Grief can destroy you --or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see that it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
Hair on a man's head is like the opposite of salt in a dish; you can take it away but you can't add it in.
Iain Banks (The Business)
Grief can destroy you—or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. “And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
To: Anna Oliphant
From: Etienne St. Clair
Subject: SAVING YOU
I'm teleporting to Atlanta.I'm picking you up,and we'll go someplace where our families can't find us.We'll take Seany. And we'll let him rup laps until he tires,and then you and I will take a long walk. Like Thanksgiving. Remember? And we'll talk about everything BUT our parents...or perhaps we won't talk at all. We'll just walk.And we'll keep walking until the rest of the world ceases to exist.
I'm sorry,Anna.What did your father want? Please tell me what I can do.
To: Etienne St. Clair
From: Anna Oliphant
Subject: Sigh.I'd love that.
Thank you,but it was okay. Dad wanted to apologize. For a split second,he was almost human.Almost.And then Mom apologized,and now they're washin dishes and pretending like nothing happened.I don't know.I didn't mean to get all drama queen,when your problems are so much worse than mine.I'm sorry.
To: Anna Oliphant
From: Etienne St. Clair
Subject: Are you mad?
My day was boring.Your day was a nightmare. Are you all right?
To: Etienne St. Clair
From: Anna Oliphant
Subject: Re: Are you mad?
I'm okay.I'm just glad I have you to talk to.
To: Anna Oliphant
From: Etienne St. Clair
Does that mean I can call you now?
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
A sign hangs on the wall in a New Monastic Christian community house: “Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.” I was, and remain, a Christian who longs for revolution, for things to be made new and whole in beautiful and big ways. But what I am slowly seeing is that you can’t get to the revolution without learning to do the dishes. The kind of spiritual life and disciplines needed to sustain the Christian life are quiet, repetitive, and ordinary. I often want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith. But it’s in the dailiness of the Christian faith—the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quiet, the small—that God’s transformation takes root and grows.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
What’s wrong? You can dish it out but can’t take it?” I sighed and gave him an obviously fake laugh. “Oh, I can take it. I just prefer an entree. Not an appetizer.
Sloane Howell (Bossed)
Fuck Martha Stewart! Martha Stewart can kiss my shiny plastic butt! Here I am, slaving a way over a hot stove, making cookies... making Swedish meatballs, and for what? A man who doesn't appreciate me! For a man that can't even wash one fucking dish! For a man who isn't even a man at all where it counts, if you get my drift! -to Jade- Take it from me honey, plastic is no substitute for a nice hunk of wood!
When you’re in the midst of a depressive episode, cleaning your house comes in on the List of Things You Want to Do somewhere after taunting a hive of bees and tap-dancing on live television. Everything is just awful. It’s a struggle to walk to the bathroom. Making dinner seems more impossible than advanced calculus. Getting out of bed is a vague, distant dream that seems like it may never come true. Meanwhile, the mess gets worse and worse. It seems impossible that you’re contributing to this, since that would require some sort of energy on your part. But the mess is getting worse, and not only can you not figure out how that’s happening, you sure as hell can’t figure out how to try to make it better, because of that whole “no energy to spare to even think about it” problem. If you do feel like expending any energy toward doing anything at all, you’re more likely to try to feed yourself or, by some miracle, take a shower rather than doing the dishes.
Rachel Hoffman (Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess)
Rockweiler (nickname) has settled down over the years, he is a man mountain, he stands some six-and-a-half foot tall, and is round about eighteen or nineteen stones in weight. He too works in Barlinnie, this dog was responsible for giving the Wendy House seg unit the tough name tag, as he dished out the beatings to some very hard prisoners in the past. I can’t take that away from him, but he was a bit of a shit bag as well because he wore the full riot body armour when he offered to fight.
Stephen Richards (Scottish Hard Bastards)
Footsteps from the stairwell startle him out of the past. He turns around as Emma's mother takes the last step into the dining area, Emma right behind her.
Mrs. McIntosh glides over and puts her arm around him. The smile on her face is genuine, but Emma's smile is more like a straight line. And she's blushing.
"Galen, it's very nice to meet you," she says, ushering him into the kitchen. "Emma tells me you're taking her to the beach behind your house today. To swim?"
"Yes, ma'am." Her transformation makes him wary.
She smiles. "Well, good luck with getting her in the water. Since I'm a little pressed for time, I can't follow you over there, so I just need to see your driver's license while Emma runs outside to get your plate number."
Emma rolls her eyes as she shuffles through a drawer and pulls out a pen and paper. She slams the door behind her when she leaves, which shakes the dishes on the wall.
Galen nods, pulls out his wallet, and hands over the fake license. Mrs. McIntosh studies it and rummages through her purse until she produces a pen-which she uses to write on her hand. “Just need your license number in case we ever have any problems. But we’re not going to have any problems, are we, Galen? Because you’ll always have my daughter-my only daughter-home on time, isn’t that right?”
He nods, then swallows. She holds out his license. When he accepts it, she grabs his wrist, pulling him close. She glances at the garage door and back to him. “Tell me right now, Galen Forza. Are you or are you not dating my daughter?”
Great. She still doesn’t believe Emma. If she won’t believe them anyway, why keep trying to convince her? If she thinks they’re dating, the time he intends to spend with Emma will seem normal. But if they spend time together and tell her they’re not dating, she’ll be nothing but suspicious. Possibly even spy on them-which is less than ideal.
So, dating Emma is the only way to make sure she mates with Grom. Things just get better and better. “Yes,” he says. “We’re definitely dating.”
She narrows her eyes. “Why would she tell me you’re not?”
He shrugs. “Maybe she’s ashamed of me.”
To his surprise, she chuckles. “I seriously doubt that, Galen Forza.” Her humor is short lived. She grabs a fistful of his T-shirt. “Are you sleeping with her?”
Sleeping…Didn’t Rachel say sleeping and mating are the same thing? Dating and mating are similar. But sleeping and mating are the same exact same. He shakes his head. “No, ma’am.”
She raises a no-nonsense brow. “Why not? What’s wrong with my daughter?”
That is unexpected. He suspects this woman can sense a lie like Toraf can track Rayna. All she’s looking for is honesty, but the real truth would just get him arrested. I’m crazy about your daughter-I’m just saving her for my brother. So he seasons his answer with the frankness she seems to crave. “There’s nothing wrong with your daughter, Mrs. McIntosh. I said we’re not sleeping together. I didn’t say I didn’t want to.”
She inhales sharply and releases him. Clearing her throat, she smoothes out his wrinkled shirt with her hand, then pats his chest. “Good answer, Galen. Good answer.”
Emma flings open the garage door and stops short. “Mom, what are you doing?”
Mrs. McIntosh steps away and stalks to the counter. “Galen and I were just chitchatting. What took you so long?”
Galen guesses her ability to sense a lie probably has something to do with her ability to tell one. Emma shoots him a quizzical look, but he returns a casual shrug. Her mother grabs a set of keys from a hook by the refrigerator and nudges her daughter out of the way, but not before snatching the paper out of her hand.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
'How big's your dick?' Zak blurted.
His father gave a roar of outrage.
'How good's your dental plan?' asked Number Five.
'You can't ask that,' his father snapped at his side.
'My favorite composer is Rachmaninov. My last client moved to New Zealand. There's nothing stuck to my shoe. I had fruit for breakfast and I don't waste my time worrying. I make sure there's never anything to worry about.' He walked across the room and put his mouth close to Zak's ear. 'In answer to your last. How responsive's your gag reflex?'
Barbara Elsborg (Every Move He Makes)
Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick.
The simplest single-celled organism oscillates to a number of different frequencies, at the atomic, molecular, sub-cellular, and cellular levels. Microscopic movies of these organisms are striking for the ceaseless, rhythmic pulsation that is revealed. In an organism as complex as a human being, the frequencies of oscillation and the interactions between those frequencies are multitudinous. -George Leonard
Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it…the upward spurts vary; the plateaus have their own dips and rises along the way…To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so–and this is the inexorable–fact of the journey–you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere. (Mastery, p. 14-15).
Backsliding is a universal experience. Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it’s for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed…Be aware of the way homeostasis works…Expect resistance and backlash. Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick or crazy or lazy or that you’ve made a bad decision in embarking on the journey of mastery. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that your life is definitely changing–just what you’ve wanted….Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change.
Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences…there are all of those chores that most of us can’t avoid: cleaning, straightening, raking leaves, shopping for groceries, driving the children to various activities, preparing food, washing dishes, washing the car, commuting, performing the routine, repetitive aspects of our jobs….Take driving, for instance. Say you need to drive ten miles to visit a friend. You might consider the trip itself as in-between-time, something to get over with. Or you could take it as an opportunity for the practice of mastery. In that case, you would approach your car in a state of full awareness…Take a moment to walk around the car and check its external condition, especially that of the tires…Open the door and get in the driver’s seat, performing the next series of actions as a ritual: fastening the seatbelt, adjusting the seat and the rearview mirror…As you begin moving, make a silent affirmation that you’ll take responsibility for the space all around your vehicle at all times…We tend to downgrade driving as a skill simply because it’s so common. Actually maneuvering a car through varying conditions of weather, traffic, and road surface calls for an extremely high level of perception, concentration, coordination, and judgement…Driving can be high art…Ultimately, nothing in this life is “commonplace,” nothing is “in between.” The threads that join your every act, your every thought, are infinite. All paths of mastery eventually merge.
[Each person has a] vantage point that offers a truth of its own.
We are the architects of creation and all things are connected through us.
The Universe is continually at its work of restructuring itself at a higher, more complex, more elegant level . . . The intention of the universe is evolution.
We exist as a locus of waves that spreads its influence to the ends of space and time.
The whole of a thing is contained in each of its parts.
We are completely, firmly, absolutely connected with all of existence.
We are indeed in relationship to all that is.
The Resistance needs you. I need you. What do you say?” Jacob suddenly stood. He did not answer but rather cleared their dishes and washed them in the sink. “Your father doesn’t see what we see,” Avi said after a long silence, as if he knew exactly what Jacob was thinking. “You know that. You’ve heard us arguing. You’ve heard what he’s said. He doesn’t see it. That breaks my heart. But there’s nothing more I can do about it. If he won’t save himself, we’re going to have to take matters into our own hands.” “But if I join you, what will happen to them?” “I can’t give you answers, Jacob,” Avi replied. “I can’t promise you they’ll be safe. I hope they will be. But I don’t really know. All I can do is tell you the truth, which is this: the moment of reckoning is at hand. I’ve made my choice. Now you must make yours.
Joel C. Rosenberg (The Auschwitz Escape)
Whoa, Kay, what happened, did you forget how to cook?” I asked her.
Phil was even more critical, but it was all in good fun.
“Don’t you know you’re only supposed to cook shrimp for three minutes?” Phil asked her. “These are terrible. I wouldn’t even put them in my crawfish nets.”
