Frankenfood #AtoZChallenge

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Frankenfood genetically modified food

It was the middle of April and we were in lockdown because of the virus. My three children; Britney aged twelve, Molly aged eight, Charlie aged four and my husband, James, had cabin fever, they were running wild because of the lack of structure and normality.

I was tired of trying to plan things for them to do and teaching my children school was harder then I had thought. My husband was working from home but there always seemed less and less work for him to do. I had worked from home since miscarrying our fourth child. I wrote blogs, shorts stories, articles and other things like that.

After going through breakfast, I pushed the kids outside to play and with my husband heading off to the study to do his job, I went upstairs to dress. I put on clothes without thinking, going for comfort as no one would see me. There was no reason for going outside today.

Brushing my hair as I stood by the mirror, I realised I had put a Halloween dress on. Orange pumpkins, carved with cute faces grinned back at me from the mirror. Laughing, I went to change but then an idea come to me…. Shrugging and thinking why not, I went downstairs and called the children together.

‘It’s Halloween today!’ I declared.

‘No, it’s not!’ Britney, snapped, ‘that’s in October and we are in April.’

‘But we are going to pretend,’ I said, ‘you all know how much mummy loves Halloween.’

‘Yes! Can we get lots of sweets?’ Charlie, shouted.

‘Sure, but first we have to get everything ready. Who wants to help with all the food?’

‘Can we bake monster cookies?’ Molly, cried.

‘I like the spider cakes best!’ Briney cut in.

‘I want sweets!’ Charlie screamed.

‘We can do anything you want,’ I said.

As one the children gave me an ear deafening, ‘Yes!’ and rushed inside.

Making a lot of noise, we got recipe books out and everything we needed. I put a Halloween CD on and we sang along to some of the songs. Soon the kitchen was a right mess but there was the wonderful smell of sweet baking things; cakes, biscuits, cookies and other things.

At lunchtime, my husband was at first grumpy with all of this nonsense. I sent him into the attic to get the decorations down and start helping the children to put them up.

‘This is silly,’ James muttered to me as he had his lunch.

‘I know, but I’m so tired of entertaining them. It won’t do any harm.’

He mumbled something I missed.

‘Here, have a cookie,’ I said sweetly, ‘you never complain about my Halloween cooking.’

‘Because it’s far too good,’ James answered then wolfed the cookie down.

Laughing, I put the rest of the cookies on a wire rack to cool and put the next lot in the oven.

‘You sure you got enough supplies in to do this?’ James asked.

I nodded, ”I’ve been getting extra things in and make sure there was baking stuff for the kids to do.’

‘Mum! Mum!’ Molly screamed as she ran into the kitchen, ‘Charlie threw a spider at me!’

I rolled my eyes, ‘okay, okay.’

Juggling baking and decorations as well as a few arguments, we managed to get everything sorted. Then whilst the children decorated some of the biscuits, I ponder what to make for dinner.

‘What do you fancy?’ I asked.

A jumble of answers came back then Charlie started shouting, ‘Frankenfoods!’

‘What is that?’ I asked him.

‘Dad told us it’s food that’s not real,’ Molly answered for Charlie.

‘No,’ Britney cut in, ‘its bits of different food all mashed together to make a new food.’

‘Interesting…We could do that though…’ I said thoughtfully.

My mind whirling, I got raiding the kitchen once more then happily went back to the table were the children sat and placed down my findings.

‘Hot dogs?’ Britney questioned as she picked up the jar.

‘No, Frankenstein’s fingers,’ I said in a creepy voice and wiggled my own fingers in her face.

Britney made a disgusted sound and slide the jar away.

‘I want one!’ Charlie cried.

‘And we can make some other things too….pizza skulls?’

‘OMG, Yes! Molly yelled, ‘I love them!’

‘Right. Britney? What about you?’ I asked.

She thought then replied, ‘burgers, chips and salad.’

‘Cow pats with lave and witches’ hair,’ I translated into Halloween food, ‘that’s your dad’s favorite too. Who wants to help?’

They all put there hands in the air and shouted ‘me!’ at the same time.

The kitchen was once again turned into a mess but finally it was time to decorate the table and put all the food out so everyone could helped themselves.

Sitting on the sofa, balancing a plate of food, I watched the childrens’ Halloween movie alongside everyone else and thought that today hadn’t been bad at all.

(Inspired by; http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com)

Windy Day #CCC

The wind whipped through the dry wheat and the water on the lake. The old blades of wind mill whirled around, the gears and grinding stones inside the mill also turned.

For once, the villagers were thankful for the aiding weather as they had a lot of work to do before winter arrived. There was the harvest to gather in, grain to be crushed then some to be stored and other bags to be sent to the bakeries.

The air was hazy with dust and the smell of baking. A good sign as it meant their bellies would be full over the frozen months.

 

(Inspired by; https://crispinakemp.com/2019/09/18/crimsons-creative-challenge-45/ with thanks).

The Loneliest Day

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The phone rang, Jen tutted and abandoned the cake batter she had been mixing to answer it. It was probably a cold caller and she should just let the answer machine get it but she had finally got month old baby Louis down for his afternoon nap and didn’t want anything disturbing him.

‘Hello?’ Jen said into the phone.

‘Hi, it’s only me,’ her husband, Mike spoke, ‘I tried your mobile. I thought you might be a sleep.’

‘No,’ Jen replied with a sign, ‘I was in the kitchen.’

‘Okay. I just wanted to let you know I’m not sure what time I’ll be home,’ Mike explained, ‘there’s been a full office computer crash. Some idiot downloaded a virus yesterday and it’s super bad. I’m not letting anyone from the IT department leave till we’ve fixed it.’

‘I see,’ Jen uttered.

‘I’ll get something to eat on the way home. Don’t wait up for me, you still need to rest as much as possible.’

Jen nodded.

‘How is Louis?’ Mike asked.

‘Good. He’s sleeping now and he drink a full bottle before.’

‘Super! I got to go. Got the big boss at my throat. See you later, Honey.’

‘Bye,’ Jen said as the ring tone beeped in her ear.

She hung the phone up then stared at it. Why did things like that had to happened? Jen hugged herself and tried not to let the silence of the house get to her. Feeling a slight chill, she moved back into the warmth of the kitchen.

There in the bright lights, surround by cooking equipment and ingredients she could pretend that everything was normal again. Busying herself with finishing off mixing the cake batter, she was just about to divided it into the paper cupcake cases with a baby’s cry came from the living room.

Jen paused and tried not to rush off. Hoping, he would stop and settle again, She began scooping batter into the cases. She made it to four then give in and went into the living room.

‘I’m coming, Louis,’ she called.

Jen stood over pram then picked Louis up. She mumbled things to him and snuggled him. Then realised he needed changing and went and did that. Wrapping him up again, she tried to get him back to sleep but he seemed too awake. Placing him into the pram again, she wheeled him into the kitchen and parked him up.

Finishing dividing the cake mix, she placed the tray into the oven and set the timer. Washing her hands, she tidied everything up then wondered what to do next. On the counter was a pack of spaghetti and a jar of bolognese sauce, this evening dinner.

‘We won’t be needing this now,’ Jen said aloud and put them away, ‘I’ll have some soup instead and you can have some more milk.’

Louis made a moaning sound and Jen checked on him. He had taken both scratch mitts off again.

‘How do you do that?’ Jen wondered.

She put the mitts back on and wheeled him back into the living room. There, she put the TV back and set the channel to one with afternoon game shows as had became her habit. Picking up Louis, she sat cuddling him on the sofa. He dozed on and off then wanted feeding again.

The timer went off whilst she was feeding him and Jen, who hadn’t mastered juggling a baby and other things yet, had to place him down and go to get the cakes out. Louis started crying and her repeatedly tell him she was coming right back had no effect. Cakes out and left to cool, she washed her hands and hurried back to breast feeding him.

Settled again, Jen felt waves of tiredness drifting over her. Louis was a heavy, hot, soft bundle in her arms. The house was warmer now as the heating had come on. Rain was tapping against the windows and even though it was almost four o’clock, night had rolled in.

Realising, she should close the curtains, Jen got up careful and placed Louis in his pram again. She went over to the window and looked out. The street lamps were on and there were cars and people outside. A front door across the road was open, light pooling out and two people were stood in the glow.

A stab of loneliness hit Jen. Her hands slipped from the curtains. She had been ill throughout the whole of her pregnancy and had to have time off work sick then take early maternity leave. Luckily, she and Louis had got through the birth fine, but Jen was recovering and hadn’t left the house much in the last ten months now.

Family and friends had been regularly visitors throughout those months and Jen was grateful for those mornings and afternoons spent with in their company but the mid-week period was the worse time. It was just her and Louis for eight or nine hours whilst Mike was a work and everyone else was too busy.

Jen closed the curtains and tried to get rid of the dreadful feeling filling her up. She checked on Louis who was fast asleep then went into the kitchen. She ate one of the just cooled cakes and made herself a cup of tea.

To help focus herself, Jen thought about plans for the next few weeks. After her last hospital check up, she would started to go out more. She had seen a mums and babies play group advertised at a local church on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. There was also baby swimming on Monday and Friday mornings at the sport centre. On Wednesdays there was the lunch club at her work that she could take Louis too as well.

‘See? You are going to be fine,’ Jen said aloud, ‘just get better.’

Grabbing another cake and her cup of tea, Jen went back to the sofa. Adverts were flashing on the TV and Jen got ready to watch the next quiz show, feeling that little bit better.

Toffee Apple Tasting

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There were a few things that sum up autumn perfectly and one of them is toffee apples. As you do the weekly shop and pick up the normal fruit and veg, you spot the boxes in the last section of the large open fridge. Strolling over, you see sticks coming out of red glossy apples and next to them are chocolate covered sprinkle apples.

Your mouth starts to water as you remember how sweet they taste. You select a few, knowing that next week they might not have any in. Then you carry on with your shopping list but you can’t wait to get home now. At the till, you hurry through packing and paying, keeping up a light chat with the small woman scanning your shopping.

You leave, go to the car and place everything inside then you drive slowly home because the rain is heavy and the wind gale force. When you get back, you see your family is still out. Your husband has taken the kids to a birthday party at a soft play centre. You unpack and twice have to draw yourself away from grabbing a toffee apple.

Once everything is sorted, you chose one of the bright red apples and curl up on the sofa with it. Enjoying the sound of the weather outside, you don’t turn the TV or radio on. You unwrap the treat, the plastic coat so loud as you twist it off. You breath deeply, smelling the crisp apple and sweet, sweet treacle toffee.

You turn the stick slowly, marvelling at the perfect, thick toffee and wondering how did they get it so good. Your own attempts at making toffee apples drifts into you mind, but you shake them away now isn’t the time to reflect on your failures. You bring the apple to your lips and began nibbling at the lip of toffee on top.

A blast of sticky sugar hits your tongue, you shut your eyes and moan softly in pleasure. You nibble more, feeling like you can’t get enough now you’ve started. Then you hit the rock hard toffee and cold apple layers. You go more slowly, careful of your teeth. When you finally bit into the apple, the sweet and softness of it goes perfectly with the toffee as if they were made for each other.

You carry on eating, rolling in the happy feelings, until all the toffee is gone and you are almost at the core of the apple. Saddness creep in under the sugar rush. You wish there was more… You lick your lips, feeling sticky as you look at the apple core.

The sound of car pulling up on the driveway shakes you out of the pleasure. You hear car door and voices; your family is home. Spring up from the sofa, you put the apple core, stick and plastic wrap in the bin and wash your face.

The front door opens and you fight to keep down the sugar rush as you greet your family. They must never know.

Village Bakery

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Every morning, Jenny got up and went to her family’s bakery. Always the first to arrive, she tied on a clean pale blue apron over her black pants and white blouse then set about the morning tasks. Firstly,  she took the now clean aprons out of the washing machine and hung them up on the line in the little yard. The sun was just coming up and there was only the sounds of birds to be heard.

Secondly, she checked the stock rooms and made a list of everything that needed re-ordering then Jenny placed that notepad on her grandpa’s desk for him to see. There was no need for her to clean anything as her grandma and mother tided when they closed then again before they opened.

Tying back her short chestnut brown hair and washing her hands, Jenny went to the back kitchen and the bookcase of recipe books. Even thought she knew how to make everything the bakery sold with her eyes shut, she still liked the comfort of the big, overused books. Selecting one which was all in her great-grandmother’s handwriting, Jenny placed it on the book stand and flipped through the pages.

Grabbing the ingredients, she began to make a few different loafs of bread. It didn’t really matter what kinds they were because the second they were on the shop’s shelves they would start to be bought. Having mixed, divided and put the additional ingredients in to the batches, she let all the dough proof.

At that time, other family members began arriving; Jenny’s parents and grandparents. Greeting each other, they all began their morning tasks. Her mother and grandma cleaning everything, her grandpa going in his office to do paperwork, her dad coming to help with the baking.

As the sun fully rose on another picture perfect summer day, the villagers and tourist started awaking. The lovely aroma of freshly baked bread filled the warm air. The bell above the bakery door tinkled and the first customer arrived. Jenny smiled as she heard an old man’s voice asking what bread there was this morning.

Her grandmother began answering as her father pulled a tray stacked with white and brown loafs out and carried it into the shop. Jenny breathed in deeply, shutting her eyes. There was no better job in the world she decided.

Toffee Apples

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As the crunch echoed in her ears, she felt like autumn had really arrived. The sweet, crisp taste of apple and hard toffee mixed on her tongue and filled her with a bliss that seemed unbeatable. She swallowed and had to hold back her moan of pleasure. This was almost as good as pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice latte. It was the essence of autumn wrapped up.

Bad Day Cure

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After a bad day her only cure was to make cake. There was something she drew from the measuring and mixing of ingredients; a calming, homely sense that she could never put her fingers on. Afterwards when the cake was in oven, she curled on the sofa, licking the bowl and spoon. Memories of being little sat in her grandmother’s kitchen and eating the cake batter filled her. She had never known her grandmother not to be baking something. The timer went off and she hurried to take the cake out of the oven. The warm smell of vanilla of hugged her and she felt better already.

Kitchen

Kitchen, Decoration, Kitchen Equipment

Nickie lived in kitchens because food was her passion and her dream was to be a top chief. Though some days when she was chatting away to whoever, she came across more like Cinderella or some old fashioned housewife.

Cake Makes It All Feel Better

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Stuffing her face full of cake wasn’t going to help. But right at this moment she didn’t give a damn.

Baker’s Remorse

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The smell of burning filled the kitchen. Sandy put her hands on her hips and looked down at the tray of blackened cupcakes. A small line of smoke was drifting upwards. Throwing down the oven gloves, she let out a loud growl and pulled her hair out of the bun. Shiny, slightly damp ginger locks tumbled down her shoulders and back.

The phone rang, breaking the muted stillness around Sandy.

She ignored it and turned off the oven. Popping open the kitchen window, a freezing gale force wind swept inside, stealing away all the heat and smoke. Grabbing the oven gloves, she picked up the tray and dumped the destroyed cupcakes in the bin. Then abandoning the tray and gloves, she walked into the hallway and snatched the phone up.

Listening, she heard a call centre’s beeping break off and a crackling voice asked to speak to her.

‘Depends what you want,’ Sandy mumbled into the phone.

‘We are doing a life style questionnaire and a price draw for a holiday,’ the clipped female Asian voice explained.

Sandy shook her head, ‘no thanks.’

Hanging up, she went upstairs and got changed for her very important meeting. There’s going to an uproar, she thought, and I don’t really have time to go to the shops now. Why did I agree to bring cakes anyway?

Sighing, she did the buttons on her blouse up and checked the time. If she left now, she could just make it to the supermarket. Mulling things over, she put on her high heels, gathered her things and got into the car. The dashboard clock, told her there was still time and Sandy decided it was better than no cake.

Starting the car, she drove to the supermarket and gathered a range of cupcakes, muffins, doughnuts and small cakes. Returning, she placed everything in the car, got in and drove off. Telling herself, she’d just say there’d been no time, she drove to her meeting and hoped the company heads and directors didn’t have sweet teeth.