(I truly meant for this to be Flash Fiction, but the story just developed. Sorry about the way – over word count.)
Grandma June huffed at Natalie, her granddaughter visiting her at home.”You’re not getting any younger, you’re thirty-eight. You can’t barely have babies anymore!”
Natalie rolled her eyes at Grandma June,”Gran, I’m an elementary school teacher. I like going home and not having to worry about kids.”
June sighed,”It was that man, you were supposed to marry. He’s a thief and stole your heart; I’m right aren’t I?”
Natalie ignored June’s question. She hated when her Grandma or anyone, talked about Christopher. She’d never admit he was her one.
He hadbeen since she was in grade ten and Christopher an attractive senior in high school. It was when he had first asked Natalie out. They’d broken-up, having had incompatible lives with Christopher away at university soon after.
Then, seven-years-ago, they’d ran into each other and started talking and dating again. Natalie had convinced herself this was finally it. Sadly, a few weeks before the wedding, Christopher had disappeared; the memories were agony for her.
Two-week’s later, Grandma June called Natalie up to invite her to a wine and cheese night she was hosting for her neighbours. She had tried to decline but June was adamant Natalie attend.
She arrived at her Grandma June’s surprisingly lively wine party, in jeans and a white t-shirt. She had barely bothered to apply makeup as Natalie had come from the gym and was worn out.
“Oh you came,” Grandma June said excitedly, approaching Natalie as she let herself inside. She hugged June and kissed her cheek, as June poured Natalie a large glass of red wine and filled her plate with bread and cheese. She winked at Natalie and left her alone in a small sitting room to rest before joining the other guests.
“Natalie?” A deep voice said. She turned on the sofa towards the sitting room door. Christopher’s voice shocked her, she had almost doused herself in red wine. His familiar timber filled Natalie with great pain. She peered up at him feeling raw, as if he’d only left her yesterday without explanation.
Tears began dripping down Natalie’s cheeks; she was crying and couldn’t stop herself. Christopher immediately sat down on the sofa beside Natalie and pulled her close; he wiped her tears away with his thumb. She tried to jerk out of his arms, but he wouldn’t let her move.
“I’m not letting you go, ever again,” Christopher swore.”I can’t explain much about why I had to leave you, only that I didn’t have a choice.”
Natalie shoved him hard, “You have nothing more to say, nothing at all?”
Christopher was noticeably upset, “I told you I worked as an IT consultant. But I could never tell you or anyone who I worked for until recently. I worked for Special Forces in the army and I was called out to a job. It’s the only thing I can’t about. The job lasted years, and I wasn’t allowed to contact anyone. We saved countless lives, but it was awful what I did to you and being without you. I’m sorry.”
Natalie rubbed her swollen eyes, “You’re a liar Christopher. You could’ve mentioned something, anything. What do you want now? To stay for a while and then leave?To rip me apart again?”
Christopher buried his face in his hand, before gazing up at her: “I’m out now Natalie. I swear to you I work for regular businesses now, nothing to do with Special Forces or the army. I’ve no more secrets other than experiences of war and blood. I came back here for you, I even moved into a house on your Grandma June’s street. I hoped somehow, you and I could be together again. I love you.”
Natalie made a sound of frustration. Emotions of both anger and feeling relieved assaulted her. Despite her anger at Christopher, Natalie knew inside, there would never be another man for her but him.
To Christopher’ surprise, Natalie moved to sit in Christopher’s lap and be closer to him, to breathe in how delicious he smelt.
“Marry me now and we can do whatever celebration our families want later. I’m still mad at you Christopher but you’re it for me. I’ve always loved you and always will. If you can be with me and never leave me like that again, I can forgive you.”
Christopher nodded at Natalie, saying: “I promise.” He held Natalie tightly and kissed her lips hungrily.
Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the sitting room door and Grandma June walked in, a smile on her face. June’s boyfriend Nigel was with her and so was the local United Church minister.
Natalie looked at Christopher, “Did you do all this?”
Christopher shook his head, squeezing Natalie tight and kissing her cheek. He pulled out a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring set from his pocket. He slid the engagement ring on Natalie’s finger, and Grandma June handed Natalie a ring which had been her Grandfather’s wedding ring.
June smiled at Natalie and Christopher, a gleam in her clever blue-eyes. All was at it should be, she thought as her and Nigel witnessed her granddaughter’s wedding ceremony.