At every Christmas dinner since, we always ask Kay if she’s going to serve overcooked shrimp and everyone has a good laugh at Kay’s expense. She doesn’t mind; she can dish it up as good as she can take it.
Korie: I ate those shrimp and thought they were delicious. But in the Robertson family you can’t get away with anything. I think I burned the break like once and Willie loves to joke that you know when dinner’s ready at our house when you hear me scraping the bread! They’re a tough crowd in the kitchen, but it’s all in good fun. I tell people you have to have healthy self-esteem to be married to a Roberston.
Willie Robertson (The Duck Commander Family)
The day wore on.While yet Rycca slept, Dragon did all the things she had said he would do-paced back and forth, contemplated mayhem,and even honed his blade on the whetstone from the stable.All except being oblivious to her,for that he could never manage.
But when she awoke,sitting up heavy-lidded, her mouth so full and soft it was all he could do not to crawl back into bed with her,he put aside such pursuits and controlled himself admirably well,so he thought.
Yet in the midst of preparing a meal for them from the provisions in the pantry of the lodge,he was stopped by Rycca's hand settling upon his.
"Dragon," she said softly, "if you add any more salt to that stew, we will need a barrel of water and more to drink with it."
He looked down, saw that she was right, and cursed under his breath. Dumping out the spoiled stew, he started over. They ate late but they did eat.He was quite determined she would do so,and for once she seemed to have a decent appetite.
"I'm glad to see your stomach is better," he said as she was finishing.
She looked up,startled. "What makes you say that?"
"You haven't seemed able to eat regularly of late."
"Oh,well,you know...so many changes...travel...all that."
He nodded,reached for his goblet, and damn near knocked it over as a sudden thought roared through him.
She rose quickly,gathering up the dishes. His hand lashed out, closing on her wrist. Gently but inexorably, he returned her to her seat. Without taking his eyes from her,he asked, "Is there something you should tell me?"
"I ask myself what sort of changes may cause a woman to be afflicted with an uneasy stomach and it occurs to me I've been a damned idiot."
"Not so! You could never be that."
"Oh,really? How otherwise would I fail to notice that your courses have not come of late? Or is that also due to travel,wife?"
"Some women are not all that regular."
"Some women do not concern me.You do,Rycca. I swear,if you are with child and have not told me, I will-"
She squared her shoulders,lifted her head,and met his eyes hard on. "Will what?"
"What? Will what? Does that mean-"
"I'm sorry,Dragon." Truly repentant, Rycca sighed deeply. "I was going to tell you.I was just waiting for a calmer time.I didn't want you to worry more."
Still grappling with what she had just revealed,he stared at her in astonishment. "You mean worry that my wife and our child are bait for a murderous traitor?"
"I know you're angry and you have a right to be.But if I had told you, we wouldn't be here now."
"Damn right we wouldn't be!" He got up from the table so abruptly that his chair toppled over and crashed to the floor.Ignoring it,Dragon paced back and forth,glaring at her.
Rycca waited,trusting the storm to pass. As she did,she counted silently, curious to see just how long it would take her husband to grasp fully what he had discovered.
"We're going to have a baby."
Not long at all.
She nodded happily. "Yes,we are, and you're going to be a wonderful father."
He walked back to the table,picked her up out of her chair,held her high against his chest,and stared at her.
Rycca laughed. "You can't possibly be surprised.It's not as though we haven't been doing our best to make this happen."
"True,but still it's absolutely incredible."
Very gently,she touched his face. "Perhaps we think of miracles wrongly. They're supposed to be extraordinarily rare but in fact they're as commonplace as a bouquet of wildflowers plucked by a warrior...or a woman having a baby."
Dragon sat down with her still in his arms and held her very close.He swallowed several times and said nothing.
Both could have remained contentedly like that for a long while, but only a few minutes passed before they were interrupted. The raven lit on the sill of the open window just long enough to catch their attention,then she was gone into the bloodred glare of the dying day.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Yesterday while I was on the side of the mat next to some wrestlers who were warming up for their next match, I found myself standing side by side next to an extraordinary wrestler.
He was warming up and he had that look of desperation on his face that wrestlers get when their match is about to start and their coach is across the gym coaching on another mat in a match that is already in progress.
“Hey do you have a coach.” I asked him.
“He's not here right now.” He quietly answered me ready to take on the task of wrestling his opponent alone.
“Would you mind if I coached you?”
His face tilted up at me with a slight smile and said. “That would be great.”
Through the sounds of whistles and yelling fans I heard him ask me what my name was.
“My name is John.” I replied.
“Hi John, I am Nishan” he said while extending his hand for a handshake.
He paused for a second and then he said to me: “John I am going to lose this match”.
He said that as if he was preparing me so I wouldn’t get hurt when my coaching skills didn’t work magic with him today.
I just said, “Nishan - No score of a match will ever make you a winner. You are already a winner by stepping onto that mat.”
With that he just smiled and slowly ran on to the mat, ready for battle, but half knowing what the probable outcome would be.
When you first see Nishan you will notice that his legs are frail - very frail. So frail that they have to be supported by custom made, form fitted braces to help support and straighten his limbs.
Braces that I recognize all to well.
Some would say Nishan has a handicap.
I say that he has a gift.
To me the word handicap is a word that describes what one “can’t do”.
That doesn’t describe Nishan.
Nishan is doing.
The word “gift” is a word that describes something of value that you give to others.
And without knowing it, Nishan is giving us all a gift.
I believe Nishan’s gift is inspiration.
The ability to look the odds in the eye and say “You don’t pertain to me.”
The ability to keep moving forward.
A “Whatever it takes” attitude.
As he predicted, the outcome of his match wasn’t great.
That is, if the only thing you judge a wrestling match by is the actual score. Nishan tried as hard as he could, but he couldn’t overcome the twenty-six pound weight difference that he was giving up to his opponent on this day in order to compete. You see, Nishan weighs only 80 pounds and the lowest weight class in this tournament was 106. Nishan knew he was spotting his opponent 26 pounds going into every match on this day. He wrestled anyway.
I never did get the chance to ask him why he wrestles, but if I had to guess I would say, after watching him all day long, that Nishan wrestles for the same reasons that we all wrestle for.
We wrestle to feel alive, to push ourselves to our mental, physical and emotional limits - levels we never knew we could reach.
We wrestle to learn to use 100% of what we have today in hopes that our maximum today will be our minimum tomorrow. We wrestle to measure where we started from, to know where we are now, and to plan on getting where we want to be in the future. We wrestle to look the seemingly insurmountable opponent right in the eye and say, “Bring it on. - I can take whatever you can dish out.”
Sometimes life is your opponent and just showing up is a victory.
You don't need to score more points than your opponent in order to accomplish that.
No Nishan didn’t score more points than any of his opponents on this day, that would have been nice, but I don’t believe that was the most important thing to Nishan. Without knowing for sure - the most important thing to him on this day was to walk with pride like a wrestler up to a thirty two foot circle, have all eyes from the crowd on him, to watch him compete one on one against his opponent - giving it all that he had. That is what competition is all about. Most of the times in wrestlin
Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
It is made up of a poached egg, cheese, bacon and other ingredients on top of a muffin and seasoned with tangy hollandaise. It is one of the more traditional breakfast dishes served in North America.
However, Eggs Benedict alone can hardly be called an original dish.
Where's the surprise?
Still, faced with such beauty...
... I can't help but want to take a bite.
A perfectly poached egg so soft it melts on the tongue. The refined tang of high-quality hollandaise sauce. Crispy, salty bacon and a sweet, soft muffin! All of these together wrap the tongue in an exquisite harmony of deliciousness!
Wait, no. That isn't all.
There is a greater depth to the flavor than that. But from what?
Hm? What is that golden powder I see?
You've sprinkled karasumi on the muffin! *Karasumi: Dried mullet roe. It is considered a delicacy in Japan*
I see! Karasumi is made of roe, which are fish eggs! It was the salty delicacy of the karasumi mixed with the richness of the egg yolk...
... that created such a deep and robust flavor!
Yuto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 4 [Shokugeki no Souma 4] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #4))
can destroy you—or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
Grief can destroy you or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time,so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Grief can destroy you—or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
In any case, there are all of those chores that most of us can’t avoid: cleaning, straightening, raking leaves, shopping for groceries, driving the children to various activities, preparing food, washing dishes, washing the car, commuting, performing the routine, repetitive aspects of our jobs. This is the “in-between time,” the stuff we have to take care of before getting on to the things that count. But if you stop to think about it, most of life is “in between.” When goal orientation comes to dominate our thoughts, little that seems to really count is left. During the usual nonplayoff year, the actual playing time for a National Football League team is sixteen hours. For the players, does this mean that the other 8,744 hours of the year are “in between”? Does all time take its significance only in terms of the product, the bottom line? And if winning, as the saying goes, is the only thing, does that mean that even the climactic hours achieve their worth merely through victory? There’s another way of thinking about it. Zen practice is ostensibly organized around periods of sitting in meditation and chanting. Yet every Zen master will tell you that building a stone wall or washing dishes is essentially no different from formal meditation. The quality of a Zen student’s practice is defined just as much by how he or she sweeps
George Leonard (Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment)
He passed into the galley and was greeted by a cloud of fragrant steam. The exotic scent of spices mingled with the tang of roasting meat. Startled, Gabriel choked on a sip from a tankard. In the corner, Stubb quickly shoved something behind his back. The old men’s eyes shone with more than holiday merriment.
“Happy Christmas, Gray.” Gabriel extended the tankard to him. “Here. We poured you some wine.”
Gray waved it off with a chuckle. “That my new Madeira you’re sampling?”
Gabriel nodded as he downed another sip. “Thought I should taste it before you serve it to company. You know, to be certain it ain’t poisoned.” He drained the mug and set it down with a smile. “No, sir. Not poisoned.”
“And the figs? The olives? The spices? I assume you checked them all, too? For caution’s sake, of course.”
“Of course,” Stubb said, pulling his own mug from behind his back and taking a healthy swallow. “Everyone knows you can’t trust a Portuguese trader.”
Gray laughed. He plucked an olive from a dish on the table and popped it into his mouth. Rich oil coated his tongue. “Did you find the crate easily enough?” he asked Stubb, reaching for another olive.
The old steward nodded. “It’s all laid out, just so. Candles, too.”
“Feels like Christmas proper.” Gabriel tilted his head. “Miss Turner even gave me a gift.”
Gray followed the motion, squinting through the steam.
