from an afternoon in bed with a migraine, the mother heard the little girl outside the bedroom door, asking her father where the cook was. ‘Asleep with a headache, I believe’. The mother had just spent an hour or so cooking dinner for an ever growing number of Lithuanians, wondering what on earth she could find in a stranger’s kitchen to feed all these hungry people.
Not only did the prospective diners multiply, but there was this odd, smooth talking banker type who wanted to hand her a cheque, in Euros. He was going to hand the money over the next morning, and would 8.30 be too early? She rather thought it was, so they settled on 80% after eight o’clock, whenever that may be. He wanted an explanation to the train load of Astrid Lindgren characters which travelled past, so she explained that Lithuania had sort of adopted one particular book as their own. Then he kissed her on the cheeks, and she counted the kisses to find out what was considered polite in these parts. Five times, apparently.
After frantically trying to feed all these people, it was almost a relief to find it was only the father and the girl who were hungry. And herself, which was considerably more important. An emergency piece of Emmental prepared her to face the dishwasher which needed emptying, the work surface and bread board smeared with some horrible, sticky stuff. Correction. Lovely home made plum jam, but still sticky in the wrong place. Second time that day. First time it was lovely home made orange marmalade.
Since the dinner was half planned while asleep/in Lithuania, it was more a case of putting water on for the pasta, finding that the vegebangers weren’t where she thought they’d be, and mentally adjusting how to serve up two kinds of peas. Frozen for the oldies, and tinned for the little one.
At this point the little one appeared and judging the situation accurately, proceeded to empty the dishwasher. Amazingly, the father only showed up when the pasta was ready. Elk pasta shapes from Ikea, if you want to know. After the beautiful dinner had been demolished, the girl offered to watch the remaining episode of Monk with the cook. Then she played Christmas carols on the piano.”
Maybe there ought to be an emergency list on what to do in these circumstances. Cook your own dinner, and have some pasta standing by for when the cook falls out of bed. That kind of thing. Or toast with sticky stuff on. Lovely and home made. (By the father, she hastens to add.)
Earl Grey, just the right strength, right amount of milk, and properly hot. Please.