Please help us welcome Taryn Kincaid.
~ ~ ~Be warned: Non-Thanksgiving rant coming.
First: The backstory so you know the characters we are dealing with.
A million years ago, when I was young and unformed and starting out in the world with bright eyes and my first real apartment (we don’t count the studio where you had to pull a bamboo shade over the sink and stove to hide it from the living room), I thought it would be really cool to invite my brothers and male cousins over for dinner in the absence of their mothers. (But probably at the behest of those self-same mothers.)
I cannot bake to save my life but I am a pretty decent cook when I have the time and inclination and wherewithal to do it. Especially if you can smoosh all the ingredients around in one big cauldron, er, pot. I made them a delectable Four Citrus chicken dish, I’d gotten from New York magazine, when New York magazine used to do recipes for entertaining . The recipe called for, among other things, the juice and zest of 1 grapefruit, 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime. Unfortunately, it also called for cumin. My youngest brother, who at that time was strictly a chicken drenched in Campbell’s mushroom soup over rice kinda guy, particularly thought he was being poisoned. While the others just made rude remarks, he grabbed a chicken leg by the knob where the chicken foot once used to go, marched through the apartment with it, and held it under the kitchen sink, returned to the table and tucked in.
That would be the first and last time any of the men in my family ever discovered the location of the kitchen on their own…at least while anyone else was there to watch. (Because they undoubtedly know how to find the fridge, drink the carton of milk or orange juice down, and return the empty to the shelf.)
I guess I kind of blame their mothers, who made them all princes. I am positive they do not act like this elsewhere. But let a holiday roll around and suddenly they are medieval kings banqueting in their Great Hall and expecting the serving wench to be waiting on them hand and foot.
So this is how a holiday at chez Taryn usually goes:
“Do we have any butter?”
“Why, yes. You probably didn’t recognize it sitting right there in its butter dish next to the basket of rolls. I could call Fabio to bring out a plastic tub of ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’ for you. Do you think that will help?”
“Do we have any Coke?”
“Why, yes. It’s in the refrigerator. You know where that is, don’t you? I didn’t realize you’d be wanting Coke, since you asked me to make a special trip to the apple farm for cider and then mentioned you would only be drinking club soda, since you were watching your weight. Hence, the apple cider and seltzer on the table.”
“What are these things in the peas?”
(Sniffs.) “They look like eyeballs.”
“I’m surprise you can see them since you couldn’t see the butter.”
“Do we have any knives?”
“Why, yes, do you mean that silvery-looking object on the right side of your plate that I will stab you with in two seconds, or were you looking for something fancier, like, say, Excalibur?”
Taryn is the author of Sleepy Hollow Dreams, Healing Hearts, and her two new 1Night Stand releases from Decadent Publishing, Lightning and Thunder.