I’ll be damned.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
The only thing I can’t figure out is why you still eat the food your captors fed you. Why don’t you hate it as much as you hate them?” Fila glanced down at her plate. It contained a strange mixture of Afghan and Mexican dishes. She held up a flatbread. “This isn’t Taliban food—it’s Afghan food. It’s my mother’s food. I grew up eating it before I was ever captured. To me it means love and tenderness, not hate and violence.” “Taliban, Afghan—it’s all the same.” She waved the bread. “No, it’s not. Not one bit. Afghan culture is over two thousand years old. And it’s a conservative culture—it’s had to be—but it’s not a culture of monsters. Afghans are people like you, Holt. They’re born, they grow up, they live and love and they die just like we do. I didn’t study much history before I was taken, but I know this much. America’s story is that of the frontier—of always having room to grow. Afghanistan’s story is that of occupation. By the Russians, the British, the Mongols—even the ancient Greeks. On and on for century after century. Imagine all those wars being fought in Montana. Foreign armies living among us, taking over your ranch, stealing everything you own, killing your wife and children, over and over and over again.” She paused to catch her breath. “Death is right around the corner for them—all the time. Is it any wonder that a movement that turns men into warriors and codes everything else into rigid rules might seem like the answer?” She still wasn’t sure if Holt was following her. What analogy would make sense to him? She wracked her brain. “If a bunch of Californians overran Chance Creek and forced everyone to eat tofu, would you refuse to ever eat steak again?” He made a face. “Of course not!” “Then imagine the Taliban are the Californians, forcing everyone to eat tofu. And everyone does it because they don’t know what else to do. They still love steak, but they will be severely punished if they eat it—so will their families. That’s what it’s like for many Afghans living under Taliban control. It’s not their choice. They still love their country. They still love their heritage. That doesn’t mean they love the group of extremists who have taken over.” “Even if those Taliban people went away, they still wouldn’t be anything like you and me.” Holt crossed his arms. Fila suppressed a smile at his inclusion of her. That was a step in the right direction even if the greater message was lost on him. “They’re more like you than you think. Defensive. Angry. Always on the lookout for trouble.” Holt straightened. “I have four sons. Of course I’m on the lookout for trouble.” “They have sons, too.” She waited to see if he understood. Holt shook his head. “We’re going to see different on this one. But I understand about the food. Everyone likes their mother’s cooking best.” He surveyed her plate. “You got any more of that bread?” She’d take that as a victory.
Cora Seton (The Cowboy Rescues a Bride (The Cowboys of Chance Creek, #7))
If loneliness or sadness or happiness could be expressed through food, loneliness would be basil. It’s not good for your stomach, dims your eyes, and turns your mind murky. If you pound basil and place a stone over it, scorpions swarm toward it. Happiness is saffron, from the crocus that blooms in the spring. Even if you add just a pinch to a dish, it adds an intense taste and a lingering scent. You can find it anywhere but you can’t get it at any time of the year. It’s good for your heart, and if you drop a little bit in your wine, you instantly become drunk from its heady perfume. The best saffron crumbles at the touch and instantaneously emits its fragrance. Sadness is a knobby cucumber, whose aroma you can detect from far away. It’s tough and hard to digest and makes you fall ill with a high fever. It’s porous, excellent at absorption, and sponges up spices, guaranteeing a lengthy period of preservation. Pickles are the best food you can make from cucumbers. You boil vinegar and pour it over the cucumbers, then season with salt and pepper. You enclose them in a sterilized glass jar, seal it, and store it in a dark and dry place.
WON’S KITCHEN. I take off the sign hanging by the first-floor entryway. He designed it by hand and silk-screened it onto a metal plate. Early in the morning on the day of the opening party for the cooking school, he had me hang the sign myself. I was meaning to give it a really special name, he said, grinning, flashing his white teeth, but I thought Jeong Ji-won was the most special name in the world. He called my name again: Hey, Ji-won.
He walked around the house calling my name over and over, mischievously — as if he were an Eskimo who believed that the soul became imprinted in the name when it was called — while I fried an egg, cautiously sprinkling grated Emmentaler, salt, pepper, taking care not to pop the yolk. I spread the white sun-dried tablecloth on the coffee table and set it with the fried egg, unsalted butter, blueberry jam, and a baguette I’d toasted in the oven. It was our favorite breakfast: simple, warm, sweet. As was his habit, he spread a thick layer of butter and jam on his baguette and dunked it into his coffee, and I plunked into my cup the teaspoon laced with jam, waiting for the sticky sweetness to melt into the hot, dark coffee.
I still remember the sugary jam infusing the last drop of coffee and the moist crumbs of the baguette lingering at the roof of my mouth. And also his words, informing me that he wanted to design a new house that would contain the cooking school, his office, and our bedroom. Instead of replying, I picked up a firm red radish, sparkling with droplets of water, dabbed a little butter on it, dipped it in salt, and stuck it into my mouth. A crunch resonated from my mouth. Hoping the crunch sounded like, Yes, someday, I continued to eat it. Was that the reason I equated a fresh red radish with sprouting green tops, as small as a miniature apple, with the taste of love? But if I cut into it crosswise like an apple, I wouldn't find the constellation of seeds.
Kyung-ran Jo (Tongue)
sighed. “I can’t say that you weren’t expected.” “I’m just going to be walking around here and taking some measurements. It says here… you own eighty acres? That is one of the most gorgeous mansions I have ever seen,” he rambled on. “It must have cost you millions. I could never afford such a beauty. Well, heck, for that matter I couldn’t afford the millions of dollars in taxes a house like this would assess, let alone such a pricey property. Do you have an accountant?” Zo opened her mouth to respond, but he continued, “For an estate this size, I would definitely have one.” “I do have an accountant,” she cut in, with frustration. “Furthermore, I have invested a lot of money bringing this mansion up to speed. You can see my investment is great.” “Of course, it would be. The fact of the matter is, Mrs. Kane, a lot of people are in over their heads in property. You still have to pay up, or we take the place. Well, I’ll get busy now. Pay no mind to me.” He walked on, taking notes. “Clairrrrre!” Zo called as soon as she entered the house. “Bring your cell phone!” Two worry-filled months went by and many calls were made to lawyers, before Zoey finally picked one that made her feel confident. And then the letter came with the totals and the due date. “There is no way we can pay this, Mom, even if we sold off some of our treasures, because a lot of them are contracted to museums anyway. I am feeling awfully poor all of a sudden, and insecure.” “Yes, and I did some research, thinking I’d be forced to sell. It’s unlikely that anyone else around here can afford this place. It looks like they are going to get it all; they aren’t just charging for this year. What we have here is a value about equal to a little country. And all the new construction sites for housing developments suddenly popping up on this side of the river, does not help. Value is going up.” Zo put her head in her hands. “Ohhh, oh, oh, oh!” “Yeah, bring out the ice-cream and cake. I need comforting,” sighed Claire. The cell phone rang. “Yes, tonight? You guys have become pretty good to us, haven’t you?! You know, Bob, Mom and I thought we were just going to pig out on ice cream and cake. We found out we are losing this estate and are going to be poor again and we are bummed out.” There was a long pause. “No, that’s okay, I understand. Yeah, okay, bye.” “Well?” Zo ask dryly. “He was appropriately sorry, and he got off the phone fast, saying he remembered he had other business to take care of. Do you want to cry? I do…” “I’ll get the cake and dish the ice cream. You make our tea and we’ll cry together.” A pitter patter began to drum on the window. “Rain again. It seems softer though, dear.” “I thought you said this was going to be a softer rain!” It started to pour. “At least this is not a thunder storm… What was that?” “Thunder,” replied Claire, unmoved and resigned. An hour had gone by when there was a rapping at the door. “People rarely use the doorbell, ever notice that?” Zo asked on the way to the door. She opened it to reveal two wet guys holding a pizza, salad, soft drink, and giant chocolate chip cookies in a plastic container. In a plastic
Zoey Kane (The Riddles of Hillgate (Z & C Mysteries #1))
The Names, in fact, is a study in American ignorance; then as now, few Americans knew the difference between Sunni and Shiite, or how to pronounce Iran (“E-ron”). DeLillo’s protagonist, Axton, is a risk analyst for an insurance company that counsels multinational corporations on pressing questions about the world. Which country is risky? Where will the next bomb go off? Who creates the risk? Axton is also, as my Turkish friends liked to imagine I was, an unwitting agent for the CIA, the spy who doesn’t know he’s a spy. “Are they killing Americans?” is his main question. Axton and the Americans abroad can’t make sense of the world, can’t grab onto anything. They are not so much arrogant as confused. They perceive their vulnerability, their noses wrinkling at smells in the air: “Wasn’t there a sense, we Americans felt, in which we had it coming?” A Greek man named Eliades, with the aspect of a grumpy sage, says to the Americans: I think it’s only in a crisis that Americans see other people. It has to be an American crisis, of course. If two countries fight that do not supply the Americans with some precious commodity, then the education of the public does not take place. But when the dictator falls, when the oil is threatened, then you turn on the television and they tell you where the country is, what the language is, how to pronounce the names of the leaders, what the religion is all about, and maybe you can cut out recipes in the newspaper of Persian dishes. I will tell you. The whole world takes an interest in this curious way Americans educate themselves.
Suzy Hansen (Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World)
Every few months or so at home, Pops had to have Taiwanese ’Mian. Not the Dan-Dan Mian you get at Szechuan restaurants or in Fuchsia Dunlop’s book, but Taiwanese Dan-Dan. The trademark of ours is the use of clear pork bone stock, sesame paste, and crushed peanuts on top. You can add chili oil if you want, but I take it clean because when done right, you taste the essence of pork and the bitterness of sesame paste; the texture is somewhere between soup and ragout. Creamy, smooth, and still soupy. A little za cai (pickled radish) on top, chopped scallions, and you’re done. I realized that day, it’s the simple things in life. It’s not about a twelve-course tasting of unfamiliar ingredients or mass-produced water-added rib-chicken genetically modified monstrosity of meat that makes me feel alive. It’s getting a bowl of food that doesn’t have an agenda. The ingredients are the ingredients because they work and nothing more. These noodles were transcendent not because he used the best produce or protein or because it was locally sourced, but because he worked his dish. You can’t buy a championship.
Did this old man invent Dan-Dan Mian? No. But did he perfect it with techniques and standards never before seen? Absolutely. He took a dish people were making in homes, made it better than anyone else, put it on front street, and established a standard. That’s professional cooking. To take something that already speaks to us, do it at the highest level, and force everyone else to step up, too. Food at its best uplifts the whole community, makes everyone rise to its standard. That’s what that Dan-Dan Mian did. If I had the honor of cooking my father’s last meal, I wouldn’t think twice. Dan-Dan Mian with a bullet, no question.
Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir)
Step 6. Ensure That Your Environment Supports Your Goals Some people subscribe to the philosophy that if the cure doesn’t hurt, it can’t be working. When it comes to permanent changes in diet and lifestyle, the opposite philosophy is the best: The less painful the program, the more likely it is to succeed. Take steps to make your new life easier. Modify your daily behavior so that your surroundings work for you, not against you. Have the right pots, pans, and utensils to cook with; have the right spices, herbs, and seasonings to make your meals delicious; have your cookbooks handy and review them often to make your dishes lively and appealing. Make sure you give yourself the time to shop for food and cook your meals. Change your life to support your health. Don’t sacrifice your health for worthless conveniences. Avoid temptation. Very few people could quit smoking without ridding their house of cigarettes. Alcoholics avoid bars to stop drinking. Protect yourself by protecting your environment. Decrease the time when you are exposed to rich foods to avoid testing your “willpower.” One of the best ways to do this is to throw all the rich foods out of the house. Just as important is to replace harmful foods with those used in the McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss. If many of your meals are eaten away from home, make the situations meet your needs. Go to restaurants that offer at least one delicious, nutritious item. Ask the waiter to remove the butter and olive oil from the table. Accept invitations to dinner from friends who eat and live healthfully. Bring healthful foods with you whenever possible. Keep those people close who support your efforts and do not try to sabotage you. Ask family and friends to stop giving you boxes of candy and cakes as gifts. Instead suggest flowers, a card, or a fruit basket. Tell your mother that if she really loves you she’ll feed you properly, forgoing her traditional beef stroganoff.
John A. McDougall (The Mcdougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss)
The moment I put it in my mouth and bit down...
... an exquisite and entirely unexpected flavor exploded in my mouth!
It burst across my tongue, rushed up through my nose...
... and rose all the way up to my brain!"
"No! It can't be!"
"How is that possible?! Anyone with eyes can see there's nothing special to that dish! Its fragrance was entirely inferior to Asahi's dish from the get-go!"
"That there. That's what it is. I knew something wasn't right."
"Something felt off the instant the cloche was removed.
His dish is fried rice. It uses tons of butter, soy sauce and spices.
Yet it hardly had any aroma!"
"Good catch. The secret is in one of the five grand cuisine dishes I melded together...
A slightly atypical take on the French
"Ouef Mayonnaise, or eggs and mayonnaise, is an appetizer you can find in any French bistro. Hard-boiled eggs are sliced, coated with a house-blend mayo and garnished with vegetables.
Though, in your dish, I can tell you chose very soft-boiled eggs instead.
Hm. Very interesting, Soma Yukihira.
He took those soft-boiled eggs and some homemade mayo and blended them into a sauce...... which he then poured over his steamed rice and tossed until each and every grain was coated, its flavor sealed inside!
To cook them so that each individual grain is completely covered...
... takes incredibly fast and precise wok handling over extremely high heat! No average chef could manage that feat!"
Ah! It's so thin I didn't notice it at first glance, but there it is, a very slight glaze!
That makes each of these grains of rice a miniature, self-contained Omurice!
The moment you bite into them, that eggy coating is broken...
... releasing all the flavors and aromas of the dish onto your palate in one explosive rush!"
No wonder! That's what entranced the judges. That sudden, powerful explosion of flavor!
"Yep! Even when it's served, my dish still hides its fangs. Only when you bite into it does it bite back with all it's got.
I call it my Odorless Fried Rice.
Yuto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 36 [Shokugeki no Souma 36] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #36))
The first thing I see when I get home from the hospital after midnight is the glint of the stainless steel oven in the semidarkness of the kitchen. The air smells sweet and eggy. I walk to the oven and pull open the door. Six white ramekins hold six perfect-looking crème caramels, and I wonder if they're safe to eat. It's been more than three hours since I turned off the oven. I remember a Swedish chef telling me years ago when I worked as a prep cook that unrefrigerated food will keep for four hours, but he also cleaned his fingernails with the tip of his chef's knife, so who knows.
I pick up one of the dishes and sniff it. It smells fine. Without taking off my coat, I dig into a drawer for a spoon and eat the crème caramel in five seconds flat. The texture is silky and it tastes sweet and custardy, if not perfect. I pull the rest of the dishes from the oven to put in the fridge, telling myself one was enough. An extra treat at the end of a hard day. I've put three ramekins into the refrigerator when I can't stand it and dig into the second, eating more slowly this time, slipping out of my coat, savoring the custard on my tongue. Two is definitely enough, I'm thinking as I lick the inside of the cup, two is perfect. I'm picking up the remaining cup to put in the fridge but I turn instead, head for the bedroom with ramekin in hand. At least wait until you've gotten undressed and in bed, I told myself, surely you can wait. I make it as far as the doorway and I'm digging my spoon into a third caramel. Don't beat yourself up, I think when I'm done, it's just fake eggs and skim milk, a little sugar. It's for Cooking for Life, for God's sake, it can't be bad for you, but I feel bad somehow as I finish off the third ramekin. Okay, I'm satisfied now, I tell myself, and I can go to sleep. I get undressed , pull on my T-shirt and flannel boxers, head for the bathroom to brush my teeth, but suddenly I'm taking a detour to the kitchen, opening the fridge, staring at the three remaining custards. If I eat just one more, there'll be two left and I can take them to share with Benny tomorrow. That won't be so bad. I pick up the fourth ramekin, close the fridge, and eat as slowly as I can to truly appreciate the flavor. Restaurant desserts are easily as big as four of these little things.
Jennie Shortridge (Eating Heaven)
8:00am The sun is shining, the cows are mooing, and I am ready for the mines. I hope I find something awesome today. Steve has told me about some pretty crazy things I had no idea existed. According to him, I must find empty tombs in the desert. That’s where the real treasures are. For today, I will stick to regular mining. Who knows, maybe I will come across an abandoned mine shaft; could be my lucky day. 12:30pm I was forced to come home for lunch today because I had too much stuff to carry. I was getting low on my iron ore, gold, and lapis lazuli stocks before this mine trip. It’s amazing how quick lapis goes when you are busy enchanting everything but the kitchen sink. I’d enchant that too if I had one. I wonder what an enchanted kitchen sink would do. Would it do my dishes for me? That would be so cool. I have plenty of both now. I can make some new armor and enchant it! I love mining. Steve decided to join me for lunch and we ate a couple of pork chops and some cake. I love cake! We ate until no more food could fill us up. Then, Steve had the guts to brag about how, when he mines, he takes a horse with extra storage so he can stay down there all day long. Well fancy you, Steve. He also went on to tell me about how well the crops are doing these days. He thinks it’s because he is looking after them half of the time. What he doesn’t know is I throw bone marrow on them when I am working. Makes my job faster and gives me more free time so whatever you need to tell yourself, Steve. Life may be easier switching every day between mines and farming, but it still doesn’t make me his biggest fan. I just don’t think he needs to fall in a hole, either. At least… Not right now. I would consider us to be frienemies; Friendly enemies. Yes. At times we pretend to get along, but most of the time, we are happiest doing our own thing. 6:00pm Mining this afternoon was super fun… Not! I got attacked by a partially hidden skeleton guy. I couldn’t see him enough to strike back until half of my life hearts were gone. I must not have made the space bright enough. Those guys are nasty. They are hard to kill too. If you don’t have a bow and arrow you might as well surrender. Plus, they kind of smell like death. Yuck. Note to self: Bring more torches on the next mining day. On the other hand, I came back with an overshare of Redstone, too much iron for my own good, and oddly, quite a few diamonds. I won’t be sharing the diamonds with anyone. They are far too precious. They will go to some new diamond pickaxes, and maybe some armor. Hmm, I could enchant those too! The iron and Redstone though, I am thinking a trip to the village may be in order. See what those up-tight weirdos are willing to trade me. For now, it’s bedtime. 6:10pm You can only sleep at night. You can only sleep at night. You can only sleep at night. 6:11pm That stupid rule gets me every time. Why can’t I decide when it’s bed time? First, I will go eat a cookie, then I will go to sleep. Day Thirty-Three 3:00am I just dreamt that our world was made of cookies.
Crafty Nichole (Diary of an Angry Alex: Book 3 (an Unofficial Minecraft Book))
Lillian’s lashes lowered as she let him ease her closer, his hand sliding over the length of her spine. Her breasts and waist felt swollen within the insulating grip of her corset, and she suddenly longed to be rid of it. Taking as deep a breath as the stays would allow, she became aware of a sweetly spicy scent in the air.
“What is that?” she murmured, drawing in the fragrance. “Cinnamon and wine…” Turning in the circle of his arms, she looked around the spacious bedroom, past the poster bed to the small table that had been set near the window. There was a covered silver dish on the table, from which a few traces of sweet-scented steam were still visible. Perplexed, she twisted back to look at Marcus.
“Go and find out,” he said.
Curiously Lillian went to investigate. Taking hold of the cover’s handle, which had been wrapped with a linen napkin, she lifted the lid, letting a soft burst of intoxicating fragrance into the air. Momentarily puzzled, Lillian stared at the dish, and then burst out laughing. The white porcelain dish was filled with five perfect pears, all standing on end, their skin gleaming and ruby-red from having been poached in wine. They sat in a pool of clear amber sauce that was redolent of cinnamon and honey.
“Since I couldn’t obtain a pear from a bottle for you,” came Marcus’s voice from behind her, “this was the next best alternative.”
Lillian picked up a spoon and dug into one of the melting-soft pears, lifting it to her lips with relish. The bite of warm, wine-soaked fruit seemed to dissolve in her mouth, the spiced honey sauce causing a tingle in the back of her throat. “Mmmm…” She closed her eyes in ecstasy.
Looking amused, Marcus turned her to face him. His gaze fell to the corner of her lips, where a stray drop of honey sauce glittered. Ducking his head, he kissed and licked away the sticky drop, the caress of his mouth causing a new pleasurable ache deep inside her. “Delicious,” he whispered, his lips settling more firmly, until she felt as if her blood were flowing in streams of white-hot sparks. She dared to share the taste of wine and cinnamon with him, tentatively exploring his mouth with her tongue, and his response was so encouraging that she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed herself closer. He was delicious, the taste of his mouth clean and sweet, the feel of his lean, solid body immeasurably exciting. Her lungs expanded with shaky-hot breaths, restrained by the clench of her corset stays, and she broke the kiss with a gasp.
“I can’t breathe.”
Wordlessly Marcus turned her around and unfastened the gown. Reaching her corset, he untied the laces and loosened them with a series of expert tugs, until the stays expanded and Lillian gulped in relief. “Why did you lace so tightly?” she heard him ask.
“Because the dress wouldn’t fasten otherwise. And because, according to my mother, Englishmen prefer their women to be narrow-waisted.”
Marcus snorted as he eased her back to face him. “Englishmen prefer women to have larger waists in lieu of fainting from lack of oxygen. We’re rather practical that way.” Noticing that the sleeve of her unfastened gown had slipped over her white shoulder, he lowered his mouth to the smooth curve.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
This rich pork flavor, which lands on the tongue with a thump...
Dongpo Pork! He seasoned pork belly with a blend of spices and let it marinate thoroughly...
... before finely dicing it and mixing it into the fried rice!"
