JILLIAN’S HOME – KITCHEN
do know it really would be much easier if you did hire a housekeeper?”
Lorraine Davis reminded as she watched Jillian Callison scurrying around
the kitchen. “If our
finances were where Douglas and I could do it, I’d have one in a
“I’m not saying that there’s
anything wrong with having a housekeeper.
Remember I was raised with an entire penthouse full of staff.
I just want to do things myself like every other ordinary
housewife.” Jillian picked
up the cookbook she had propped up in front of her on the counter and
examined the recipe closely. “Oh,
why the devil do they make these things so difficult to understand?
Can’t they write these things in plain English?”
“Let me see.”
Lorraine walked over and took the book from her so that she could
see what Jillian was trying to read.
“This one? Honey,
that says ‘350° for two hours.’”
“I don’t have that much time,”
Jillian muttered to herself. “I’ve
still got to peel the potatoes and these biscuits aren’t going to make
themselves. Can’t I just
cook it at 700° for one hour?”
“Jillian, dear, it just doesn’t quite
work that way.”
Lorraine’s shoulders slumped and she
bit her bottom lip as she shook her head in bewilderment.
As much as she deeply admired Jillian’s effort, it was quite
obvious that she was far from destined to be a Master Chef any time
“Can I help?” Lorraine finally asked
as she saw the growing look of panic in her friend’s eyes.
you, please? If I don’t
get things moving, none of this has any chance of being ready for
Reginald by the time he gets home next week, let alone tonight!”
Jillian began to frantically pace around the kitchen before
stopping and heading towards the stove.
“Could you taste this sauce for me and tell me what you think?
I want your honest opinion.”
Lorraine had already heard more than a few stories from Reginald
– by way of her own husband, Douglas – about Jillian’s valiant,
yet futile, efforts in the kitchen and was well aware that she might be
taking life into her own hands.
Jillian bit her lip, anxious about what her best friend thought
of her attempt at cooking. “I
know it needs to simmer a little more and….”
“Jillian, honey, I don’t know how to
say this, but….”
Lorraine exhaled slowly in an attempt to give herself a moment to
think of the best, and nicest, way of expressing her opinion.
“You might want to start over.
I… I think you got the salt and sugar mixed up and….”
“Oh, I’m never going to get this
right.” Jillian slammed
the cookbook down onto the counter and balled her hands into fists in
frustration. “I bet
Stephanie’s not having this much trouble.”
Lorraine’s grew wide at the mention of the name.
“You do remember that Stephanie has Mrs. Oliver to help her,
don’t you? Stephanie’s
not doing any of this by herself.”
“Yes, I remember Mrs. Oliver. But
Stephanie specifically said that she was trying to do without her help.
In fact, I was just talking to her the other day and….”
were chatting with Stephanie?”
Lorraine shook her head, unable to believe her ears.
“Since when… Since
when did the two of you become such good friends?
Surely, you haven’t forgotten….”
“No, I haven’t forgotten,” Jillian
sighed. “I don’t think
I’ll ever forget; however, I’m determined to put all of that behind
us. That was the entire
point of the double wedding. Besides,
she’s having a baby, too, and we’re both going through a lot of the
Lorraine furrowed her brow as she tried to comprehend the idea of
Jillian and Stephanie Lake as friends.
“Be that as it may, don’t think for a minute that Stephanie
is going to last very long doing everything by herself.
Mark my words, it won’t be any time before she’s got poor
Mrs. Oliver waiting on her hand and foot.
And you be careful around her!
You know I don’t trust her.”
Jillian couldn’t help but laugh at how worked up the mere
mention of Stephanie’s name could make Lorraine.
“Besides, it’s not like she and I have suddenly become best
friends or anything. That’s
what I’ve got you for, after all.”
She let out a warm laugh but then paused and anxiously bit her
lip as her attention returned to the disaster-in-the-making that was
also known as dinner. “So…
Do you think you can be my best friend and help me make this
dinner something that resembles edible before Reginald comes home from
Lorraine didn’t say a single word, but
instead grabbed the spare apron that Jillian had draped over a kitchen
chair and went right to work.