“I can’t wait to try those cookies Laurel! Thanks so much for sharing that story with us. I hadn’t heard of the holiday Purim before, but Jewish Mardi Gras sounds amazing. And baby Emilie is beautiful. Poor Quincy though, four little sisters, I can’t even imagine,” said Carmen.
Carmen: Her fridge is full of food, not all of it healthy, so how in the world does she stay in great shape after five babies??
“I guess I’ll go next,” said Carmen. “I’d like to tell you all about the time I finally learned to cook properly. See, I come from a long line of great home cooks, and I don’t even know how none of us noticed that I couldn’t cook worth a lick. Poor Gavin’ll tell you. He had to watch me force down a gross dinner after I was his excuse to escape a terrible date, haha!”
Carmen started collecting around her house to supplement her struggling artist income. She also started gardening. Something about growing your own food leaves you really inspired.
“I got extra inspiration beyond just the gardning. Lila Munch, my girl from Upper Crusts invited me out to the flea market one Saturday morning. Y’all know I had to bring Bjorn and Clara Bjergsen–do y’all know them? Lovely couple.”
“Well, just as I was headed over to one of the food stalls, I got called by an old friend. Do y’all know Dr. Davin Branham, works at Simulacrum Labs?”
“Well anyway, we had a bit of a flirtation recently, so I went to catch up with him. I had always wondered why it didn’t go anywhere. That first night we we met, there were sparks, sparks I tell you! Y’all aren’t gonna believe this. It turns out that while he is every bit the Romantic he seems, he’s also Noncommittal–and married! He went on and on about his lovely wife Lily and how she’s such a great cook, and how she really holds down the home fort which balances his workaholic tendencies. I’m sure she’s a lovely woman, but let’s just say it wasn’t my favorite thing to hear about her all morning. So I said my good byes from Dr. Davin.”
“After I escaped from that personal bit of torture, I headed to the food stalls. Well, first I stopped and bought two lamps at 25% off from my girl Anaya because I was in desparate need of light in my house, but that’s a story for another time. Anwyay, I take my time choosing and finally decide on the Pork Adobo with the help of my girl Jesminder, y’all know her? Anyway, I ordered my food and it looked amazing.”
“And it smelled amazing too!”
“And it tasted amazing too!”
“Y’all, I swear it, not since I left my momma’s house have I smiled so much during a meal. Now, meals with the Upper Crusts have been tasty and all, but something about those spices, and that slow cooked meaty perfection–sorry Gavin, I know you don’t eat meat– just left me feeling all kinds of inspired.”
“I’ll tell y’all what I did. I immediately left the flea market and headed to the farmer’s market. Gavin was there looking to trade mineral, stones, and gems. Of course he was near the produce stall, typical vegetarian, amiright? Hey, what were you doing over there anyway sweetie?”
“Just my side hustle,” replied Gavin. “Don’t worry about that.”
Luca looked at Gavin thoughtfully before turning his attention back to Carmen’s amusing and winding story.
“Right, well then, back to my story,” said Carmen. “I made sure I bought up a bunch of fruits and vegetables that didn’t grow by my house. I was going to have an amazing garden of ingredients to use in my cooking, spent some of the rent money to be honest. But luckily, I’m an artist, so I simply had to paint a few more paintings to cover the cost before going back to work the next week.”
“There wasn’t much to my original garden, but I was proud of it. This newer and bigger garden, well, I just think I might be on my way to winning a prize at the county fair–wait, do we have those here?”
“To get to my point y’all, I finally upped my game for cooking! Momma would be so proud! Once I grew my own ingredients, and learned some more from the Cooking Channel, I was able to whip up my own version of the pork adobo. Then I made a fruit salad. And for dessert, I made chocolate chip cookies. Other than when I sold my first painting to a art gallery, I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud. It makes me feel like I really can do this by myself if I have to.”