Origins of a Four-Star Chef (A Short Story)


Four Stars

One-handed didn’t quite work out. She took one egg in both her hands and cracked it forcefully against the bowl. The insides slid gracefully into the container. That seemed to work.

Repeat. Crack. Slide.

A fork or a whisk? She’s seen her grandmother use both. She grabbed what was nearer and started beating the eggs till they looked fluffy. Salt was needed, she remembered, and so sprinkled some into her fluffy eggs.

She already had some asparagus chopped up, grated cheese, diced onions and garlic. Into the hot pan they went, followed by the fluffy eggs.

When there were little shades of gold, she slid her eggy masterpiece onto a white plate.

She did it! She did it!

“MARCY!!!,” she heard her mother scream behind her. “What the hell are you doing alone in the kitchen?! You could’ve burned yourself! You could’ve burned the house down!”

The little girl stood frozen by the stove, her plate in both hands. All she could do was look up at her bug-eyed mother and lift her plate.

“Breakfast, Mama?,” she uttered quietly.

Her mother grabbed the plate from her hands and threw it into the trash. “No sane four-year-old would do this!,” her mother screamed. “Why can’t you just play with Barbie dolls and eat candy?” Marcy looked on as she watched her mother take out a carton of milk and a box of cereal.

Tomorrow, she thought, as she munched quietly on her tasteless cornflakes. She would wake up an hour earlier and try again. She would try the whisk next time because the eggs weren’t as fluffy as she wanted. And maybe she’d add some chopped tomatoes for color.

(Written Sept. 24, 2009. Image by D Sharon Pruitt)

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