"What? Dongpo Pork prepared this fast?! No way! He didn't have nearly enough time to simmer the pork belly!"
"Heh heh. Actually, there's a little trick to that.
I simmered it in sparkling water instead of tap water. The carbon dioxide that gives sparkling water its carbonation helps break down the fibers in meat. Using this, you can tenderize a piece of meat in less than half the normal time!"
"That isn't the only protein in this dish. I can taste the seafood from an Acqua Pazza too!"
"And these green beans... it's the Indian dish Poriyal!
Diced green beans and shredded coconut fried in oil with chilies and mustard seeds... it has a wonderfully spicy kick!"
"He also used the distinctly French Mirepoix to gently accentuate the sweetness of the vegetables.
So many different delicious flavors...
... all clashing and sparking in my mouth!
But the biggest key to this dish, and the core of its amazing deliciousness...
... is the rice!"
"Hmph. Well, of course it is. The dish is fried rice. If the rice isn't the centerpiece, it isn't a..."
"I see. His dish is fried rice while simultaneously being something other than fried rice.
A rice lightly fried in butter before being steamed in some variety of soup stock...
In other words, it's actually closer to that famous staple from Turkish cuisine- a Pilaf!
In fact, it's believed the word "pilaf" actually comes from the Turkish word pilav.
To think he built the foundation of his dish on pilaf of all things!"
"Heh heh heh! Yep, that's right! Man, I've learned so much since I started going to Totsuki."
"Mm, I see! When you finished the dish, you didn't fry it in oil! That's why it still tastes so light, despite the large volume and variety of additional ingredients.
I could easily tuck away this entire plate!
Still... I'm surprised at how distinct each grain of rice is. If it was in fact steamed in stock, you'd think it'd be mushier."
"Ooh, you've got a discerning tongue, sir! See, when I steamed the rice...
... I did it in a Donabe ceramic pot instead of a rice cooker!"
Ah! No wonder!
A Donabe warms slowly, but once it's hot, it can hold high temperatures for a long time!
It heats the rice evenly, holding a steady temperature throughout the steaming process to steam off all excess water. To think he'd apply a technique for sticky rice to a pilaf instead!
With Turkish pilaf as his cornerstone...
... he added super-savory Dongpo pork, a Chinese dish...
... whitefish and clams from an Italian Acqua Pazza...
... spicy Indian green bean and red chili Poriyal...
... and for the French component, Mirepoix and Oeuf Mayonnaise as a topping!
*Ouef is the French word for "egg."*
By combining those five dishes into one, he has created an extremely unique take on fried rice!
"Hold it! Wait one dang minute! After listening to your entire spiel...
... it sounds to me like all he did was mix a bunch of dishes together and call it a day!
There's no way that mishmash of a dish could meet the lofty standards of the BLUE! It can't nearly be gourmet enough!"
"Oh, but it is.
For one, he steamed the pilaf in the broth from the Acqua Pazza...
... creating a solid foundation that ties together the savory elements of all the disparate ingredients!
The spiciness of the Poriyal could have destabilized the entire flavor structure...
... but by balancing it out with the mellow body of butter and soy sauce, he turned the Poriyal's sharp bite into a pleasing tingle!
Yuto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 36 [Shokugeki no Souma 36] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #36))
The Left can dish it, but they can’t take it. It’s liberal privilege.
Donald Trump Jr. (Liberal Privilege: Joe Biden And The Democrats' Defense Of The Indefensible)
Then in June Linda got sick. Word went around town that Roger was looking real serious 'cause his wife was 'took ill bad'. So my mother cooked up a big casserole to take up there; they could eat off it for says, she said. 'The poor young couple, with her sick I guess they must have to make do with canned pork and beans. Take this on over there,' she told me.
'She can't cook anyways,' I said. 'I told you that.'
'Nonsense. Every woman can cook, now go on.'
I went on up there, carrying the heavy casserole. Even cold it smelled good and if it hand't been for Roger I would have sat down and eaten it on the ways. Waste of good food to take it to 'her', I thought; she'd probably preferred canned beans.
I got up to the farm and found the door locked. That was strange, let me tell you. Around here nobody locks the door, even at night or when they're out. You just never know, a farmer or a kid like me might have to come in and use the phone in a hurry, or the bathroom, and everybody knows everybody anyway. But the door was locked. I put the casserole dish down on the front step and sat there on the steps awhile, to see if Roger or Linda came along.
Nobody came and the June sun was hot. Roger doesn't have a brook up there, like we do, so I couldn't get wading. I looked around for a hose or something. I walked to the back of the house and decided to climb the apple tree there; that was something to do at least. Up in the apple tree I could see into the windows of the house; they were too high for me to see in from the ground. I was looking into the bedroom. There was Linda, sleeping. In the day! But she was supposed to be sick, so it was all right. Except that then I saw that she wasn't lying in that bed alone. There was another head there, on the pillow beside her. Roger has dark hair and this person didn't. This person was a man with blond hair. I didn't get a good look at his face. I was seeing the side of his head, then the head went over LInda's face and she was covered up by him.
Why don’t you relax in the other room while I make our late-day meal? I got ingredients for your favorite dish.” “You…how do you know what my favorite thing to eat is?” Liv asked, taking another step back. As much as she hated to admit it, she knew she had to get away from his hot gaze and his big, muscular body if she didn’t want to end up rolling around on the bed with him again. The corner of Baird’s full mouth quirked up. “I know the same way you know that the jungles on my home world are blue. Because I’ve been watching you for the last six months while we dream-shared.” “I don’t…I can’t think about this right now.” Liv shook her head. “I’ll see you at dinner. Uh, I mean late-day meal. Okay?” “Suit yourself, Lilenta,” Baird’s eyes were still hot but there was something in them that worried Liv more than his obvious lust for her. When she looked into those amber depths she saw…patience. The big warrior was actually prepared to wait as long as it took to seduce her. Now that was scary. More scary than fanged blue teddy bears and molesting massage mats by far. Baird
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))
I’ll write the recipe down for you.”
“I’ll just screw it up, anyway.”
Gram laughed. “All you do is mix the ingredients together, pour it in a bag with the salmon and half an hour later give it to Sean to throw on the grill. He cooked the salmon to perfection tonight.”
Of course he did. As he’d told her earlier, she had nothing to worry about because the Y chromosome came with an innate ability to master the barbecue grill.
“The salad was good, too,” Sean said.
“Thanks,” Emma muttered. “Even I can’t screw up shredding lettuce.”
The man looked incredibly relaxed for somebody who'd probably been raked over the coals by his aunt and was now relaxing with two women he barely knew. She, on the other hand, felt as if she was detoxing. Jumpy. Twitching. A trickle of sweat at the small of her back.
Sean stood and started gathering dishes, but held out a hand when Emma started to get up. “You ladies sit and visit. I’ll take care of the cleanup.”
Once he was inside, Gram smiled and raised her eyebrows. “He does dishes, too? No wonder you snapped him up.”
It was tempting to point out a few of his less attractive traits, like the fact that he was a sexist baboon who wouldn’t let her drive. But he was doing a good job of convincing Gram he was Emma’s Prince Charming, which was the whole point, so she bit back her annoyance with the Saint Sean routine. “He’s a keeper.
Shannon Stacey (Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family, #3))
I put my hand on his forearm, I don't know why I do this, and it's not exactly natural, although it's not unnatural, except that I really want to touch his skin. It's smooth and tan just a little bit and feels like summer, like something familiar and warm and good, like my skin did on the first days aboard 'Fishful Thinking' before it salted and burned and peeled.
'We broke up three years after that.'
I sit back in my chair and give a sly smile. Relationships are complex and sometimes you can't really explain them to an outside party.
'I can't believe I just told you that'
'YES! YOU! ARE! LIVING! YOUR! FULL! LIFE!'
A third time. I am not imagining it.
'There you are.'
This time my heart does skip a beat. I look down at his arm, and we are still touching, and he has made no attempt to retract his arm or retreat. All my surroundings, the red formica table top, the pink yogurt, the blue sky, the green vegetables in the market, they all come alive in vibrant technicolor as the sun peers from behind a cloud. I am living my full life.
'Honesty in all things,' Byron adds, lifting his cup of yogurt for a toast of sorts.
I pull my hand away from him and the instant my hand is back by his side, I miss the warmth of his arm, the warmth of him. Honesty in all things. I should put my hand back, that's where it wants to be, that's Lily's lesson to me. Be present in the moment, give spontaneous affection. I'm suddenly aware I haven't spoken in a bit.
'Did you know that an octopus has three hearts?'
As soon as it comes out of my mouth, I realize I sound like that kid from 'Jerry McGuire.' 'Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds?' I hope my question comes off almost a fraction as endearing.
'No,' Byron says with a glint in his eye that reads as curiosity, at least I hope that it does, but even if it doesn't I'm too into the inertia of the trivia to stop it.
'It's true, one heart called the systemic heart that functions much like the left side of the human heart, distributing blood throughout the heart, then two smaller branchial heart with gills that act like the right side of our hearts to pump the blood back.'
'What made you think of that?'
I smile. It may be entirely inappropriate first date conversation, but at least it doesn't bore me in the telling. I look up at the winsome August sky, marred only by the contrails of a passing jet, and a vaguely dachshund shaped cloud above the horizon. I don't believe in fate. I don't believe in love at first site. I don't believe in angels. I don't believe in heaven and that our loved ones are looking down on us, but the sun is so warm and the breeze is so cool and the company is so perfect and the whole afternoon so intoxicating, ti's hard not to hear Lily's voice dancing in the gentle wind, 'one! month! is Long! Enough TO! BE! SAD!'
'I recently lost someone close to me....I don't know, I feel her here today with us, you, me, her, three hearts, like an octopus,' I shrug.
If I were him, I would run. What a ridiculously creepy thing to say. I would run and I would not stop until I was home in my bed with a gallon of ice cream deleting my profile from every dating site I belonged to. Maybe it's because it's not rehearsed, maybe it's because it's as weird a thing to say as it is genuine, maybe it's because this is finally the man for me.
Byron stands and offers me his hand, 'Let's take a walk and you can tell me about her.'
The gentle untying of a shoe lace.
It takes me a minute to decide if I can do this, and I decide that I can, and I throw our yogurt dishes away, and I put my hand in his, and it's soft and warm, and instead of awkward fumbling, our hands clasp together like magnets and metal, like we've been hand-in-hand all along, and we are touching again.
