow of sweat yet again.

She put the sauce on low in time to notice the kids were quiet, checked on them, and found them asleep in the living room.  She sighed, relaxed for the first time all day, and dropped the meatballs one by one into the pot of sauce.  She put the lid on, dropped the pots into the sink, and sat at the table.

“Hank?”

“Hank?”

She pulled out a small box of post cards and the suitcase typewriter Hank had bought her for her last birthday and took the lid off.  Carefully putting the postcard under the plastic holder, she tapped her cigarette ashes into the tray again.

“Dinner will be ready in a few, if you’re hungry,” she yelled to Hank once more.  “I’m going to write a postcard to Lil.”  Still no answer.

She relaxed a bit more, sighed, and started typing.