Sunday, 28 October 2012

Come Back Gladys! - Part 4 of 7

Residents were rather late to breakfast the morning following the midnight dinner.  As such Handy Dave steeled himself and had time to carefully toast and fry such that not a jot of smoke was seen from the kitchen.  Roy Brooks was terribly pleased with this, querying if lunch and dinner the day before had gone equally as well, to which Handy Dave said carefully,
"Oh yes, we had beef wellington and chicken en-croute.  The wellington was a bit overdone, but the chicken wasn't!"

Suzanne Marr returned to the kitchen having missed breakfast, looking terribly tired and determined to prove herself quite the chef, despite her raw chicken.  Mrs Payne soon followed, bringing with her Molly Faith, still elated that her tarts had been enjoyed.  It was certain that Suzanne Marr would be positively unbearable if she single-handedly managed to cook for lunch and Mrs Payne insisted there would not be enough food unless they worked together.

Discussion soon turned to what to cook, with much argument as to the chicken en-croute being only minutes from being done last night, and really it was terribly bad luck.  With some concerned looks, Suzanne Marr exclaimed in defense,
"It was only a touch raw!"

Scouring the kitchen for cookable items revealed a distinct shortage regards meat, and further, not a clean tray to be found.  With a bag almost the size of herself, Molly Faith returned from the pantry with some gasping, saying with delight,
"I've found some macaroni!"
Positively collapsing on the counter top, Molly Faith dropped the bag, causing it to promptly burst, with an explosion of dried pasta being scattered across the kitchen floor.  Her small hands failed to stem the flow as the torrent continued, with Molly Faith exclaiming with concern,
"We're leaking pasta!"
The leak having been rectified with judicious positioning of the bag, Mrs Payne set about cleaning up the spilled pasta by expertly brushing of pasta under countertops with her slipper.  The kitchen returned to a working state, Handy Dave boiled an enormous pot of water, and poured in the remainder of the pasta, with much echoing amongst the four that there was certain to be enough for everyone this time.

As the pasta boiled away, much arguing commenced as to the correct cheese for a cheese sauce, resulting in Suzanne Marr and Mrs Payne grating their particular favourite, with Suzanne Marr distinctly ahead on account of Mrs Payne frequently sampling the cheese, explaining as she did,
"Oh yes, this cheese tastes fine.  Best to check."

The cheese and such for the sauce having been jointly deposited in the only other large saucepan that could be found, the kitchen was soon relaxing and talking of the delicious macaroni cheese they were sure to be having, with Mrs Payne exclaiming,
"I say, Mrs Faith, you are clever to find macaroni cheese!"  Suzanne Marr echoed this, with distinct annoyance she hadn't found it herself.  Handy Dave was awfully relieved by the help, saying with gratitude,
"This will be lovely, and there's such a lot we can offer seconds!"

Some time later the sauce was lightly bubbling away, and after some argument as to the meaning of "al dente", the pasta was carefully drained, with such a volume of pasta being cooked that it positively overflowed into the sink, with Molly Faith saying,
"Don't waste any, Handy Dave, we might not have enough for seconds!"

It was a fact acknowledged by all that they had quite a prodigious quantity for seconds.  The pasta having been served into bowls, the pot was still largely full, with some concern that in fact they might have to offer thirds as not to waste it.  Much to the annoyance of Suzanne Marr, Mrs Payne quickly retrieved the saucepan, and having dolloped cheese sauce on each, it was evident that rather an imbalance existed between pasta and sauce, the first few positively overflowing with sauce, and after consideration, the remainder barely containing a teaspoon.
"Do you think it will be a bit dry?" Molly Faith said with disappointment.
"Not a jot!" Mrs Payne said brightly, adding as she began exchanging spoonfuls, "they just need a bit of mixing around!"

Next part to be published Tuesday 30th October 2012, 12pm UK

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