Long Cold Winter: Chapter Twelve

The smell of Thai red curry chicken and Pad Thai. the two wondrous smells intermingled to tease Matt’s senses. He had fallen in love with Thai food when he went to Thailand to learn rhythms and string progressions. He’d always been interested in trying new sounds, but Southeast Asia and the islands seemed so much more mystical than Greek or even Arabesque music. And the food was to die for.

He’d brought the experience back with him. And taught his siblings all how to cook it. He had always insisted that they be open to new foods. Same-old-same-old always got boring. And he knew there was more to life than a thick juicy steak and baked potato. No better way to grow fat and sassy…well, other than fast food. And he hated fast food. with a passion.

No one, he believed, should eat hamburgers and french fries at any price. It was cheaper to make them yourself, and you could put whatever you wanted-or even leave off whatever you wanted-on them. He wasn’t against take out or even eating out. No, he loved a good meal in a high end restaurant the same as anyone. He just thought that fast food was deplorable. A meal that cost you around six dollars in a burger joint only cost a little over two to make.

Take french fries. If you bought a bag of frozen, a single serving only cost around $0.50. If you made them fresh, from a potato, they only cost somewhere around $0.10 per serving or less, depending on if you got a 5 or 10 lb bag on sale or at regular price. Then, you divided cost of the bag to find out the cost of an individual potato and that became the price of a single serving of homemade fries.

You could buy hamburger buns for between $0.99 to $2.99 per package, depending on brand and whether you got them on sale. With eight buns to a package, you divided the overall price by eight and came up with the cost of the single bun.

And a pound of hamburger cost roughly $6 total. Divide that into at least four servings, maybe more, and that was the cost of the hamburger. The condiments cost less than a penny, since you didn’t use all that much. And the lettuce, also cost less than a penny. The onion, if you bought in bulk, was the overall price, divided by number of onions in a bag, then that cost divided by how many slices you made from the single onion. The final cost would be the result. And then the pickles would be less than a penny.

In the end, it was a lot cheaper to make your own hamburger. And you didn’t have to pay someone else to grill it, or even to get it all wrong with your specifics. Plus, you didn’t have to pay tax. It was a winning proposition.

But America had grown lazy. No one, it seemed, cooked their own food anymore. And they wondered why there was a rise in health problems. All those preservatives. All that sugar. All that starch. All that grease.

Salt. Artificial sweeteners. Artificial colors. Artificial flavors. All combined to be a major health threat.

Along with the antibiotics and hormones they fed their animals. He shook his head. That was why he did only organic. He didn’t care if it was gluten free or not. Just that it was healthier.

Free-range, fully bled chickens. Grass fed beef, goat, and sheep. He was very picky in his fish and seafood as well. Most was from fish farms that used no chemicals or were sea-caught. his vegetables were organically grown, his grains were all natural, not GMO, and his rice was either long grain, brown or wild rice. Basmati rice was good as well.

His siblings had learned well from him. They rarely brought him takeout and never used white rice for any dishes. For Asian dishes, they always used brown rice. For Mexican and Spanish dishes, they always used wild and long-grained rice. For risotto, they used basmati.

He opened the bowls containing the feast he’d been brought. He could gorge himself on this, if they allowed him. But they always brought just enough for a single meal. He piled the brown rice on his plate. Jasmine rice. His favorite.

But, then, jasmine rice was Rainbow’s touch to all her special Asian dishes. Next, on one half the rice, he piled red curry chicken. On the other, he piled the Pad Thai. He would come back and make a second plate. He just had to.

Going over to the table in the breakfast nook, he sat down and began to eat. Savoring each bite, he took his time. She didn’t bring him this delicacy every day. But, then, the meal changed daily. As did what Star brought.

Maybe he ought to begin cooking for himself again. But, damn! He hated to cook for just himself. And he had no one else to share with. And eating alone was no fun either. It was lonely. Boring.

He only wished that one of his ex-wives had stayed. Or one of his kids. He knew he had at least five. Were there more that he didn’t know about?

Ironic. He’d been married at least a dozen times. At least two of those wives’d had three kids. But what of the rest? He had not heard anything from them since their divorces from him. And the silence was worse than their vocal departures.

Most had left because of jealousy. They had not wanted to compete with anyone for his attention. And they saw his siblings as competition. They’d had bodies like Venus, but the maturity levels of a two-and-a-half-year old. Looking back, it might’ve worked better had he not taken responsibility for his brothers and sisters. He he’d be damned if he would’ve left them to the fate they would’ve had if he hadn’t stepped in.

On second thought, it wouldn’t have worked. They were even jealous of the road. They loved only his money. Or the fame he brought them. Not him.Those women could all be hanged.

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2 thoughts on “Long Cold Winter: Chapter Twelve

  1. I am done describing meals…for now. You will find that Rainbow and Star are the only two siblings that take time to cook for their brother. Sam is off doing his own thing as are Al, Marnie, and Lady. Oh, don’t worry, they’ll make appearances in the story somewhere…but I have some more surprising cast members to introduce before they show up.

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