Posts Tagged ‘Cook’

Feed me, Seymour

Saturday, October 15th, 2011


By Tiber

Even in this economic squeeze, Dad is still loathe to give up Cook. He loves her desserts so much.

Sometimes, when she makes him peach cobbler, he’ll flee with a piece of it and all you can hear is growling and chewing, like a lion, gnawing on a wildebeest.

Dad also doesn’t want to let Cook go because he knows that putting Mom in the kitchen would be like putting a detonator in a dynamite plant.

In this bad economy, however, Dad figured that, at least, he could ask Cook to cut back on the price of the food she buys.

You remember, he tried to get all of us to switch to Spam but that just ended with Spam not so much being eaten as, surreptitiously, stashed under sofas and into light fixtures.

Cook’s buying some kind of less expensive food, however.

Probably exactly like his own friends, Dad doesn’t want anybody to know he’s short of cash so he and Mom are still inviting people over for dinner regularly and Cook is still serving everyone delicious meals.

Of course, neither Dad nor the guests know exactly what’s in the meals now and you constantly hear comments like,

Guest: “This is really good!…What ingredients exactly are…” (trailing off, trying to sound natural).

Mom: “Thank you! We love Cook’s recipe for…” (trailing off too, having no idea what’s in it either).

Guest: (trying to get it out of her), “You must ask Cook to give me the recipe!”

Mom: “Oh, well, you know how cooks are about their work.” (No way will you ever know what we‘re serving tonight).

Nowadays, we may be down to lawn trimmings and chicken chins.

Of course, the reason Mom and Dad’s friends all want that recipe is because they’re probably down to lawn trimmings and chicken chins too.

It’s just that, in their case, it tastes like it.

Grab your partner, watch that gourd

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

By Tiber 

Evidently, there was a dance over in the servants’ hall.

Cook was making trips in and out, unloading groceries, and she inadvertently locked the kitchen door. The luggage entrance was locked as well.

Cook didn’t want to come over and use any of the doors in the main house because, like everybody else on staff, she’s trying to avoid Dad in case he ends up having to fire people and remembers who’s on the payroll.

So she started yelling through the closed servant’s hall window, why the hell wouldn’t some slacker unlock the damned door, knowing full well that the fault was all hers.

Brunty, the butler, looked outside. and with typical Brunty logic, decided that Cook, corkscrewing her body in a dervish fit of fury, was actually dancing.

So he started clapping along to the “beat” of Cook’s outdoor contortions. and when his delighted wife saw him so animated for a change, she grabbed him and they started to whirl around the room. 

Two of the security guys, who had thought they’d heard someone yelling but now found only a happy couple dancing, started to dance with two of the maids.

The party ended abruptly,  however, when a pumpkin was suddenly thrown through the window, accompanied by arcs of breaking glass.

Cook can’t dance but she sure can throw.

My perfume? It’s Chanel #Pie

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011


By Tiber

Once again, Cook is worried about Dad cutting back on expenses and firing her.

So she’s taken up “wafting” again. She did this before with peach cobbler but this time, it was cherry pie.

She stuck a freshly-baked, hot cherry pie on one of Mrs. Brunty, the housekeeper’s carts and then gave Brunty, the butler, one of her little electric hand fans.

Then she told him to follow Dad around as closely as possible and keep wafting that prized dessert smell in his direction.

Cook thinks this will keep her from being let go when the truth is, Dad already loves her pies so much that if it comes to cutting back, he’ll be much more likely to fire his children first.

Anyway, Dad quickly figured out the pie ruse but he didn’t care.

Brunty later said that Dad ended up following the cart even more than Brunty was following him.

This was true, though it wasn’t all because of the pie. Mom’s still mad at Dad and since she’s the only person on the planet who can scare him, it’s been a lot easier for him to maneuver down the hallways since he could duck-walk behind a large cart.

Viva Las Vegas, where the saints are marching in

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

By Tiber

You may remember when Cook got angry and threw a pan that made a dent in the floor, Soledad, the kitchen maid, believed the imprint looked like the Virgin Mary. Dad thought it looked more like Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas.”

The image ended up being lost anyway so we never got that far with it.

But now, it’s happened again.

Cook got angry with somebody else and threw a pasta colander at the wall. (Or as she put it to Dad, she was “playing catch with some poor children and she just missed.”) Either way, this time, Soledad thought the watermark it left looked exactly like St. Joseph.