Steven Rowley (Lily and the Octopus)
joke around—nothing serious—as I work to get my leg back to where it was. Two weeks later, I’m in an ankle-to-hip leg brace and hobbling around on crutches. The brace can’t come off for another six weeks, so my parents lend me their townhouse in New York City and Lucien hires me an assistant to help me out around the house. Some guy named Trevor. He’s okay, but I don’t give him much to do. I want to regain my independence as fast as I can and get back out there for Planet X. Yuri, my editor, is griping that he needs me back and I’m more than happy to oblige. But I still need to recuperate, and I’m bored as hell cooped up in the townhouse. Some buddies of mine from PX stop by and we head out to a brunch place on Amsterdam Street my assistant sometimes orders from. Deacon, Logan, Polly, Jonesy and I take a table in Annabelle’s Bistro, and settle in for a good two hours, running our waitress ragged. She’s a cute little brunette doing her best to stay cheerful for us while we give her a hard time with endless coffee refills, loud laughter, swearing, and general obnoxiousness. Her nametag says Charlotte, and Deacon calls her “Sweet Charlotte” and ogles and teases her, sometimes inappropriately. She has pretty eyes, I muse, but otherwise pay her no mind. I have my leg up on a chair in the corner, leaning back, as if I haven’t a care in the world. And I don’t. I’m going to make a full recovery and pick up my life right where I left off. Finally, a manager with a severe hairdo and too much makeup, politely, yet pointedly, inquires if there’s anything else we need, and we take the hint. We gather our shit and Deacon picks up the tab. We file out, through the maze of tables, and I’m last, hobbling slowly on crutches. I’m halfway out when I realize I left my Yankees baseball cap on the table. I return to get it and find the waitress staring at the check with tears in her eyes. She snaps the black leather book shut when she sees me and hurriedly turns away. “Forget something?” she asks with false cheer and a shaky smile. “My hat,” I say. She’s short and I’m tall. I tower over her. “Did Deacon leave a shitty tip? He does that.” “Oh no, no, I mean…it’s fine,” she says, turning away to wipe her eyes. “I’m so sorry. I just…um, kind of a rough month. You know how it is.” She glances me up and down in my expensive jeans and designer shirt. “Or maybe you don’t.” The waitress realizes what she said, and another round of apologies bursts out of her as she begins stacking our dirty dishes. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry. Really. I have this bad habit…blurting. I don’t know why I said that. Anyway, um…” I laugh, and fish into my back pocket for my wallet. “Don’t worry about it. And take this. For your trouble.” I offer her forty dollars and her eyes widen. Up close, her eyes are even prettier—large and luminous, but sad too. A blush turns her skin scarlet “Oh, no, I couldn’t. No, please. It’s fine, really.” She bustles even faster now, not looking at me. I shrug and drop the twenties on the table. “I hope your month improves.” She stops and stares at the money, at war with herself. “Okay. Thank you,” she says finally, her voice cracking. She takes the money and stuffs it into her apron. I feel sorta bad, poor girl. “Have a nice day, Charlotte,” I say, and start to hobble away. She calls after me, “I hope your leg gets better soon.” That was big of her, considering what ginormous bastards we’d been to her all morning. Or maybe she’s just doing her job. I wave a hand to her without looking back, and leave Annabelle’s. Time heals me. I go back to work. To Planet X. To the world and all its thrills and beauty. I don’t go back to my parents’ townhouse; hell I’m hardly in NYC anymore. I don’t go back to Annabelle’s and I never see—or think about—that cute waitress with the sad eyes ever again. “Fucking hell,” I whisper as the machine reads the last line of
Emma Scott (Endless Possibility (Rush, #1.5))
Don't dish out what you can't take in return.
managed to snag the last available table and all three ordered the special with sweet tea to drink. “It’s like Thanksgiving,” Shiloh said. “Not for me. Thanksgiving was working an extra shift so the folks with kids could be home for the day. Christmas was the same,” Bonnie said. Abby shrugged. “The army served turkey and dressing on the holidays. It wasn’t what Mama made, but it tasted pretty damn good.” Since it was a special and only had to be dipped up and served, they weren’t long getting their meal. Abby shut her eyes on the first bite and made appreciative noises. “This is so good. I may eat here every Sunday.” “And break Cooper’s heart?” Bonnie asked. “Hey, now! One night of drinking together does not make us all bosom buddies or BFFs or whatever the hell it’s called these days.” Abby waved at the waitress, who came right over. “I want this plate all over again,” she said. “Did you remember that we do have pie for dessert?” the waitress asked. “Yes, I’ll have two pieces, whipped cream on both. What about you, Shiloh?” She blushed. “I shouldn’t, but . . . yes, and go away before I change my mind.” “Bonnie?” Abby asked. Bonnie shook her head. “Just an extra piece of pie will do me.” “So that’s two more specials and five pieces of pie, right?” the waitress asked. “You got it,” Abby said. “I’m having ice cream when we finish with hair and nails. You two are going to be moaning and groaning about still being too full,” Bonnie said. “Not me. By the middle of the afternoon I’ll be ready for ice cream,” Abby said. “My God, how do you stay so small?” Shiloh asked. “Damn fine genes. Mama wasn’t a big person.” “Well, my granny was as wide as she was tall and every bite of food I eat goes straight to my thighs and butt,” Shiloh said. “But after that wicked, evil stuff last night, I’m starving.” “It burned all the calories right out of your body,” Abby said. “Anything you eat today doesn’t even count.” “You are full of crap,” Shiloh leaned forward and whispered. The waitress returned with more plates of food and slices of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, taking the dirty dishes back away with her. Bonnie picked up the clean fork on the pie plate and cut a bite-size piece off. “Oh. My. God! This is delicious. Y’all can eat Cooper’s cookin’. I’m not the one kissin’ on him, so I don’t give a shit if I hurt his little feelin’s or not. I’m comin’ here for pumpkin pie next Sunday if I have to walk.” “If Cooper doesn’t want to cook, maybe we can all come back here with him and Rusty next Sunday,” Abby said. “And if he does?” Shiloh asked. “Then I’m eating a steak and you can borrow my truck, Bonnie. I’d hate to see you walk that far. You’d be too tired to take care of the milkin’ the next day,” Abby said. “And you don’t know how to milk a cow, do you?” Bonnie’s blue eyes danced when she joked. Abby took a deep breath and told the truth. “No, I don’t, and I don’t like chickens.” “Well, I hate hogs,” Shiloh admitted. “And I can’t milk a cow, either.” “Looks like it might take all three of us to run that ranch after all.” Bonnie grinned. The waitress refilled their tea glasses. “Y’all must be the Malloy sisters. I heard you’d come to the canyon. Ezra used to come in here pretty often for our Sunday special and he always took an extra order home with him. Y’all sound like him when you talk. You all from Texas?” “Galveston,” Abby said. “Arkansas, but I lived in Texas until I graduated high school,” Shiloh said. The waitress looked at Bonnie. “Kentucky after leavin’ Texas.” “I knew I heard the good old Texas drawl in your voices,” the waitress said as she walked away. “Wonder how much she won on that pot?” Abby whispered. Shiloh had been studying her ragged nails but she looked up.
Carolyn Brown (Daisies in the Canyon (The Canyon #2))
Instead, she gave Brisbane a tender look. “Mind you don’t wake the master. You’re not taking proper care of him. A wife ought to see her husband has a regular supper instead of stuffing him with toast and chocolate at all hours.” She banged out, and Brisbane opened an eye, grinning at me. I shoved his shoulder. “Stop. It isn’t decent that my lady’s maid should like you so much more than she does me.” “I am nicer to her than you are,” he pointed out.
Brisbane uncovered a dish to find something unappetising looking back at him. He poked it tentatively with a fork. “What do you think it is?” “I daren’t guess,” I told him. “The undercook must still be at the helm in the kitchens. Toast for me, thanks.” He covered the dish up again, and we fell on the toast. “I can’t live on bread, Julia. Not if you mean to ravish me so thoroughly. A man has to keep his strength up.” I pulled a face. “Why don’t we walk down to the vicarage? Uncle Fly has an excellent housekeeper. Aunt Hermia’s tried to hire her away for years, but she won’t leave her post.. She’s devoted to Uncle Fly.” Brisbane was on his feet before I finished the sentence. We donned our outdoor things and hurried out of the Abbey.
Deanna Raybourn (Twelfth Night (Lady Julia Grey, #5.6))
I don’t want to die.” I say, defiantly.
“Bright Side, what?” He’s confused.
Of course he’s confused. No one starts a conversation like that.
I repeat, “I don’t want to fucking die.”
“Oh, shit, Bright Side.” I hear him take a deep breath, a primer for the conversationthat’s about to unfold. “Talk to me. What’s going on?”
“I’m fucking dying, Gus. I don’t want to die. That’s what’s fucking going on.” I hit the steering wheel with my palms. “Goddammit!” I scream... Gus doesn’t deserve this, but I know he’ll deal with it better than anyone else would.
“Calm down, dude. Where are you?”
“I don’t know. I’m sitting in my car in a fucking parking garage in the middle of motherfucking Minneapolis, Minnesota.” That was hostile.
“Are you by yourself?”
“Yes,” I snap.
“You’re not supposed to be driving while you’re on your pain meds.”
I don’t want his fatherly tone. “I know that.”
“Are you in danger or hurt?”
I burst out laughing, surprised that I can’t even laugh without sounding angry. The question is absurd to me though. I’m dying.
“Bright Side, shut up for a second and talk to me. Do I need to call 911? What the fuck is going on?” He sounds scared.
I shake my head like he can see me. “No, no. I’m just ... I’m fucking mad, Gus. That’s all.” And at a loss for words because my mind is jumbled up into this bitter, resentful ball. I don’t know what else to say so I repeat myself. “I’m really fucking mad.”
“Well shit, by all means, there’s plenty of room at my table for anger.” He gets it. That’s why I called him, after all. “I’ve been dishing out heaping servings of fury for the past month. I feel better knowing I’m not the only one in this whole debacle with some rage issues. So fire away. Fucking give it to me.”
I do. An explosive, steady stream of expletives flows out of me. I’m cursing it all, shouting out questions, pounding the steering wheel, and wiping away hot, angry tears. Occasionally Gus joins in, yelling affirmations. Sometimes he waits for a pause on my part and takes his turn and sometimes he just steamrolls over the top of me...
Eventually, my tears stop, and I’m able to take normal breaths. My throat feels tight and my head hurts a little, but I’m calm. On the other end of the line, Gus gets quiet, too. Silence falls between us...
My voice is raspy when I decide to break the silence. “Gus?”
“Yeah, Bright Side.” He sounds like himself again. Calm.
“Thanks.” I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me. And now I need to apologize. “Sorry, dude.”
He laughs. “No worries. You feel better?”
I can actually smile now. “Yeah, I really do.”
“Good, me too. I think we should’ve done this weeks ago.”
“I think I should’ve done it months ago.” I mean it. It felt so good to let it all out.
“Bright Side, you know I love you all happy and adorable in your little world of sunshine and rainbows, but you’re kinda hot when you’re angry. I dig aggressive chicks. And that was crazy aggressive.”
He knows I’m going to say it, but I can’t help myself. “Whatever.” I even roll my eyes.
