Bill returns from a full, late day at work. How glad he is to find that Lexi, (six) has laid out a full course meal for him in his studio. The courses sit on 3 chairs lined up in a row. Each chair has a place mat and silverware.
The first chair hosts a large bowl of garden greens with carrots, tomatoes, hot marinated red and green Spanish peppers, orange seasoning, salt and pepper and liberal amounts of tabasco sauce.
On the second chair we have a banana pudding. The bottom layer is an intriguing mix of a (very) ancient smashed brown banana mixed with a small, raw chopped potato and over that is sliced the last perfect banana from my kitchen counter.
The third plate holds a long medium sized loaf of French bread, cut in half. It is covered in raspberry jam.
There is also a cup of water with lime juice squeezed into it.
Bill is surprised to find his dinner waiting. I don’t tell him that it has been waiting out for him since noon. I don’t see anything that will kill him without refrigeration, so I let that knowledge be unsaid. Why upset him?
He makes appreciative sounds as Lexi ushers him to his table and begins to serve him. He starts with the tabasco and hot pepper salad.
I watch intently. He eats it, doggedly.
His eyes water. He looks at me like he might die but he keeps eating. Lexi points out each pepper and details how she collected all the vegetables from the garden and what went into the dressing.
Suddenly, I say, “What’s all that green stuff?”
“Lettuce,” Lexi answers.
“But…we don’t have any lettuce in the garden.”
Bill looks up at me and stops chewing. Continue reading