Eat Seat

Prompt: Create

food images

Josh Woodwing dimmed the lights, then strode to the presentation screen with a thin wooden pointer about half a meter in length. He grinned broadly, knowing his smile was charming, showing perfected capped and whitened teeth. “Welcome Cash and Leep! Good to see you both again. I think you’re gonna like what you see today!”

Cash waved and grinned back and Leep, a little lacking in social skills, just stared at him and his pointed stick.

There were six people at the table, not including Cash and Leep. This was a team effort, a large team effort, they were telling their clients. Look at all the people involved! Think of all the meetings and brainstormings! Look at the youth of these people— fresh, talented, hungry! They want you to succeed.

“Now your revolutionary new dining chair is new,” Josh said redundantly. “So we wanna generate some excitement.” On the screen, a grey, well-padded, faux suede chair popped into a bright lime green.

“The green colour is optional,” Tunia said. She sat at the end of the table nearest the screen. Leep couldn’t fathom what kind of name “Tunia” was. Was it short for “Petunia”? It sounded too much like “tuna” to Leep’s ears. It was distracting. He hadn’t had lunch. “We have a number of ideas for the logo colours,” she continued.

“Thanks, Tunia,” Josh said. “That’s one great thing about this plan: flexibility!”

“Go on,” said Cash. He looked at his watch. He told the babysitter he’d be back by four o’clock.

The presentation became animated, with images of food— apples, pies, turkey legs— pitched around the screen, and letters tumbling to form words, and a shapely cartoon woman looking mightily satisfied as she reclined in the green chair, which was suddenly floating on a cloud, and a manic drumbeat merged with the sound of a heavenly choir, and then…

“Introducing… Eat Seat!” Josh announced with pride.

“Eat Seat?” said Cash.

“Catchy, unforgettable!” said Tunia, clapping her hands.

“There will be a voice-over, some of the pitch ideas are in your binder,” said Josh through his beaming smile. “We want impact, contrast, buzzability!”

Cash looked at his watch again, then looked up. “I like it!” he said. “Leep?”

“But an ordinary dining chair is an ‘eat seat’,” said Leep. “The name isn’t descriptive.” Was he imagining it, or did he smell french fries?

“It jolting, attention-grabbing, makes you want more,” said Josh.

“And why are the letters in ‘Eat Seat’ so fat and black?”

“You’ve eaten your fill! You’re full and heavy!” said Tunia.

“Lime green won’t match many dining room sets,” said Leep.

“Lots of colour choices yet!” said Josh. “Orange! Sky Blue! Smooth Taupe!” The rest of the people sat at the conference table were silent, but nodding and laughing with enthusiasm, like a church congregation. “So Cash, you love it?”

“Leep has a point,” he said loyally. “Or two. What was wrong with ‘Dina-Reclina’?”

“We felt ‘Eat Seat’ was powerful, evocative, memorable,” said Tunia.

“You all are sure full of adjectives,” said Cash with a grin.

They all laughed. Cash noticed one young team member with long silky black hair, smiling at him calmly while the rest feigned encouragement. What was her name again?

“We are proud of this work,” Josh said, almost defensively.

“And so you should be,” said Cash, “but we have a few details to discuss.” Leep seemed to have a good idea of what they needed; Cash would back him up.

“Shall I arrange coffee?” asked Tunia, standing.

“Yes,” said Leep. “Any cookies or donuts?”

Cash looked at his watch.

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Mary Jones

Prompt: Reprieve

strawberry cheesecake

She had a great palate and was executive chef for a large hotel chain, until she was accused of murdering her father, mother, brother, three aunts, their two sons, and the girlfriend of one of the sons.

Now that her lawyer and best friend had overturned her conviction, she changed her name and moved to a larger community, getting a kitchen job in a new restaurant with a strange name. There were surviving family members who might not agree with her reprieve from hanging, so it seemed best to dissolve into an anonymous landscape, at least for a time.

Mary Jones. That was her new name. She liked it. She liked her job in the restaurant kitchen, doing prep and clean up and dog’s body work. She loved the zen of julienning carrots, peeling potatoes, removing pin bones from filleted fish, keeping work surfaces sparkling clean and ready. She liked her boss, Hugo, who treated her with a distant professionalism which she found very attractive.

It was a busy Friday night dinner service when someone in the restaurant died suddenly. There were screams and cries from the dining room that Mary was the first to hear. Perhaps she was attuned to the sounds of pain. She was one of the first on the scene, finding a woman on the floor beside one of the white linen covered tables, a young man, possibly her son, crouched over her and howling like an animal.

She felt her adrenaline surge. That part was natural, wasn’t it?

The woman was taken away on a stretcher in an ambulance, as if she could come back to life. Mary knew death when she saw it. In fact, there was something about that night that spoke of epiphany.

Mary had a taste for death. There was no point in denying it, or looking the other way, or pretending otherwise. While she would never admit to murdering her extended family, she was not averse to admitting to the thrill of death.

It was a dangerous taste, like a craving for fugu, the Japanese dish prepared with extreme care lest the violently deadly parts of the fish should touch human lips. Mary had a craving for life fugu.

So when Hugo asked her to package up some mushroom fettuccine for his wife, a cop who was ill and recovering at home, Mary thought a little dose of arsenic, that old-fashioned poison, might liven things up, especially since during her arrest and pretrial incarceration, the police had been rather unsympathetic, choosing to believe she was guilty and treating her as such, even before the evidence presented at her trial. Hugo’s wife might be a very nice person, but a cop was a cop.

Hugo’s wife was too ill to eat that night, apparently, but was the poisoned dish put in the refrigerator for future consumption? Would Hugo be tempted and lazy one night, and fall ill? Would his weakened wife finally feel hungry and suffer a relapse, possibly a fatal one?

Mary waited. Have you ever had a craving, maybe for fresh buttered popcorn, or a rare steak, or strawberry cheesecake, or a Bloody Caesar cocktail? And had to wait—but know that eventually, what you crave will be before you, and that the first taste, the first bite, will be a little piece of bliss?

Mary knew that feeling. She had a new life and a new taste. She waited.

Simple Salmon Cakes

Prompt: Simple

salmon-cakes13-1

Guess what? I was making dinner tonight (I love to cook) and mulling over what to write for today’s prompt, simple. Guess what I was preparing? Simple Salmon Cakes. These are really easy and really good, so I thought I’d share.

Simple Salmon Cakes

Servings: 2

1 – 14 oz can salmon (preferably sockeye), drained
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 green onion, sliced finely
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
S & P
Panko bread crumbs
Butter or oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients except the Panko and butter in a bowl. Form into patties. If you have time, cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes while you make a salad or have a cigarette on the front porch. Coat with Panko bread crumbs, and fry in a little oil or butter until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Serving suggestions: Good with rice or curried rice, a wedge of lemon, and/or a quarter cup of mayonnaise mixed with lemon, hot pepper, curry powder, or fresh herbs.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime

Photo Prompt: Dinnertime

Slow Cooker 2

Photo by Fluffy Pool

This is a photo of a simmering stew I made in the slow cooker and photographed for my recipe blog. I didn’t use this picture, because it wasn’t very helpful, but I kind of liked the lusciousness of the food in the cooker, the abstract quality of the photo, and the reflections in the glass lid, one of which is the iPhone that I used to take the picture.