Last night, Pete’s tenant had a houseful of children who are growing up bathed in the cool light of satellite television, which went out during a storm. I borrowed the little girl, leaving my car keys as collateral, and pulled a couple of Dad’s cookbooks down from the shelves. We studied recipes. We studied lists of ingredients. We gazed at the clock. A whole lot of breakfast recipes require rising time, and little girls, bored out of their sweaty little skulls, go to bed early. I slammed shut The Breakfast Book.
Tata: Do you trust me?
Tata: We’re going to bake french toast tomorrow morning.
Sammy: We what?
Mam’selle professes a desire to professionally prepare desserts. To this end, I have seen her – from a safe distance – mash up marshmallow, rice crispie thingies and Nutella, spoon it onto a plate, stab the chunks with toothpicks and toss the whole mess into the freezer. To my abiding regret, I ate one of these morsels. I may be diabetic now or developing a Hallmark Card fixation, I don’t know. I had a moment where I thought I might – Jesus Christ! – says something nice, but it passed. Whew! Anyway, we sliced challah rolls in half and slathered the insides with homemade apple butter. Then we mixed up spicy custard batter with lots of cinnamon, cloves and fresh ground nutmeg. On a lark, we added sugar-free raspberry syrup, turning the custard Barbie pink. Sammy was delighted as we poured it over the rolls and put them into the fridge to soak overnight.
Late this morning, Pete and I took a long walk through the park, where we saw lots of adorable little duckies doing adorable duckie things. The walk was difficult because we’ve both been sick so long that the slightest exertion leaves us breathless, so my incessant swearing was practically aerobic exercise. But look at these duckies, frolicking and playing, splashing and diving, quacking for all they’re worth: they seemed very, very happy and I slowly cooled to a slightly less homicidal state. You will be happy to hear I didn’t beat any children even a little.
As a general point, it is a goddamn shame that divorced parents, knowledgeable about food, nutrition and healthy practices, permit their children to gobble shitty Booberry and Count Chocula by the troughful, sculpt the Chrysler Building out of otherwise untouched custardy french toast and homemade stewed apples, then offer those surly children fucking Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in giant soupbowls, because real food is a little too goddamn real.
On the other hand, you know, duckies!