Matt shook himself out of thought. Why was he even worried for? After all, they would all be nearly fully grown. Hell. they would have all been born before 1990.
Any born after that date were clearly going to be frauds. Hell. He hadn’t even had sex with the women his sisters had tried to pair him with over the last six years, so none of them could step forward and make any claims. He’d lost all interest in sex until he met Amanda.
But she was his equal. In music. In creativity. In life.
She knew how to live to the fullest. And she did. Every day. And she always took him along for the ride.
God, how he loved the ride! It was thrilling. Exhilarating. Magnificent.
Ty had left to arrange for storage space a couple hours ago and now, Matt was alone. Well, not really. But there was no one in his office at the moment. He picked up the phone and dialed a number.
After a voice answered on the other end, he began. “Doctor Avery? Yes. This is Matt Morrow. Yes, Egypt’s father. No, I am not calling to warn you away from my daughter. Yes. I see she has had the talk with you about me.
“On the contrary. I called to ask your aid on a project. No, it is a recent idea. It deals with art. and packing it away to store until a proper space is ready for its installation. No. Not in the home. It will be a public display, but not salable.
“You will? The whole project? Good. Good. It’ll give you time to get to know the real me. Not the picture Egypt has painted. Yes. Yes. It’ll be our little secret. OK. Tomorrow, then? Nine-ish? Good. See you then. Nice talking to you too.”
He was smiling as he left the office. Egypt turned as he went by the living room door and he gave a mischievous wink and smile. He didn’t stick around to see her reaction. Instead, he continued on to the kitchen.
He dug around in the refrigerator until he found the ingredients for homemade pizza. Fresh tomatoes. Fresh peppers. Fresh onions. Only the finest cheeses. Italian sausage and ground beef.
Fresh herbs always made it taste like a dream. So did making the sauce. And he knew how to make the best pizza sauce in the world. Well, almost the best. The Italians still had the best pizza.
But his came in second. As did most of his culinary delights. But they only came in second to the original, not to anyone else. Not even the TV chefs.
He grabbed his sauce pan and began preparing the tomatoes to be rendered into sauce. He sliced them into irregular pieces and placed them into the pan. He added just enough water to cook the tomatoes down. Then enough salt to taste, along with fresh ground pepper. And oregano. And basil. And all the other nice herbs.
He placed a lid on the pot and set it to cooking over medium flame. It would take about an hour. But he would have to check it constantly to ensure that it did not scorch or burn. Or bubble dry.
Normally, he would have used a small amount of canned straight tomato juice instead of water, but it really didn’t matter. Besides. The guests wouldn’t taste the difference.
As he waited for the tomatoes to begin cooking, he sliced the pepperoni, peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, and the Canadian bacon. He also sliced another tomato to give the pizza that Napoletana flair. He grated the fresh mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar. He would have added other cheeses as his personal touch, but feared that the additions would make others less eager to eat.
He crumbled the sausage and beef into a skillet and began browning it, seasoning it lightly with salt and pepper. When it was finished, he drained the grease off, and scraped the meat into a bowl to cool. He returned to the tomatoes, which had just begun to boil. Stirring, he set the lid back on and turned his attention to the crust.
between mixing and tossing the crust, he checked his tomatoes again. They were perfect. He would let the dough rest. He took the pan of tomatoes and poured them, juice and all, into the blender. He didn’t have time for the ricer or the colander.
Holding the lid down, He put the setting on puree. He stopped the blender periodically to scrape the unchopped particles off the side and back down into the blender. He turned it back on. Four times.
When it was ready, he poured the sauce into a bowl to cool. He smiled, then returned to the dough. Time to toss it. Stretch it. Form it into the crust it was going to be.
He divided the dough into four equal portions. He began forming a crust with the first one. Moments later, he put the finished crust on a cooking tile. He repeated the step three more times.
When he was done arranging the sauce and toppings, he put the first two pizzas in the oven on the top rack and set the timer. He set the other two on the bottom rack, but knew that he would have to watch them closer.
He pulled a dozen chicken breasts from the refrigerator, put a griddle over two burners, then began to grill them. On a back burner, he began his own special Marsala sauce. The chicken didn’t take long to cook. He seasoned it with lemon pepper and a pinch of salt. He added the rest of the ingredients to the Marsala and then moved it to one of the front burners after he removed the griddle.
Sandra looked in the kitchen, appearing from nowhere. “Something smells good. Can I do anything to help?”
He smiled back at her. “Yes. Round everyone up and get them into the dining room. As quickly as possible.”
She grinned back. “Sure thing, Pops.”
She vanished again, and he returned to his Marsala. Once it was done, he took it off the burner and poured it into a dish .
Getting into the fridge again, he emerged with some Bok Choy, iceberg lettuce, and some carrots. He washed and chopped the Bok Choy and the lettuce. Grating the carrots, he added it to the lettuce mix. Tossing the salad lightly, he gently sliced the chicken breasts and placed one sliced chicken breast atop the salad and spooned the Marsala over it all. He smiled to himself. They were going to eat good tonight.
He carried the plates into the dining room and placed them at each place. He checked the pizzas on the bottom rack and removed them, letting them cool a bit before cutting them and placing them on the table as well. The timer went off and he went to remove the last two pizzas. He returned to the dining room with the dinner plates.
Everyone had begun to file into the dining room. Murmurs of how good everything smelled ran through the women as he stood smiling. “I have one more task, then I will join you. Please. Go ahead and start eating. We will have one more course after this, so please try to save room.”
He returned to the kitchen to begin the process of creating his own special version of Creme Brule. He would save the cherries jubilee for later. Much later. For now, he had to do something that would not take much time.