The Dinner Party

August 22, 2010 § 6 Comments

I recently discovered The Red Dress Club, which is, in a nutshell, a writing workshop if you like.

I can’t remember how I found it exactly, but I’m glad I did. I scrolled down through the posts, and found Red Writing Hood.

What you do is, you look at the topics provided, have a look at other people’s entries if you like, and write a tale to correspond with the category.

This week’s provision is: write a first-person piece about either eating your favourite food or taking a shower – without using any personal pronouns.

Now, it seems easy written down. But once you start on the task, the toughness of it all kicks in, and you’re left with writer’s block.

So, I know it says ‘your favourite food’ and everything, but I’m just going to make something up, as I don’t even have a favourite food, or memories worth sharing of my shower and bath experiences, and also because my fiction is better than my non-fiction in all circumstances.

So, with the help of my generous (oh, please. Generous? Her? I had to bloody bribe her) daughter, I came up with this entry for the Red Writing Hood workshop.

The Dinner Party

Opening the cupboards. Realising the ingredients needed are nowhere in sight. Grabbing furiously at whatever is left, the feeling of disappointment and downright horror rising.

The guests will be here. Nothing is ready. Turning the oven up frantically, shoving the pan onto any free hob and dumping the random ingredients collected into it. Grabbing a wooden spoon and stirring it ferociously, staring at the clock all the while. The only sounds in the room are the quick pulse and the menacing ticking of the clock.

The doorbell rings. Early. The whole world stops and comes crashing down.

Running to the door, whipping off the apron and throwing it into the closet. Opening the door and greeting with hugs and the occasional kiss to the cheek. Leading to the living room, pulling out chairs politely and scurrying back to the kitchen, hiding the utter fear.

What to do? The meal isn’t ready, whatever the hell it is. Scooping it onto plates, trying to recognise the carrot and what looks like cabbage medley that has been conjured up. Taking the plates to the table, placing them down and eyeing reactions.

Feedback. Words. Nods. Smiles. No frowns, no vomit, no throwing down napkins and running out of the house forever. Good vibes.

Picking up the napkin sitting on the table and wiping the brow, beads of sweat dissolving into the tissue paper. Crumpling it up and tossing it to one side, it landing perfectly in the waste-paper basket as if professionally.

“Well done!”

“Lovely!”

“Yummy!”

“Delicious!”

The positive feedback roars as forks land on empty plates and full stomachs practically burst out of pretty dresses and shirt and ties.

This was a good dinner party. Must happen again.

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Chocolate Afternoon

August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

In my previous post, I may have … slightly mentioned that my daughter wanted to make some chocolate pudding sundaes. Well, we made them (which surprised even me).

After being pestered for roughly a whole day, I bought the ingredients needed and set them out on the kitchen worktop. We got the recipe up on the laptop and read it as we went along.

First of all, we emptied all the ingredients into the bowls (I’m not the baking type of person, so I’ll admit to putting some of them in wine glasses and some in children’s dishes due to my lack of organisation), with Daughter staying well clear of the cocoa powder (“I don’t want it getting in my eyes!”).

I then started to chop up the chocolate, with Daughter complained about:

“Mum, what kind of chocolate is that?” she asked worriedly.

“Plain.”

“So it goes milk, plain, dark?”

“No, plain is dark.”

“OH NO! I HATE DARK CHOCOLATE! I ONLY LIKE MILK CHOCOLATE!”

“Don’t panic! We’ve got loads of milk going in it anyway, haven’t we?”

“Oh yeah.”

After about 10 minutes of chopping up the chocolate finely, we mixed everything into a pan on the stove.

I turned up the gas and started whisking it.

“Come here and help me, then,” I said, whisking it so ferociously that Daughter was laughing her head off by the laptop.

“Erm…”

She gingerly came forward, appearing by my side with fear and panic in her eyes.

“It’s not hard,” I said, handing her the whisk. “Hurry though, it says to whisk constantly!”

Daughter started whisking, keeping her bodily distance away from the oven at all times.

Every so often, Daughter would wake my mum up, who was snoozing in the living room, and tell her what was going on, and Mum would say “is it ready yet?”, follow her into the kitchen and wiping all the chocolate from the spatula with her finger, proceeding to lick it off.

It was taking forever.

“When’s it supposed to go thicker?” Daughter asked.

“Ages ago… how long do I do this for?”

“It says 8 minutes, but with an additional minute added on.”

“Okay… open the back door, would you? I’m roasting.”

“No, you’re not, you’re baking.

“Ha-ha.”

When that charade was finally over, we covered the desserts (that were spooned into random beer glasses) with baking sheets (we didn’t have anything else… told you I was disorganised!) and left them to cool before putting them in the fridge to set for 3 hours.

All in all, it was an okay afternoon. It would have been better if Daughter hadn’t been worried about eating hers because I thought some plastic was lodged inside, due to the whipped cream malfunctioning. Still, she was okay 🙂

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Chocolate

August 17, 2010 § 4 Comments

Okay, so today I was planning on making a chocolate pudding sundae.

Well, I say I. I really mean Daughter.

While I was happily watching television in the living room, Daughter was looking through all the cookery blogs (don’t ask how she accessed all those – she’s a whiz-kid, enough said.

“Mum! Mum! Mum!” She called every two minutes, calling out a new recipe while I reluctantly paused the television. Each recipe required an electric mixer, which I don’t have (call me old-fashioned…).

“OH WOW! MUM!” came the final cry, and squeals of excitement as she scrolled through the recipe, the word ‘electric’ or ‘mixer’ nowhere in sight.

“What?”

“CHOCOLATE PUDDING SUNDAES!”

Now, admittedly, they do look yummy. Daughter showed me all the photos of them, and I felt drool escaping my lips slightly.

“Can we have it for dessert tomorrow, Mum?” Daughter persisted, and before I could even open my mouth she was running round the room, shouting “Oh my god, I’m so excited! WOW! Look at these!”

My head was in my hands as she paraded round the room, thrusting the laptop screen at everyone’s face.

I have random thoughts every day (sometimes every minute of every day), and today’s was probably this:

I want to make these just so that I can pour them all over her head. After all – it serves 4.

Of course, I am joking. I’d never waste all that chocolate 😉

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