Fiction - short story - Bon Appetit - Part II
By Judy Evans
March 19, 2017 11:51pm CST
Here is Part II of a condensed comic short story I'm entering in a competition. Bon Appetit - Part II I didn’t think I did too badly as a basic cook – although my dearly beloved kept presenting me with cookbooks with titles like ‘Simple Cooking Made Easy’ and ‘Recipes Using Five Ingredients’. And I bought myself ones with titles like ‘Cooking for Dummies’ and ‘Bluffing Your Way Through a Dinner Party’. So we went on our merry way for a while until I splurged on this flash French Cookbook. I spotted this glossy French cookbook in a bookstore. It had a mouth-watering concoction on the cover. It was love at first sight. I was smitten. I paid my money and rushed home with ‘the food of France – a journey for food lovers’. As I turned the shiny pages I came across such magical titles as ‘bourride’ described as a rich fish soup, and ‘aioli’ which is a really interesting dish as it has four vowels and only one consonant. Quentin was interested enough to have a flick through it and came across ‘Paris Brest’, petits farcis, and tarte flambé. Isn’t it amazing how such titles just jump out at men? “Cripes, Suzette” he said. “You’ll have to try some of these. I could do with a hot tart.” He’s the pits sometimes, is Quentin. I thought it was a bit strange to have ‘mushrooms a la grecque’ in a French cookbook but maybe it was just the right size for the gap. Or perhaps it helps sell the book in Greece. And they’d included Holland in the sauce section. But if they were just trying to make the book more marketable in other countries, how come there were no ‘sheep’s eyes in yak milk soup’ or ‘venison with vegies’? And absolutely no sign of kangaroo kebabs. Irish stew didn't crack a mention either. But back to my book. I thought I’d have a go at the raw oysters first. My husband loves seafood so off I went all the way to a fish market and bought some oysters. Unfortunately when trying to shuck them I sliced my hand open and had to go to the hospital to get it stitched. We bought a pizza for tea while we were there. A few days later, it was Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Tuesday. I tackled ham, mushroom and cheese crepes (‘craps’ Quentin calls them). Anyone can make a crepe. Quentin doesn’t like cheese or mushroom so I just left them out of his. I think maybe his serve was a bit small as he was prowling round the kitchen later. He eventually sat down in front of tellie with two slices of bread and Vegemite. But he sometimes eats odd things at odd times.
I've entered a competition for a short story, up to 2,500 words, with a 'funny' theme. I've managed a 'highly commended' once before so I'm having another go....
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• Paso Robles, California
OK. Your characters are funny, but I think "vegies" has two g's. I probably have more cookbooks than the average person, but I have to get rid of most of them now because the we eat has changed a lot in fifty-three years. I could probably keep them down to two shelves now -- especially when I print so many recipes out from the internet. I wish you well in the contest. I enjoyed the story.
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@JudyEv I have a suspicion that the old French cookbooks might be a bit too heavy in the butter department. The world these days is very self-conscious about health, cholesterol etc present in certain foodstuff and ingredients. (Just my guessing here.)