A Meal to Seal the Deal

“But can she cook?” That is the question Jack’s mother, Laura, asked regarding his new fiancé, Kathleen. It did not impress Laura that Kathleen was about to become a doctor, or that she had told her over the phone to always use sunblock when out in the garden.

What mattered to Laura was that her son would not starve to death! It never occurred to her that Jack could do the cooking just as well as Kathleen, as she was an old-fashioned Southern woman.

She told him that she would be derelict in her duty as his mother if she didn’t ensure his gustatory future. She wanted to taste some of Kathleen’s cooking, before she would giving her blessing to the marriage. No amount of Jack explaining how much he loved Kathleen and didn’t care if she couldn’t cook swayed Laura’s decision.

The problem was that Jack did not know if Kathleen could cook. Because of the long hours she worked as a medical intern and him as a stockbroker, they always ate out. But, he knew that his mother was not about to back down, so he had to talk to Kathleen and hope for the best.

When Jack brought the subject up, Kathleen laughed, assuring him that all would be fine. He just needed to bring his mother to dinner the next Saturday, and leave everything to her.

Jack was nervous, but when they entered Kathleen’s place, the smells were wonderful and he was fascinated by the table settings. At each place was a golden charger with a royal blue napkin folded in the shape of a swan, in a very uniform way. Laura liked what she saw, but it was the cooking that would make or break the deal for her.

Wearing an apron covered with stains, Kathleen proudly brought the food to the table: meat loaf, mashed tators and creamed corn cake, green beans with chunks of ham, and sliced tomatoes. Dessert was hot peach cobbler, with the flakiest of crust, complete with sugar and cinnamon on top. Laura could not find fault with any of the dishes. Smiling to beat the band, she gave them her blessing!

Six months later, she was the mother of the groom, resplendent in a teal suit with a yellow blouse, the wedding colors. At the reception, she complimented Wendy on her cooking of the wedding meal. Wendy thanked her and asked how she had liked the real, down home meal she had prepared for her six months earlier. Standing aghast, Laura realized that she had been played, and the war was on!

Fictional story written for The Three Things Challenge from Paula Light at light Motifs: sunblock, meat loaf, and charger. Also for the February Writing Prompts from Putting My Feet in the Dirt: mashed tator’s and creamed corn cake. Fandango prompt is Uniform. Ragtag prompt is Fault. Word of the Day is Derelict. Your Daily Prompt is Fascinate.

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