For Perogies: I’m one-quarter Ukrainian and we always have perogies at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and every now and then. The secret is to boil the perogies, fry up some bacon and onions, let the perogies warm in the crock pot on low with some becel, and toss in the bacon and onions. The perogies are extremely soft and delicious using this method. Make sure you allow the perogies to warm a good half hour to an hour in the crock pot. Or, you can visit a local restaurant near us in Edmonton, AB, called Uncle Ed’s, which is a genuine Ukrainian restaurant that has all the Ukrainian food you could ever desire at a reasonable price, with a too reasonable amount of food on each plate.
2. Pizza – I learned to make this from my Mom, it’s fantastic pizza and much better than take-out. The most important part is the dough:
To make yummy homemade pizza for a treat:
– 2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 2 tsp sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp fast-acting active yeast
– 1 cup hot water
– 1/4 cup olive oil
Mix 1 cup flour with the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.
Combine hot water and oil. Add to dry ingredients and beat diligently until smooth.
Gradually stir in more flour to make a soft dough.
Put out onto a floured counter and knead four to five minutes.
Form dough into a ball, place into a bowl with a bit of olive oil in the bottom, so the dough doesn’t stick.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand on your ‘warming’ burner on your stove, for 45 minutes or until the dough is double the size.
Punch dough down. Recipe makes two – 12″ (30 cm) pizzas or one large one.
Next, you get to make your pizza!
-We usually make one big round pizza and spray the pan with cooking oil lightly, before spreading the dough out onto the pan pushing it up to make a small rim.
– spread 1/4 cup or desired amount of Tomato Sauce on pizza dough, except at the rim. Sprinkle with oregano, this step is so vital for good flavour!
– cover pizza with grated mozzarella cheese about 1 and 1/2 cups or, however, much you like.
– add your toppings: – I like diced pineapple, thinly cut ham sausage, diced mushrooms, and diced red pepper.
– Sprinkle entire pizza with Parmesan cheese (2 tbsp or more).
Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for about 20 minutes. You may want to put your broiler on the last few minutes to brown the cheese a little.
Let pizza stand for 20 minutes. Cut into desired size of slices with a pizza cutter. This pizza is excellent and simple!
3. Spinach Dip
I chose all low calorie options for food, obviously. Here’s my family’s Spinach Dip recipe. It’s amazing!
– chopped fried bacon- 6 slices chopped into small pieces
– finely chopped onion – 1/4 cup
– Dill Weed – 2 tsp
– Garlic Powder – 1/4 tsp or one clove minced.
– sour dough round loaf and additional baguette.
Beat mayonnaise and cream cheese together in small bowl until smooth.
Stir in next six ingredients.
Cut top off of round bread loaf. Hollow out loaf with knife leaving a shell 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Put spinach dip inside loaf.
Wrap loaf in foil and heat in oven at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for 2 hours.
Cut up inside of road loaf and pieces of baguette as needed to use as dippers. As dippers disappear, break off sides of loaf for more dippers. Enjoy, this is heavenly and a tasty treat!
4. French Toast
Easy French Toast – healthy and yummy!
– 2/3 cup 1 percent milk.
– 2 eggs
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/8 tsp nutmeg
– 4 slices whole grain bread
– cooking spray
– berries or apple slices
– 2 tbsp each maple syrup (per two slices)
Combine ingredients in a bowl large enough to dip your bread into but don’t add all your spices at once, distribute with every two slices of bread as the spices have a tendency to end up on the first two slices alone if added all at once.
Dip a bread slice into the batter and let it stand 30 seconds on each side.
Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook your first two slices of battered bread at a low temperature, flipping your battered bread slices when the first side is browned to your liking.
Continue with your other two slices of bread, spraying the pan with cooking spray again before adding your next two battered bread slices to your frying pan.
Divide French Toast onto 2 plates and add fruit or apple slices. Fry up some bacon if you’re ambitious, as an add-on. Add 2 tbsp of syrup to each plate of French Toast. Voila!
5. Pineapple Beans
A health(ish) combination of ingredients for Pineapple Beans, wonderful for a potluck, a party, game day, (etc.)
– Bacon Slices – 6
– Chopped Onion – 1 and 1/2 cups
– Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce – 2 – 14 oz. (398 ml) tins
– Chili Sauce – 1 tbsp
– Mustard – 1 tsp
– Crushed Pineapple, drained – 1 tin (14 oz. or 398 ml)
– pepper – 1/8 tsp
In a large sauce pan, sauté bacon and onions together until cooked. Drain and discard fat.
Add remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a boil.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or more. You can do this on a stove alone, or on the stove then set on the edge of a BBQ grill, or if you are skilled with the BBQ you can cook the entire mixture on the BBQ.
Serves 8 people.
Thank you for reading my easy list of cooking delicacies. I hope you found a recipe you can use! And to note, I’m not eating any of this right now I’m on a diet 🙂