Thursday, April 15, 2010

Time Train - Chapter 13

What strange land do Rhubarb and Co. find themselves in today? Or when do they find themselves yesterday?

“Bong! Bong! Bong!”

Florentine Lily Porterhut stepped through the threshold of the door just as the grandmother clock chimed. She had gotten to the butcher shop just in time to fetch a couple of their last good steaks.

She had also stopped off for a newspaper and to purchase some more yarn at the local textile factory. They occasionally ended up with leftover unsuitables that Florentine would snatch up for a minor penny. So with supper and the newspaper and the yarn tucked under her arms, she managed to make it home in a little less than an hour.

Florentine could never really be sure when her husband Rhubarb would be home. All that she knew was that he would be there before their food was ready to be set on the table. So with two or three hours before Rhubarb and Columbus would be home, she thought she could take her time in preparing supper.

At the butcher’s she was able to secure two fine steaks, one for Rhubarb, and one to share between herself and Columbus. While she and Columbus did not always see eye-to-eye, they yet shared a bond that also translated to their food, and she was more than willing to oblige. Furthermore she could see that Columbus took little pleasure in life aside from sleeping in his bed and eating, and for the latter she could at least make a bit of difference.

If there were many things that Florentine was unskilled in, cooking was not one of them—and in fact she was an adept cook from the age of three when she cooked her first, perfect soft-boiled egg. In the kitchen she glided around like an ice dancer across a freshly frozen pond. In mere seconds she trimmed the two steaks of all undesirables leaving only that which was consumable and worthwhile. And with genteel manner she seasoned them to perfection—a grain more or less of salt would have been too much or too little respectively. With both hunks of meat prepared, she moved on to cleaning and prepping the potatoes, peeling and cutting them and tossing them in seasonings.

Rhubarb was not especially fussy when it came to food, but Florentine knew how to take a simple taste and make it bloom. For despite her simultaneously real and feigned indifference toward her husband’s profession, she loved him dearly, and through her cooking, showed her affection.

“Bong! Bong! Bong! Bong!”

“Four o’clock already? Perhaps I should start the stove soon,” she thought to herself. But then she began to wonder what kind of excitement Rhubarb had gotten himself into today, and thought that she should hold off just a little longer before cooking the potatoes. After all, the rest would give both the meat and the potatoes ample time to marinate.

She washed her hands and resolved to knitting some more. But when she sat down, an article in the newspaper on recent paleontological discoveries caught her eye. The article discussed fossil findings in Northern America.

“Imagine that. Giant creatures roaming down our very streets.” The idea tickled her and before she knew it she had read away several minutes.

At nearly a half past, she had to get everything on the stove if she was going to be ready for Rhubarb and Columbus’ return. So setting down the paper, she set up to cook, but somehow she just couldn’t shake the idea of dinosaurs out of her head.

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