Friday, January 18, 2013

Writing Prompt #5

Here is something else that I wrote as a part of my brother's 30 days of writing prompts. 

#5: Choose a common or menial task with which you are familiar. Try to describe it to your reader in a fun/interesting way, or possibly shed new light on something mundane.

Tears streamed down Kathleen’s face. “I just can’t get it right!” she sobbed. As she sat, curled against her favorite tree in the forest, her mind recalled the woeful events that had led her here. Kathleen, the prettiest girl in her village, had early captured the interest and love of the local young carpenter, Shawn. They soon wed, and thus, at the age of 19, she became the mistress of her own home.

Beautiful, witty, kind, and compassionate, Kathleen seemed to have it all…or so it appeared. She lacked but one thing. Raised from her infancy by her widower father, the motherless girl knew nothing about the fine arts of cooking.

For the first few months of Kathleen and Shawn’s marriage, they literally lived on love alone. But soon, the concrete biscuits, burned eggs, and charcoal bacon began to wear on him. He was a carpenter, after all! He needed more than burnt offerings for sustenance. Soon, try as he might, he could no longer keep his complaints to himself, and his grumbling turned into roaring. Kathleen felt disgraced and displeased with herself. What was her beauty and charm if she could not cook?

The day before this, she had purchased a roast from the butcher, purposing that she would attempt to make her husband’s favorite dish: pot roast. He loved that meal, and continually talked about how his mother always cooked it for him. Kathleen just knew she could do it if she tried hard enough.

But alas! The meat resembled beef jerky, the carrots were shriveled, and the potatoes charred on the edges. Her husband made a valiant effort to eat the meal, but he soon pushed back his plate, exclaiming, “How do you expect me to eat this stuff, woman!?”and stormed out of the house. The next morning, this scene was again repeated with her scorched bacon and eggs. Kathleen could take no more, so burst into tears, ran out the back door, and into the forest, falling at the base of her favorite tree. How long she cried there, she had no way of telling. But, suddenly, she heard a soft voice saying, “What ails you, my child?”

Kathleen blinked through her tears, and, looking up, she beheld an older woman with a jovial face and a slightly rotund, matronly figure which heavily bespoke of her enjoyment of the culinary arts. The stranger repeated herself, “What ails you, child? What causes you to cry so?”

“I…c-can’t…c-cook! And my…husband…is d-displeased…with me!” sobbed Kathleen. “Last night, I tried…to m-make him…his…favorite d-dish, b-but the roast…was as…t-tough…as j-jerky! And this m-morning I b-burned…his b-breakfast!”

“Oh, my poor child. Do you have no mother to teach you? Ahh, I thought not,” said the stranger in answer to Kathleen’s sorrowful shake of her head. “Well, come, my child, I will teach you how to make a roast that will make your man’s mouth water.”

And so saying, she led Kathleen to her house, which lay in a small clearing in the center of the forest. Once there, she brought Kathleen into the kitchen, and pulled out an oval shaped pot with buttons on it. “This,” she explained, “Is the housewife’s best friend. It is called a crockpot. I have two of these, so will let you take this one home with you for now. Now, let us begin.”

“First, you peel about 4 large carrots, and then chop them up into roughly 1 ½ inch chunks, like this. Next, we chop 4-5 red potatoes—again, into rather large chunks (if you like, you may substitute 1 large sweet potato for about 2 of the regular potatoes for added flavor). Then, we chop an onion. Now we toss all this into the bottom of the pot,” said the kindly woman, demonstrating it to the distraught young wife.

“Now,” said she, “We will get out my frying pan, put a tablespoon of garlic in it, and turn the stove on to medium-high heat. Then we will place the roast in the pan, and brown it evenly on all sides, like so. Now take the roast and put it on top of the vegetables in the crockpot. Finally, here are 15 ounce cans of sauerkraut, stewed tomatoes, and beef broth. Pour them on top of the roast. Then, place the lid on the pot, and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. And, ta-da! You have a roast that will fall apart in your husband’s mouth.”

And so saying, she handed the crockpot to the grateful young wife, with instructions to come back for cooking lessons anytime she desired. Kathleen hurried home and turned on the crockpot. That night, when Shawn came home, a succulent dinner awaited him. The delight with which he greeted this meal can scarcely be described. Let me just say that Kathleen learned that day that the way to a man’s heart truly is through his stomach.

And they lived happily ever after. The End.

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