Essay — Cooking with instructions

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Image source: Dreamstime Stock Photos, ©John Johnson


Deep within the castle walls, dinner preparations were well underway. Table Setter readied napkins, plates, and utensils, all fit for royalty. Chef set up the enchanted box and plugged it into the magic outlet.

As the elemental fire heated the mysterious coils, Chef asked, “Where be the spell book with the rituals we must follow?”

“I am uncertain of the location of the spell book,” Table Setter said. “I shall search.”

Table Setter diligently searched the pantry, the library, and all the secret nooks and crannies of the castle but found no spell book.

By now the enchanted box was sizzling. Since Chef was fairly sure of the correct ritual and incantations of time and temperature, the food was placed upon the mysterious coils.

The royal dinner cooked to perfection…though both Chef and Table Setter were still puzzled as to the whereabouts of the missing spell book.

Later, when the enchanted box was cool again, Chef removed the mysterious coils for cleaning. Scraps of charcoaled paper flew into the air, showering the kitchen with black confetti.

In one voice, Chef and Table Setter said, “The spell book!”

And that is how the spell book was cooked to perfection along with the royal dinner.

NOTE: This story may or may not have taken place during a recent grilling session in Carpenter Country.


What’s cooking in your world?




HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at