Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Secret Life of a Chef

Sam and Della continued trying to please everyone with their wedding plans. Finally they realized it wasn't going to happen. As they sat on Sam's porch enjoying cold beer late one afternoon watching the river, Sam said, "Della, I think, no, I know, the thing to do is have the wedding here. My Mama means well, but as we say, 'Everything's bigger in Texas.' But, I don't want 'big' and I know you don't want 'big'."

Della laughed, "Well, it's not that I don't like the idea of a big wedding, it's just since I was a little girl I have dreamed of a wedding where my husband and I can spend time together and with our family and close friends." She turned to Sam, "Honey, I really like your mother, and I am sure, with enough time, I can get Bryson Lee to accept me for more than a country bumpkin. I just don't want to stand in some receiving line my for my entire reception shaking hands with folks I don't know and will probably never meet again. It's our wedding."

"Then it's decided. I'll handle my Mama. You just let your mother know what our plans are."

"Are you sure? Aren't you worried about that?"

"Of course I am. Mama was beside herself with Bryson Lee's wedding, all 3 rings and 4 acres of it. I fear she just got a taste of it."

"And, what about the rest of your family?"

"Oh, they'll be fine. They'll just fly in for the wedding. Besides, I want them to see where we live."

Della gave Sam a big hug, "Oh, I love you!"

Sam laughed,"You better if I'm going to call my Mama and give her the news."

Della pulled back, "But, you just said. . ."

"Just wanted to make sure you were listening!"

She laughed. They sat back and watched the sun go behind the oaks over the river.

That same evening Mike and Bunny had been invited over to Vivian's for dinner with her and Terse. "I'm so glad you came," Vivian said when she opened the door. "I feel like we are always your guests for dinner. It's time we entertained."

Mike and Bunny walked in. Terse came out of the kitchen wearing an apron. Mike laughed, "Now that would be the start of a good book."

"Um, let's see, "said Terse, " 'The Secret Life of the Chef'."

"More like the 'Mystery Chef and His Mystery Meat', said Vivian with a smile.

"Now, in my defense, the meat was not burned. It was 'seared' just like you read about in all those fancy cookbooks."

Vivian looked back at Mike and Bunny, "Lucky for you, his trial run was last night. I cooked tonight."

"You never were very adventurous," said Terse, as he handed Mike and Bunny glasses of wine. "Let's move into the den while Julia Childs finishes the souffle."

"What's up?" asked Mike, as he and Bunny sat down on the sofa. "Seems like it is never the 4 of us anymore."

From the kitchen Vivian suggested, "Tell them about our trip."

"Oh, yeah," Terse smiled. "Viv and I are going to France."

"France, as in  the France across the ocean, where they speak French?" asked Bunny sincerely.

Mike just shook his head, "I'm pretty sure the same."

Terse continued, "We never get away so I planned a 2 week trip, with one week through the wine region of France then another week on the Cote d'azur."

Vivian was putting a plate of cheese and crackers on the coffee table. Before Bunny could ask, Vivian added "That's the French coast."

Terse continued, "Mama and Daddy went last year. They loved some of the places they stayed. So, I figured if they were good enough for Blanche Jackson, they would meet Vivian's needs."

"Seriously? Says the man who requires fresh towels, a hotel robe, a spa, and room service in any place he stays."

"Now wait a minute . . ."

Mike jumped in, "That is way too much information." He laughed, "A spa? Seriously? You know Bunny and I never had a honeymoon, maybe we could go later this year."

"Ooh, I'd love that", said Bunny getting a cracker and piece of cheese from the plate in front of her. "Can we?"

"Of course we can. We'll just let Terse and Vivian do the research for us. After all, with Terses' accommodation requirements, how can we go wrong." Everyone laughed.

"Dinner's ready," announced Vivian as she placed a platter of meat on the table. With that Bunny, Terse, and Mike moved to the table.

"This looks wonderful," said Bunny. "My meals never quite look like this."

Vivian and Terse looked at Mike, "Don't look at me, I'm not saying a word. I don't want to sleep on the sofa tonight."

"I wouldn't do that. This smells wonderful and I'm starved." Vivian served everyone's plates. Things got very quiet as the 4 of them enjoyed the dinner. 

Terse raised his glass, "Like Mike said, we need to spend more time together. To good friends." They all toasted.

Mike added, "And to the travel planners for the grand tour."

After dinner, Terse announced, "What if Mike and I do the dishes and you 2 just sit down and enjoy yourselves."

Vivian looked at Bunny, "Not a problem with me." Bunny thanked the guys and followed Vivian into the den. The 2 women talked about Vivian and Terse's up coming trip.

"I'm so excited. You have to send us post cards from every where you go."

"Oh, we'll send pictures  by email."

By this time the men were done and came back to the den to join the ladies. They had just sat down when Terse looked at Vivian, "I don't feel so good." With that he left the room. He was gone a while.

Finally Vivian stood and said, "Let me go check on him."

"Oh, I hope he's okay. I've got some Tums in my purse. My Great Aunt Brunilda said I always needed to carry those with me." 

Vivian thanked her but said she did not think that would be unnecessary. She left the den and headed down the hall.

Bunny just continued, "You know, Aunt Brunilda also said I should carry Nabs, Kleenex, and peppermints with me." Bunny rattled on about her Aunt and stories of going places with her as a child. Finally Vivian returned.

"Is Terse okay?" asked Mike.

"Not really, I think it was something he ate." Vivian smiled as sat down. "Naturally, he says it is my fault." She laughed. 

"Well we feel fine, so I doubt it was the dinner," Vivian said in support of her friend.

Mike stood, "I think we need to go. The last thing you need is us here when Terse needs nursing."

"Oh, he'll be fine."

"Seriously, I can only imagine the care Terse requires at this time, given the accommodations he requires traveling."

"Isn't that a scream!" 

"Who knew," said Mike. "Seriously, if we can do anything, just call. I hope he is going to be okay."

"I feel certain he will. In case you haven't figured it out yet, Terse is a little high maintenance."

Vivian went back to check on Terse. Bunny and Mike let them selves out. On the way home, Bunny commented, "That was just horrible about Terse. I wonder what made him sick? Everything tasted fine to me."

"No telling what it was. I think if we were going to get sick, we would already be sick. Terse is in pretty good health. It he got sick that fast, I'm pretty sure we would be dead if it had anything to do with the meal."

"You got a point there."

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