“I think I’m gonna rename you Demon Seed.”
“What? I show you my dark side and now I have to be the fucking antichrist? I don’t like that. Why can’t I just be Angry Bitch?”
He laughs hard and my heart swellsbecause I haven’t heard this laugh out of Gus in a month. And I love this laugh.
“Well dude, since it seems my therapysession has wrapped up, I’d better get going. I need to get home.”
“Sure. Drive slowly and text me when you get there so I know you made it. And no more driving after this trip.”
“Yes sir. I love you, Gus.”
“Love you, too, Angry Bitch,” his voice low and dramatic. He pauses because he knows I’m not going to hang up to that. “I was just trying it out,” he says innocently.
Kim Holden (Bright Side (Bright Side, #1))
Chicago deep dish takes forever to cook and costs as much as four New York–style pizzas. Chicago deep dish is a commitment. You arrive at Uno’s, Giordano’s, Gino’s East, or Lou Malnati’s and place your order, and then you wait and wait for what seems like a lifetime. At times it feels like they are purposely tormenting you to make the deep-dish pizza seem all the more appealing. I actually make a point of not showing up hungry when I go out for a Chicago deep-dish pizza. It would be torture. To kill time, you eat a salad with provolone, salami, and pepperoncini in it and drink a pitcher of beer like you are preparing yourself for some kind of long, difficult journey of waiting. Finally your pizza arrives in a pan carried by your server with some kind of clamp contraption that I’m pretty sure is the same one they use to shape molten glass. After the first slice you are full, and you should be. You’ve eaten roughly three pounds of food that is baked on top of a crispy, cake-like crust. There is never a reason to eat more than one slice of deep dish, but you forge on. The wait has built an enthusiasm and excitement in you that can’t be quelled by just one slice. Most humans stop after two slices, but I like to think of myself as a superhuman.
Jim Gaffigan (Food: A Love Story)
Nonsense, child! Nature never makes a ferret in the shape of a mastiff. You’ll never persuade me that I can’t tell what men are by their outsides. If I don’t like a man’s looks, depend upon it I shall never like HIM. I don’t want to know people that look ugly and disagreeable, any more than I want to taste dishes that look disagreeable. If they make me shudder at the first glance, I say, take them away. An
George Eliot (Complete Works of George Eliot)
Brian sees Jackie walk in and says loudly, “About time you got here. Ashley has already torn up three rooms! There are toys all over the floor, dishes everywhere, just a big mess. I can’t keep up with her!” Brian has just dumped a load of his emotional reactions. In rapid response to this, Jackie’s brain is activating circuits of those very same distressing emotions. She’s being pulled to respond from her own secondary emotion because her mirror neurons are taking on the experience of Brian’s secondary emotional state.
Brent A. Bradley (Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy For Dummies)
Firth and Stone came to relieve us, something I always looked forward to. I loved Firth.
“Karish, my beautiful, my one, my only,” she crowed, as she always did.
Karish, who had risen to his feet as the ladies entered, scooped up Firth’s hand. As he always did. “Claire, my lovely,” he said in a voice as smooth as sanded wood. “It is a treasure to see you, as always.”
“You liar,” she retorted. “You’re such a tease.”
That was a little blunter than usual. Fun to see Karish gape like a fish, though. “I never am,” he protested.
“Sure you are, lad. All heat and promises and just when you get a girl all worked up you slither out of it.”
Karish blushed. I cackled. Stone smirked.
Granted, I wouldn’t want a man as old as Firth drooling all over me, but Karish asked for it. He was something of a slut and wore the reputation almost proudly. From what I understood, Firth was a slut, too, and she’d had many more years to practise it. She knew how to make the elegant, confident, suave Lord Shintaro Karish blush in a way no one else could, and it delighted me every time I saw it. He should have learned to back off by then. On the other hand, he might have forgotten after all that time spent away from High Scape. For certain he beat a hasty retreat out of there, taking me with him.
“Rrrrr,” Karish growled, once I closed the door behind us. “You have too much fun with her.”
Hey, it wasn’t my fault. He’d started it the year before by oozing all over Firth when they met. “I have nothing to do with it.”
“No, you just sit back and laugh.” He sounded almost bitter about it.
“Poor boy.” My feigned sympathy couldn’t have sounded more false. “Can dish it out but you can’t take it.”
He appeared scandalized. “I never behave like that.” He pointed a thumb back over his shoulder at the Stall.
“No, you’re a little more subtle, but give it time.”
He huffed. “I will never act that way.”
“All right.” We’d wait and see. When his looks began to fade a little. In twenty years or so.
“Brat.” He took my hand, and we trudged through the snow back towards the city
Moira J. Moore (The Hero Strikes Back (Hero, #2))
Missy: Great Mother-in-Law, Great Friend
I learned 90 percent of what I know about cooking from watching Kay. At my wedding shower, I received a recipe card set. I took that set of blank cards and headed straight for Miss Kay’s kitchen. I pulled them out, took the first one, got a pen, and asked her to start giving me recipes for the things Jase liked to eat best. She happily obliged.
There was only one problem. Miss Kay had no idea what any measurement was for any of her ingredients. She would say, “One shake of this” or “Two scoops of that.” Since I had no knowledge of cooking, I was looking for exact measurements. I did not want to mess up Jase’s favorite recipes. I had some big shoes to shill, for goodness’ sake!
Miss Kay tried to give me her best directions while she was busy around the house. At that time she didn’t understand how little I knew, and we both became frustrated. One example of this was when she told me how to make mashed potatoes. She said to cut up four or five large potatoes and boil them. I asked, “How long do you boil them?”
She replied, “Until they’re done.”
“How many minutes does that take?” I asked, thinking I could set a timer.
She said, “You can’t go by time.”
“Then how do you know when they’re done?”
“They’re done when they’re soft,” she answered.
Thinking about how much I did not want to stick my hands in boiling water to see when they turned soft, I asked, “How do you know when they are soft?”
At that point, Miss Kay had become completely frustrated at this whole ridiculous line of questioning on my part. She said rather abruptly, “You stick a fork in them!”
I apologized for my ignorance, and Miss Kay realized I needed special attention. She then pulled up a chair, put her hand on my arm, and said, “Okay, let’s start from the beginning.” The next few minutes consisted of her gently instructing me in the ways of heating canned corn in a skillet, browning hamburger meat for her homemade spaghetti, making her famous homemade white sauce, and creating many other dishes I still make for my family on an almost daily basis.
Missy Robertson (The Women of Duck Commander: Surprising Insights from the Women Behind the Beards About What Makes This Family Work)
Men can dish out all the dirt, disrespect, lies, hate, and pity but the moment a female begins to return the favor, they can’t take it.
Nako (The Christ Family (The Underworld, #4))
Can I go to the doctor with you tomorrow?” I call back. I wince. Why the fuck did I ask her that? She jerks the curtain back and glares at me. “Why do you want to go?” I shrug and look everywhere but at her. “I just do.” “Ten o’clock,” she says, and she jerks the curtain closed. I want to pump my fist in the air because I feel like I finally won a battle with Friday. All this week has been one fight after another. She fights to pick up after Hayley. She does the dishes and the laundry when she knows I’m planning to do them. She made dinner for me and Hayley twice this past week. Even Sam liked it when he finally dragged his ass home. I’m not used to having anyone take care of me, and I can’t figure out if I like it. I have been taking care of everybody around me for a long time, but Friday has come in like a steamroller and changed my whole fucking life.
Tammy Falkner (Proving Paul's Promise (The Reed Brothers, #5))
Mother Mary wants to draft two more kids,” Astrid told Sam.
“Dahra says we’re running low on kids’ Tylenol and kids’ Advil, she wants to make sure it’s okay to start giving them split adult pills.”
Sam spread his hands in a helpless gesture. “What?”
“We’re running low on kid pills, Dahra wants to split adult pills.”
Sam rocked back in the leather chair designed for a grown man. “Okay. Whatever. Approved.” He took a sip of water from a bottle. The wrapper on the bottle said “Dasani” but it was tap water. The dishes from dinner—horrible homemade split-pea soup that smelled burned, and a quarter cabbage each—had been pushed aside onto the sideboard where in the old days the mayor of Perdido Beach had kept framed pictures of his family. It was one of the better meals Sam had had lately. The fresh cabbage tasted surprisingly good.
There was little more than smears on the plates: the era of kids not eating everything was over.
Astrid puffed out her cheeks and sighed. “Kids are asking why Lana isn’t around when they need her.”
“I can only ask Lana to heal big things. I can’t demand she be around 24/7 to handle every boo-boo.”
Astrid looked at the list she had compiled on her laptop. “Actually, I think this involved a stubbed toe that ‘hurted.’”
“How much more is on the list?” Sam asked.
“Three hundred and five items,” Astrid said. When Sam’s face went pale, she relented. “Okay, it’s actually just thirty-two. Now, don’t you feel relieved it’s not really three hundred?”
“This is crazy,” Sam said.
“Next up: the Judsons and the McHanrahans are fighting because they share a dog, so both families are feeding her—they still have a big bag of dry dog food—but the Judsons are calling her Sweetie and the McHanrahans are calling her BooBoo.”
“I’m not kidding,” Astrid said.
“What is that noise?” Sam demanded.
Astrid shrugged. “I guess someone has their stereo cranked up.”
“This is not going to work, Astrid.”
“This. This thing where every day I have a hundred stupid questions I have to decide. Like I’m everyone’s parent now. I’m sitting here listening to how little kids are complaining because their older sisters make them take a bath, and stepping into fights over who owns which Build-A-Bear outfit, and now over dog names. Dog names?”
“They’re all still just little kids,” Astrid said.
“Some of these kids are developing powers that scare me,” Sam grumbled. “But they can’t decide who gets to have which special towel? Or whether to watch The Little Mermaid or Shrek Three?”
“No,” Astrid said. “They can’t. They need a parent. That’s you.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
Why the sudden interest in my life, Dad?” I ask. “Phone calls and lunches and showing up at matches… I don’t know what to do with it all. I don’t know why you’re doing it.” I pound my fist on the table, and the dishes jump. “You don’t have to pretend to love me for me to love them.” “I’m not pretending, Sky. I do love you. I know I royally messed things up. But I’m still your father, and if you’ll let me, I want to be there for you.” “Take, take, take, take.” I throw up my hands. “That’s all you ever do, Dad. You take. You took from Kendra’s mother. You took from Kendra. You take from the kids because they make you feel loved. There’s nothing like unconditional love from children.” I squeeze my fist in front of my heart. “You took from Mom.” “Your mom has her own demons.” “And so do you, Dad. It’s called being an unfaithful liar.” He opens his mouth to protest, but I hold up a hand. “Do you know that I can’t have a healthy relationship with a man because I’m constantly waiting for him to leave? I’m waiting and waiting for him to take off and go away, just like you did. I’m always waiting for him to drop me. And I don’t care if he does, because I never let anyone get close enough to hurt me.” Jesus Christ. Where did that come from? I get up and finally put the plates in the sink. “I think you should go, Dad,” I say. I brace my hands on the edge of the counter because my knees are about to give out. I hear Dad shuffle around. Then he comes over and kisses my temple really quickly. “I love you, Sky,” he says. Then he’s gone.