Once again, she wanted to make the kitchen a free place of pilgrimage. But since the Vatican has a gift shop, she felt it would be all right to sell St. Joseph souvenirs.

Unlike Soledad, we’re not Catholic but, obviously, we wanted to be respectful. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, since Joseph was not the “real” father, could you charge as much for his items as you could for a Mary?

Then again, Joseph seems to appear in a lot fewer places so maybe you could charge more just for his rarity.

Predictably, once again, Dad peered at the watermark and said that the imprint looked exactly like Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas.”

Dad has also seen Ann-Margret from “Viva Las Vegas” in his dreams, in cloud formations and in beer foam. Somebody said he was like Jimmy Stewart in that old movie, “Harvey” where Stewart kept seeing a large rabbit that wasn’t there.

At least Dad has upped the crazy in a good way.

If you’re going to constantly be seeing an imaginary friend, it’s a hell of a lot better to have it be  a really hot redhead than simply be a giant hare.

“Look into my cake. You’re getting very sleepy.”

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

By Tiber

When we were kids, Cook would make us these great birthday cakes, where each piece had a little wrapped-up charm in it that was supposed to tell your fortune. A coin meant that money was coming, a little ball meant you were getting on a sports team, that sort of thing. It was fun, even though we didn’t give it much thought later on.

This week, for the housekeeper Mrs. Brunty’s birthday, Cook made a charm cake for her and every member of the staff got a piece of it.

Gabby got the heart charm and two days later, a new guy asked her out. Mrs. Brunty got the coin and one day later, she got an insurance refund.

Brunty, the butler, got the four-leaf clover. And he had some good luck immediately when he suddenly changed course in the hallway and thus avoided being mowed down by the dogs, who flew in, playing a lethal game of snout-hockey with their Justin Bieber doll. (You can really get your fangs into those bangs!)

Taffy, the maid, had gotten the little fruit bowl charm. This was meant to signify some extra sweet snacks, I guess, but since Taffy is perpetually attacked by the Universe, in her case, it just meant that she ran into the doorframe of the pantry and a can of peaches fell on her head.

Still, this time, all of Cook’s cake charms had come true! And Taffy has become completely unhinged by this.

She’s afraid that Cook has developed some kind of dangerous power with desserts.

Hearing what Cook was making for the family last night, Taffy tried everything she could to foil her.

It didn’t work and we all ate Cook’s delicious Baked Alaska anyway. Now, though, Taffy is convinced that, by dawn, we’re all magically going to wake up in Anchorage. And we’re all going to be stoned.

I’m starting to see things

Monday, May 31st, 2010

By Tiber

As I wrote about on April 12, 2010 in “We’re All Floored,” when Cook threw, sorry, “dropped” a heavy soup pot on the kitchen floor, Soledad, one of the maids, did drop to her knees, believing that the resulting dent in the floor looked like an image of the Virgin Mary.

The trouble was, everybody else was seeing other people in it. Dad saw an image of the actress Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas,” though as I pointed out at the time, I really think Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas” is simply imprinted on Dad’s brain.

I just saw a dent in the linoleum which made me either  a) the most dull-witted  b) the least blessed or c) right.

Cook has been surprisingly respectful and since Soledad sees the Virgin Mary, she’s allowed her to rope off the area and make a little altar around it. Of course, the problem is, it’s right in the middle of the kitchen floor. And now Cook has to deal with Dad popping in all the time too. He claims he’s trying to see what Soledad sees but we all know who he‘s really looking at.

The whole thing resolved itself last night, though, when Cook, this time carrying a heavy soup pot full of broth to the stove, lost her balance and knocked over one of the little votive candles on Soledad’s floor altar.

The candle flame caught Cook’s pant leg on fire and she screamed and this time did drop the soup pot. And then she leaped into the pot itself to put out the pant leg fire, only to have Dad walk in a second later. Dad thought Cook was trying to poison him and I guess if you do see someone standing in your food, it might be something to consider.

That was finally cleared up.

And best of all, it was noticed that Cook’s accidental dropping of the soup pot this time had made a bigger mark on the floor which erased any resemblance to a face at all. Everyone agreed that now it just looked like a plain old dent in the linoleum and the kitchen could be used safely once again.

I came over to get Dad and when I glanced down, I froze.

“Oh, no,” I thought. “Doesn’t anyone else see that now that looks a little bit like the flag?!?”

Obviously, you’re not supposed to step on that either.

And yet…I knew for sure that if I called Dad back, his brain would go right for it.

“Wait just a minute! I didn’t see it before but now that looks exactly like Ann-Margret! In ‘Viva Las Vegas!’ Just from a different angle!”

So…under the circumstances, I decided it was better to see nothing.  

I see nothing. I say nothing. I just move along, move along.

We’re all floored

Monday, April 12th, 2010

By Tiber

Yesterday, Cook “dropped” a heavy metal soup pot on the floor. There’s a better chance that she threw it at someone but nobody’s talking.

Whatever happened, my parents’ maid, Soledad, was cleaning the kitchen floor today when suddenly, she fell to her knees. Cook thought she was breaking into some form of folk-dancing and told her to knock it off until she was through with the mopping.

But Soledad had seen a vision. There on the floor, at least to her, was the image of the Virgin Mary.

Everything stopped and kitchen utensil traffic cones had to be arranged around the site until the family could be called in to check it out.

Soledad, knowing that Dad’s running short of cash, was already running with the idea of money from the vision as soon as he arrived. She didn’t think it would be fair to charge to see the Virgin Mary herself but felt it would be all right to set up a gift shop and sell her likeness on merchandise.

The main trouble, though, was that no one else could agree on who the face on the floor really looked like.

Dad thought it looked more like Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas.” Of course, Dad has also seen Ann-Margret from “Viva Las Vegas” in cloud formations, in his dreams and in beer foam so I’m not sure how reliable that is.

Duncan thought the face looked like Cleopatra in a hockey mask. Could she have played? Who can really say?

Kru insisted it was a Viking in a Panama hat, which if we did sell it in the gift shop would first require a rewriting of history.

What did I see? I saw linoleum with a dent in it. Either I am a)  the most dull-witted person here b)  the least blessed or c)  right.

Cook just wanted to know whether, if she ended up having long lines of pilgrims standing in her kitchen, she could at least ask them to peel some potatoes.


Not in Bruges

Thursday, March 18th, 2010


By Tiber

Since Dad’s looking for some extra income, one of his friends suggested renting out a room here. The house is so big and Dad’s friend even had a renter in the form of a Belgian man who has come to work for him for the next few months. Mom was none too thrilled but Dad said we could put him on the third floor and, except for meals, Mom would hardly even know he was here.

So, Jasper from Belgium arrived in a shattering rain storm. He stepped inside and said how much better it was to be with us than to be outside in a deluge. Good thing only Dad was there to greet him, as any of the rest of the family would quickly have cast doubt on that.

Anyway, Dad got Jasper settled into his room up here and soon we all were asleep.

Unfortunately, since Aunt April rarely comes out of her own rooms during the day, everybody forgot to tell her that a new man was in residence. Even more unfortunately, Aunt April does sometimes roam the halls in the dead of night and this is where she encountered Jasper, padding his way to the bathroom.

Speeding into action, Aunt April raced back to her room and then flew out wielding, honest to God, a pitchfork. How many people have a pitchfork in their bedroom?!? How many people even have a pitchfork in their garage?!? Poor Jasper ran but he doesn’t yet know the house that well and he ended up just going round and round in the halls, with this white-haired, pitchfork-charging demon in screaming pursuit.

Clearly, Jasper thought that by making one small wrong turn to the bathroom, he’d instead descended into one of Dante’s concentric circles of hell. Everybody woke up and it soon was all sorted out but Jasper, who’s sort of slight and polite, still looked a little shaky.

Cook, of all people, took pity on him and on her own initiative made him some Belgian waffles with Brussels sprouts, to “make him feel at home.” If there is a worse combination of any two foods, I don’t know what it is but no one wanted to say anything because, come on, it was Cook! Cook was actually being nice to somebody!

So Jasper, seeing all of us looking so pleased, went ahead and ate all of his “sproutaffles”, which I think may be guaranteed to elicit another trip to the bathroom later on. Dad did assure him, however, that he’d confiscated the pitchfork. Hey, it was the least we could do.

If Aunt April’s making haystacks in her bedroom, from now on, she’s just going to have to use her comb.