Essay — Cooking with instructions

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On Monday, the pair of us donned our Chef and Table Setter hats to sear two steaks on the table grill. Without much fanfare, the grill was set up on a bench on the front porch and plugged into the outlet. As it was heating, the Chef asked, “Where are the papers and notes with temps and times for cooking steaks?”

The Table Setter said, “I’m not sure. Probably in the box where everything else that goes with the grill is stored. I’ll go look.”

“I’ll help you while the grill is heating.”

“Okay.” The Table Setter headed inside.

After a thorough search of the box, the pantry, and all the other cook books in the house, no pamphlet with notes attached was found.

By now the grill was hot and since the Chef remembered cook times were about eight minutes and temps should be 400 degrees, she decided to put the steaks on the grill.

The Table Setter went back inside to do her chores. Eight minutes later, when she returned to the porch, the grill was smoking and the steaks were done.

Lunch was delicious…though both Chef and Table Setter still wondered where the recipe booklet might be.

An hour later, the Chef went out to the porch to bring in the cooled grill for cleaning. As the grilling plates were removed, small scraps of paper flew into the air, showering the countertop like black confetti.

In one voice, we said, “The pamphlet!”

Yep…the pamphlet was under the top grill plate. We’d grilled the instructions and the notes along with the steaks.

Luckily, we didn’t burn down the porch.



***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes 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.

Also by HL Carpenter:

Jack and The Fountain of Youth. Some people say the Fountain of Youth is a myth. Jack Ponsi Dileonardo Thomas knows better.

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Pirate Summer. When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he’s gone. And the only way to bring him home is to travel two hundred years into the past with a boy she can’t trust.

A Cause for Murder. Someone at Happy Haven is a killer. Septuagenarian sleuth Emma Twiggs navigates madcap mayhem, multiple mysteries, and murderous motives to discover who has a cause for murder.


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