Thursday, 11 September 2014

For @dawbes

Mildred was ready to murder someone.

Not literally you understand: though the means, motive and opportunity presented themselves nicely, she was far too polite to bump someone off. How terribly vulgar. She did however feel incredibly angry over the fact her plum pudding was deemed 'inedible' by her brute of a husband. Forty years they had been married, and for Thirty-Six of those Malcolm had not once raised even the tiniest grumble about her cooking.

Then THAT programme started.

They'd watched the first few episodes together, and Malcolm gobbled up all the terminology and marvelled at all the contestants baking skills until he was the foremost armchair critic of his day.
All of a sudden he was an expert on all things sweet, and his knowledge of the savoury was second to none.
"Bit salty this pasty"
"Have you proved this bread dough long enough?"
"I can't stomach this cake, far too heavy"
For four, long years he had taken every opportunity to pass on his 'expertise' without once setting foot in the bloody kitchen. It wouldn't be so hard to take but previously his favourite ingredient had been glacé cherries. Such a sophisticate! At first Mildred was pleased he was at least taking an interest in her favourite past time, and one that she felt she had a reasonable amount of skill in, but after a few weeks without so much as a smile it began to grate, and four years on something snapped in her.

He had put himself forward as a judge on the W.I's cake baking competition and the silly old crones made him head taster due to his use of the phrase 'soggy bottom'. Clearly, he knew exactly what he was talking about.

The tent was flooded with the warm aromas of freshly baked cakes, tarts, pies and bread. Mildred had gone for a simple sponge, packed with glacé cherries, which in days gone by had been Malcolm's favourite. She smiled sweetly as he strode up to the table, eager to impart more sage advice to his wife and (more importantly) impress the gaggle of W.I judges hanging on the every word of this Cake Colossus.

A slice was already prepared. The cherries gleamed an enticing scarlet glow, and Malcolm commended his wife's efforts on making the cherries look 'ok'. He took a massive bite, as his teeth sunk into the soft, yielding sponge....and smashed against the impossibly hard cherries. Shards of yellowing teeth cascaded from his mouth as Mildred looked on, impassive, painting her nails with the Ruby nail varnish she'd bought that morning, along with the bag of marbles from the local toy shop.

If he hated her cakes, he'd learn to love her soups.

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