If someone thinks you're royalty, go with it.
|“You’re doing what?” I asked my mother-in-law, Sadie.
“Cooking the chicken with a brick!” she announced, her voice wafting gaily up under the umbrella she was holding over her head.
“Okay,” I replied carefully. I hadn’t said anything about the umbrella since walking into the kitchen a minute before. Now I said, “So, we expecting rain in here?”
She looked up at the umbrella and giggled. “No, you goose. Keeps the glare from the overhead light out of my eyes!”
“Okay,” I said. Then, against my better judgment, I said, “So you’re really putting the chicken in the oven with a brick?”
“Indeed,” she sang. “You remoooove the backbone, drrrrrench the bird with a de-LEC-table mixture of lemon juice, COLD-pressed virgin olive oil, chopped rosemary, and prrrr-ESSED garlic cloves. Then – tra la! – into the refrigerator overnight!”
It was like talking with a calliope. Telling myself I’d regret it, I asked, “So what’s with the brick?” It was already sitting on the kitchen counter. At least it was wrapped in foil.
“Squish the chicken down with it and PLOP, into the skillet for seven minutes – brick still on top! -- then whOOOOOsh, into the oven at 400 -- not a degree less! – for 30 minutes, brick still on top! Then FLLLIP it over, roast fifteen minutes more – brick still on top! -- and VOILA! You and my Sherilyn are dining like the King and Queen of Cyprus!”
I wasn’t sure Cyprus had a king and queen, but I said, “Well, okay then.”
The next night Sadie, the Queen, and I sat down to dinner. Sadie reached over and pinched my cheek. I looked beseechingly at the Queen, who showered me with a royal smile and squeezed my hand under the table. And the squished chicken was the best I ever tasted.
(Word count: 300)