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Merlin’s Recipe


Harry Buschman

One large onion, there. Chop it real fine. there. Mix it well in a heavy bottomed 3 qt. saucepan, yes. Add a tbs curry - where did I put the curry powder? Oh damn! now I can’t find the broccoli?

I should know better. I have to have everything ready, right here at my side. If I don’t I'm going screw the whole thing up somewhere down the line. Like the butter, I was supposed to melt the butter in the saucepan before I did anything else. Now look! I’ve got the onions simmering in the saucepan before I put the butter in. It ain’t for nothin’ Merlin wears a dunce cap.

Oh, for Heaven’s sake! Now look what I’ve done! I’ve set the damn cookbook on fire. Nothing’s going right today.

“Igor! Where are you, Igor?” Honestly that gnome is never around when you want him ... “There you are, you ugly little dwarf – what are you doing? You’re not eating that bat are you? No? Good, they're not good for you. Now put it down and listen to me. You’re waiting table tonight, Igor. I want you to be inconspicuous, you understand ... Inconspicuous. No gawking at the lady’s cleavage, and wear clean rags, understand. Furthermore, while the people are eating you are to go back in the kitchen and stay there until I call you. You can hang from the ceiling if you want to, but you’ve got to be Johnny-on-the-spot when I call you.”

“We’ll need fresh candles in all the skulls – and flowers – go pick some flowers from the King’s garden, he’ll never miss them. We’ll have wine – the last cask of Amontillado. You’ll find it under my bed. Now hurry, Igor, I’ve got too much to do to answer your idiotic questions.”

Now back to the recipe. Was that a teaspoon or a cup of pepper? Oh well, best not to err on the short side I always say. There must be music too, Equal amounts, I think maybe Johann Sebastian Bach and Edith Piaf. One should compliment the other; something for everybody. Lord Zokor and Jacoby will go for the Bach and Sapphia will probably like Edith Piaf. They’ll all like the wine I’m sure. Hope they like the bouillabaisse – it’s so hard cooking for characters you run into in other people’s novels, you never know what they like.

Look at this place! What a mess I’ve made. “Igor! Come down from the ceiling and clean up this room. Now! I said. Not later. Now! ... and I want those tin plates to shine.”

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