This short piece was inspired by a writing prompt about the potato and was a joy to write.
The earthy smell of the freshly dug spuds in the hessian bag held promise of delicious home-cooked delights.
What will he cook this time? the children wonder, as they watch the spuds and other supplies being unloaded from the cart. Cook is hurriedly moving the fresh vegetables into the cellar. The children continue with their game of rounders.
Cook begins collecting kindling for the stove and goes about filling the wood box outside the kitchen. An older girl, Sarah, is keen to learn how to bake and make scrumptious dinners like Cook. He is the best in the district, and she is pleased her father convinced Cook to live and work with them.
Sarah stops by the kitchen doorway, quickly glancing around to make sure mother and father are not nearby. They have warned her to leave Cook be, do not pester him. The desire to learn from the best is too exciting to ignore. Cook looks up to see Sarah standing silent, awaiting an invite, or to be told to run along.
“Well, don’t just stand there lassie. C’mon in.”
That was all Sarah needed to hear to rush into the kitchen and grab the spare apron Cook had set aside for her.
The stove was beginning to warm the kitchen and Sarah could barely contain her excitement thinking of the aromas that would soon fill it.
“Cook, what are we going to make today?”
“I think we will start with Pumpkin Soup and Damper, then make a Sponge Cake lassie, for afternoon tea.”
“Pumpkin Soup sounds simple. Is it Cook?”
“You are about to find out young lassie. Now, fetch me the pumpkin from the cellar. And two carrots and two spuds please.”
Sarah obediently darts off. Carefully minding her footing, she wonders how Cook manages the narrow steps as his feet are not petite like her own. The cellar is cold and dark. There is dim light from the window set high in the sandstone vault holding their precious supplies. It is enough for her to spy the pumpkin on the wooden rack. Grabbing the basket set to the side, she places the pumpkin in first, then goes in search of the carrots and lastly takes two potatoes from the hessian bag.
Back in the kitchen, Cook has set out his knife and spices. A large pot of water is sitting on one end of the long timber workbench. Wood has been stacked in the wood box alongside the stove. The ‘Scrap Bucket’ is on the floor, just under the edge of the table. Inevitably, Sarah stubs her toes on it. The chooks will get a nice feed later she thinks as she wriggles her toes to rid the pain.
“What do we do first Cook?”
“We will start with the pumpkin. I will cut it in half and then we will each cut one half up into pieces. Ready?”
“Now, do you know why I asked you to bring me the spuds?”
“No Cook, I don’t. Why did you?”
“Well lassie, today, I am going to tell you all about the divine potato.”
Would you like me to continue writing this into a bigger story? Either drop me an email or pop a comment down below.
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