entering Wonderland again
|The Duchess has given you the task of preparing dinner. With the aid of the cook, let's know what and how you prepare this most tasty (or not) dish. (<1000 words)
I enter the kitchen to find the cook in a corner crying. I'm not sure what his issue is. I would ask, but they told me that dinner was in an hour so I have no time to waste on creative temperament.
There was chicken. I could do something with that. I preheat the oven to 350 F and oil a baking dish. I salt, garlic, pepper, and rosemary each boneless piece of chicken on both sides and stick it in the pan. On top, I put a mixture of mayonnaise and the first salad dressing I come to in the icebox. It looks like lemon poppy seed.
As I finish preparing the chicken (which had been thawed and was ready to use—what on earth was the problem with the cook?), I take out five potatoes and quickly peel and chop them and put them in a pot to boil. Not much water so that I can mash them. That should be ready in about twenty minutes—and the chicken needs forty-five from when I put it in the oven. That should work out to be ready at about the same time.
Some vegetable, next. I wash and snip the ends from some green beans and chop a little onion and put them a pan with some oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. After stir frying for a few minutes, I add some (just a little) water and put a lid on to simmer for ten minutes. By this point, the cook has graduated to hiccuping sobs. I'm still ignoring him.
Dessert. I whip some whipping cream until it's at the stiff peak stage. Add just a touch of sugar, and then fold in blueberries and raspberries (washed and patted dry). Just as I'm finishing, the timer goes and I turn off all the burners and mash the potatoes with butter and sour cream and send out the meal to the Duchess.
I've fixed two plates. I also fix two tall glasses of water. He needs hydration at this point. I put one next to the cook in his corner and settle next to him to eat mine. Not bad. Maybe too much pepper. But the Duchess loves pepper. She can't handle food without it.
He is eating between sobs, which feels a tad dangerous, but I'm just going with it. Finally, I ask, “What's the matter?”
“I couldn't find it.”
“My lucky spoon. I can't cook without it.” His sobbing renewed.
“Wait a minute,” I say.
“She's going to fire me and I'll never work in Wonderland again.”
“But sir . . .”
He turns away, having finished his dinner. I put my plate in the sink and look at him. I just don't know how to tell him that he has a silver spoon tucked inside the hat band of his chef's hat.
word count: 480