Hiya! Dawn here. I’ve had folks ask, now and again, about my novel in progress. I keep that stuff pretty close to the vest, mostly to avoid humiliation. But what the heck — here’s a short bit from the middle, that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot, but which I had fun writing. Enjoy.
Jason called me at 11:15 on Thursday night, a rather late time to be calling anyone, in my opinion. That’s more of a texting time. If you text a person at 11:15 p.m., they’ll still probably get your message and respond to you in a timely fashion, which is really all a person wants. And you won’t be breaking their concentration if, for example, they happen to be sitting on their couch wearing a Snuggie, eating dry cereal out of the box, and watching the lightning knife-skills showdown round of “Chef Fight.”
On this particular episode, chef Jamie “Boxcar” Sanders of the renowned Pig on a Windmill gastropub was going head-to-head with Lazlo Furio, who founded the Imbue chain of upscale vegan-fusion restaurants. The challenge was to create a modern breakfast from just five ingredients, in 45 minutes. It was a real white-knuckler.
Finally, the judges – a very famous chef known for his loud catch phrase, the editor of a prestigious food magazine, and the star of an NBC sitcom about a monkey scientist — called time, and stepped up to taste their creations. The music made it all very dramatic, and the camera cut back and forth between everyone’s eyes like in a Sergio Leone western.
“My breakfast is a play on childhood,” Sanders said, wiping his brow with his AC/DC headwrap. “It’s a poached quail egg on a bed of buttered panko crumbs, seasoned lightly with curry. In the small cup to the side is my take on a post-modern kid’s cereal.”
“Ooh,” said the magazine editor. “How did you make that?”
Sanders smirked. “I baked off some sheets of phyllo dough after sprinkling them with dehydrated honey and sea salt, crumbled them, and then at the last minute poured in a little almond milk that I made in the food processor.”
The judges each tasted the four or five bites of food on the plates in front of them, and nodded sagely before stepping over to Furio’s table.
“For my breakfast, I wanted each bite to remind you of a different, important aspect of the meal,” Furio said, looking a little abashed. “I created a miniature stack of buckwheat-and-black-current waffles, drizzled with a blood orange reduction. On the side, is an espresso-gelatin shot, and the plate is garnished with bacon-flavored foam.”
The sitcom star looked at the plate with a frown. “I understand you had a problem with one of your ingredients?”
Furio squared his shoulders, and blinked back tears. “I had planned to also make gorgonzola-pear crumpets, but …” He paused, trying to decide how far he should go. “I believe Boxcar turned off the oven halfway thought the baking cycle.”
The camera cut to Sanders, who rolled his eyes dramatically.
“That’s a serious charge,” said the famous catch-phrase chef. “You should never blame another chef for your own failures.” Furio looked down at his feet.
And that’s when the phone rang. I paused the DVR and prepared to be extremely bitchy to whoever was calling.