Tammy Falkner (Maybe Matt's Miracle (The Reed Brothers, #4))
I don’t know what to do with myself all alone with Matt, so I start to load the dishwasher with today’s dishes. Matt picks up plates and cups from the table and helps me. “Careful, or I’ll get used to having you around,” I warn playfully. He looks directly into my eyes. “Good. That’s what I’m going for.” My breath hitches, and I have to turn away so that I’m not facing him. I lay my hands flat on the counter and take a breath. But then I feel Matt’s length behind me. His palms lie flat on the counter beside mine, his arms bracketing my body. I can feel him from the top of my head to the heels of my feet, he’s that close. “You in love with me yet?” he whispers quietly. A grin steals across my face, and I’m so glad he can’t see it. “Nope,” I say past the lump in my throat. He brushes the hair from the back of my neck and presses his lips there. I’m suddenly glad he’s behind me, because my knees might just give out. His lips are soft and warm, but insistent. He kisses the side of my neck, and I tilt my head because it feels so damn good. “Someday, you’re going to want to marry me,” he murmurs. “You’re awfully sure of yourself.” My voice quavers only a little. I’m quite proud of that. “Mmm hmm,” he murmurs, and his lips gently slide up the side of my neck.
Tammy Falkner (Maybe Matt's Miracle (The Reed Brothers, #4))
As Frank promised, there was no other public explosion. Still. The multiple times when she came home to find him idle again, just sitting on the sofa staring at the rug, were unnerving. She tried; she really tried. But every bit of housework—however minor—was hers: his clothes scattered on the floor, food-encrusted dishes in the sink, ketchup bottles left open, beard hair in the drain, waterlogged towels bunched on bathroom tiles. Lily could go on and on. And did. Complaints grew into one-sided arguments, since he wouldn’t engage.
“Where were you?”
“Down the street.”
Bar? Barbershop? Pool hall. He certainly wasn’t sitting in the park.
“Frank, could you rinse the milk bottles before you put them on the stoop?”
“Sorry. I’ll do it now.”
“Too late. I’ve done it already. You know, I can’t do everything.”
“But you can do something, can’t you?”
“Lily, please. I’ll do anything you want.”
“What I want? This place is ours.”
The fog of displeasure surrounding Lily thickened. Her resentment was justified by his clear indifference, along with his combination of need and irresponsibility. Their bed work, once so downright good to a young woman who had known no other, became a duty. On that snowy day when he asked to borrow all that money to take care of his sick sister in Georgia, Lily’s disgust fought with relief and lost. She picked up the dog tags he’d left on the bathroom sink and hid them away in a drawer next to her bankbook. Now the apartment was all hers to clean properly, put things where they belonged, and wake up knowing they’d not been moved or smashed to pieces. The loneliness she felt before Frank walked her home from Wang’s cleaners began to dissolve and in its place a shiver of freedom, of earned solitude, of choosing the wall she wanted to break through, minus the burden of shouldering a tilted man. Unobstructed and undistracted, she could get serious and develop a plan to match her ambition and succeed. That was what her parents had taught her and what she had promised them: To choose, they insisted, and not ever be moved. Let no insult or slight knock her off her ground. Or, as her father was fond of misquoting, “Gather up your loins, daughter. You named Lillian Florence Jones after my mother. A tougher lady never lived. Find your talent and drive it.”
The afternoon Frank left, Lily moved to the front window, startled to see heavy snowflakes powdering the street. She decided to shop right away in case the weather became an impediment. Once outside, she spotted a leather change purse on the sidewalk. Opening it she saw it was full of coins—mostly quarters and fifty-cent pieces. Immediately she wondered if anybody was watching her. Did the curtains across the street shift a little? The passengers in the car rolling by—did they see? Lily closed the purse and placed it on the porch post. When she returned with a shopping bag full of emergency food and supplies the purse was still there, though covered in a fluff of snow. Lily didn’t look around. Casually she scooped it up
and dropped it into the groceries. Later, spread out on the side of the bed where Frank had slept, the coins, cold and bright, seemed a perfectly fair trade. In Frank Money’s empty space real money glittered. Who could mistake a sign that clear? Not Lillian Florence Jones.
Toni Morrison (Home)
TRACKING GAMES Hold an object in front of the baby. When you’re sure she’s seen it, let it drop out of your hand. At five or six months, most babies won’t follow the object down. But starting at about seven months, they’ll begin to anticipate where things are going to land. When your baby has more or less mastered this skill, add an additional complication: drop a few objects and let her track them down. Then hold a helium balloon in front of her and let it go. She’ll look down and be rather stunned that the balloon never lands. She’ll also give you a priceless look of betrayal—as though you cheated by defying the laws of physics. Let her hold the string of the balloon and experiment. Another great game involves your baby’s newly developed abilities to track moving objects even when they’re out of sight part of the time. Put your baby in a high chair and sit down at a table facing her. Slowly move a toy horizontally in front of her a few times. Then put a cereal box between you and the baby and move the ball along the same trajectory but have it go behind the box for a second or two. Most six-month-olds will look ahead to the other side of the box, anticipating where the ball will emerge. If your baby’s still having fun, try it again, but this time, instead of keeping the ball on the same path, make a 90-degree turn and bring the ball out from the top of the box. You can do the same kind of thing during games of peek-a-boo. Step behind a door so the baby can’t see you. Then open the door a little and poke your head out. Do that in the same place a few times and then higher or lower than where she was expecting to see you. Most babies find this endlessly amusing. Again, if your baby doesn’t respond to some, or any, of these activities, don’t worry. Babies develop at very different rates, and what’s “normal” for your baby may be advanced—or delayed—for your neighbor’s. And keep in mind that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy toys. When my oldest daughter was about this age, one of her favorite toys was a plastic dish-scrubbing pad. And I remember taking her to FAO Schwartz in New York—zillions of fantastic toys everywhere—and thinking that she was going to want to play with everything. But all she wanted to do was play with the price tags. (She’s a teenager now, and I look back at that experience as a warning—she still spends an awful lot of time looking at price tags …) Give the Kid a Break Don’t feel that you have to entertain your baby all the time. Sure it’s fun, but letting her have some time to play by herself is almost as important to her development as playing with her yourself. And don’t worry; letting her play alone—as long as you’re close enough to hear what she’s doing and to respond quickly if she needs you—doesn’t mean you’re being neglectful. Quite the opposite, in fact. By giving her the opportunity to make up her own games or to practice on her own the things she does with you, you’re helping her learn that she’s capable of satisfying at least some of her needs by herself. You’re also helping her build her sense of self-confidence by allowing her to decide for herself what she’ll play with and for how long.
Armin A. Brott (The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year (New Father Series))
I never understood how it was okay for a man to lay down with multiple women and find it acceptable. But the minute someone even called my phone and I sent it to ignore, I was in the wrong or I was cheating. Men can dish out all the dirt, disrespect, lies, hate, and pity but the moment a female begins to return the favor, they can’t take it. They want to scream they’re not happy and a break was needed….men
Nako (The Christ Family (The Underworld, #4))
Why do bad things happen?” I ask Bubby. “Do they come from Hashem?” “No, not Hashem. Only Satan,” Bubby answers, drying the dishes with a red-checkered tea towel while I load them into the cabinets. “All bad things are because of him.” Did Satan make my father slow, with a mind like that of a petulant child, unable to care for himself or for me? Did Satan dump me, an unloved foundling of fate, into the hands of my grandparents, already exhausted from raising their own children? I don’t understand. Isn’t Hashem the one in control? How can Satan operate so freely under his jurisdiction? Surely Hashem created Satan, if he created everything. Why would he make something so terrible? Why won’t he stop it? “Hitler had chicken feet, you know,” Bubby remarks. “That’s why he never took off his shoes. So they wouldn’t see he was a sheid, a ghost.” She scrubs at the burned remains of chicken fricassee on the bottom of a cast-iron skillet, her calloused fingers marked by years of housework. I don’t think this world is such a simple place, in which bad people have deformities that mark them as evil. That’s not how it works. Evil people look just like us. You can’t take off their shoes and know the truth.
Deborah Feldman (Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots)
Loss is the hardest thing,” I said. “But it’s also the teacher that’s the most difficult to ignore.” Her fanning hand went still. She regarded me with an expression that I took to be surprised agreement. Because Birdie seemed to expect me to elucidate, I fumbled out what I thought she might want to say herself: “Grief can destroy you—or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
expression that I took to be surprised agreement. Because Birdie seemed to expect me to elucidate, I fumbled out what I thought she might want to say herself: “Grief can destroy you—or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
Do build on the child’s strengths: “You are such a good cook! Help me remember what we need for our meat loaf recipe. Then, you can mix it.” Or, “You have energy to spare. Could you run over to Mrs. Johnson’s house and get a magazine she has for me?” Think “ability,” not “disability.” Do build on the child’s interests: “Your collection of rocks is growing fast. Let’s read some books about rocks. We can make a list of the different kinds you have found.” Your interest and support will encourage the child to learn more and do more. Do suggest small, manageable goals to strengthen your child’s abilities: “How about if you walk with me just as far as the mailbox? You can drop the letter in. Then I’ll carry you piggy-back, all the way home.” Or, “You can take just one dish at a time to clear the table. We aren’t in a hurry.” Do encourage self-help skills: To avoid “learned helplessness,” sponsor your child’s independence. “I know it’s hard to tie your shoes, but each time you do it, it will get easier.” Stress how capable she is, and how much faith you have in her, to build her self-esteem and autonomy. Show her you have expectations that she can help herself. Do let your child engage in appropriate self-therapy: If your child craves spinning, let him spin on the tire swing as long as he wants. If he likes to jump on the bed, get him a trampoline, or put a mattress on the floor. If he likes to hang upside down, install a chinning bar in his bedroom doorway. If he insists on wearing boots every day, let him wear boots. If he frequently puts inedible objects into his mouth, give him chewing gum. If he can’t sit still, give him opportunities to move and balance, such as sitting on a beach ball while he listens to music or a story. He will seek sensations that nourish his hungry brain, so help him find safe ways to do so. Do offer new sensory experiences: “This lavender soap is lovely. Want to smell it?” Or, “Turnips crunch like apples but taste different. Want a bite?” Do touch your child, in ways that the child can tolerate and enjoy: “I’ll rub your back with this sponge. Hard or gently?” Or, “Do you know what three hand squeezes mean, like this? I-Love-You!
Carol Stock Kranowitz (The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder)