Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)
TITLE: Cooking For Two
By Jen Davis
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“You ready for some breakfast?” Kathryn finally asked.
John nodded and continued reading. While she cooked, he could hear her chattering in the background but was only vaguely aware of what she was saying.
“You’re not listening to me.”
“Yes, I am.”
“What did I say?”
“I said, we’re in a rut!”
“A rut! You know what a rut is—a deep hole, a pit, a depression!”
“What are you saying, Kathryn?”
“We need to find a common interest.”
“We have plenty of common interests—thirty-seven year’s worth of common interests to be exact. He grabbed her book and his in the same hand. “See. We even both like to read.”
“We need something new.”
“And what do you suggest?”
“That’s what I was trying to tell you. I was thinking that one week you could come up with an idea for something fun for us to do, and the next week I would come up with something.”
“And what if we don’t want to do what the other comes up with?”
“We just have to do it anyway.” When John didn’t say anything she added, “Come on. We need to branch out and try new ideas. It’ll be fun.”
“Somehow I’m not so sure of that.”
Kathryn placed John’s plate before him. “Oh! Never mind!” Frustrated, she turned and started to storm out of the kitchen.
“Wait!” John wanted to resolve this as quickly and painlessly as possible.
He drew in a deep breath. “Okay. About this rut of ours, I’ll give it a try, but I get to pick first. We’re going golfing—today.”
“But it’s freezing outside!”
“Forty-five degrees is not freezing. It’s just a little nippy.”
Kathryn shivered at the thought and huddled deeper into her thick robe, digging her toes into the warmth of her pink fluffy slippers.
The following week, Kathryn and John were driving to the cooking class she had signed them up for.
“I don’t know how you talked me into this, Kathryn.”
“Hey, I went golfing with you.”
“I’m not sure if tearing up the greens counts as golfing.”
“Well, I tried! And besides, you agreed to go to cooking class with me. Would you just try to have a good time?”
Inside the cooking school, Kathryn and John took their seats just as the chef began class.
“Welcome to our cooking series ‘Cooking for Two.’ Tonight we will be making an herb stuffed chicken along with roasted zucchini and yellow squash. So, don your chef aprons and we’ll get started.”
Kathryn was surprised to see John carefully measuring out each ingredient and meticulously following directions. Seeing him work so intently, biting his lower lip as he struggled to stuff the herb mixture under the skin of the chicken breast, pulled at her heartstrings. What that man wouldn’t do to make her happy! Suddenly, she felt guilty for dragging him there.
Kathryn leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “We can go home now.”
“Home? But we’re just getting started.”
“I shouldn’t have made you come here with me.”
A man standing next to John piped in, “Hey, if he gets to go, so do I. We’re in this together, buddy.”
The man’s wife added, “And he’s not going anywhere. Do you know what I had to go through to get him here?”
The two couples made instant friends, exchanging laughter and sharing their meal together at the end of class.
On the drive home they rode in silence before John finally admitted, “That was actually fun.”
“It was, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah. We ate some good food, met some nice people. I even enjoyed the cooking part.”
Kathryn reached over and took his hand in her own. With her other hand she lightly stroked his skin; once soft and supple, it had begun to resemble the texture of parchment paper.
“Do you want to stop by the bookstore? She asked impulsively. “Hey! Maybe we could read the same book …or even put together a book club with friends.”
John just smiled and squeezed her hand in return, a laugh escaping.
“What are you giggling about?”
John stole a quick glance, smiling at her, and then quickly returned his eyes to the road. “I was just thinking… If you and I are in a rut, then there’s no other place I’d rather be.”
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